Two kings, the King of Armorica and the King of Sovieta, once arranged to have a firework contest to show who was superior.
“Our firework display shall light up the sky so brightly that it shall be seen all across the globe”, said the King of Armorica.
“Well, we in Sovieta shall light up the sky so brightly that it shall be as if the sun has risen in the middle of the night!”, declared the King of Sovieta.
And so, in preparation for the big firework contest, both Kings ordered that fireworks and gunpowder be continually stockpiled and that spending on rocket production should be quadrupled
while money for other things such as Health, Welfare and Education should be slashed.
“The people will not like it”, complained their advisors, “They will protest. They may even rise up!”.
And so both kings decided to increase spending on police and prisons too, so that they could catch and lock up any dissenting voices among the people.
The Firework manufacturers were certainly happy though, for both Kings demanded that they turn out hundreds and thousands of fireworks.
“Give me Catherine wheels as big as cartwheels; no, waterwheels; no, the Moon!”,the King of Armorica ordered his chief
pyrotechnicians ,excitably, “And rockets as tall as towers!”.
“Give me Roman Candles as big as Roman Cathedrals”, commanded the King of Sovieta, “And firey fountains as high as mountains!”.
And, when the day came for the big Firework contest, both Kings happily surveyed whole forests of towering rockets and mountainous fountains; giant Catherine wheels and roman candles reaching to the sky; not to mention entire legions of marching troops carrying giant sparklers instead of rifles
And, though the peoples of their nations were not happy because they did not have proper and much needed public services; they were forced by law to attend the fireworks contest and cheer.
“Anyone who does not cheer at my fireworks”, said the tyrannical king of Armorica, “Is to be strapped to a rocket and blasted into space dust!”
“Sovieta decrees that anyone who does not cheer at our fireworks”, said the equally tyrannical king of Sovieta, “Is to be tied to a Catherine wheel and spun around till their head falls off”.
And so they did cheer, or at least try to, although it sounded more like the dry throated groan of the dead.
But then came the appointed time, agreed upon by both kings, of twelve midnight, when both countries would light their fuses and begin their fireworks displays.
There was an ominous hush in the air as the fuses were lit and loudly crackled and both kings fidgeted with excitement then, suddenly, KA-BOOM! There was one enormous explosion, echoing across two kingdoms and spreading darkness and devastation; shattering cities, towns and villages and reducing everything to flaming rubble including the huge golden palaces of both the Kings.
And both Kings, along with many of their unfortunate subjects, were blown to kingdom come. There were no pretty multi-coloured fountains in the air; just a shower of large flakes of black ash falling from black smoke clouds that blocked out the sun itself for several days.
However, one good thing did come out of it. For the resilient peoples of both Armorica and Sovieta; those who had survived the terrible explosion, freed from their tyrannical monarchs, now decided to rebuild their countries; but make them nations without kings; nations truly ruled by the people and for the people and they joined Armorica and Sovieta together into one peaceful nation; a nation furthermore, that would ban fireworks forever, especially ridiculously enormous ones,and instead spend money on things which were really important like Health, Welfare and Education.
They called this new country, Someria, because everyone in it was so merrier and every one of its people freely cheered its name.