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Playing with fire

Yesterday, I was all set to vent some outrage on this story -- someone left a tennis ball rigged as a bomb lying in the streets of Fairhaven, Massachusetts, where it was found by a group of kids. It burst into flame during the course of the game, but luckily no one was injured. The police were immediately all over this, suspecting it was a sick stunt designed by some psychopath out to blow up some kids.

Well, the truth came out -- and it's still pretty bad. A group of teenagers from out of town had rigged up the tennis ball bomb as a lark, and when it failed to detonate, just tossed it in the street -- where the kids found it.

I was reminded of an incident that happened one Fourth of July. A friend of mine was setting off firecrackers. He told me that he'd tried to set off a whole string at once, but tripped and dropped them, and they failed. He didn't dare try to set them off again, because the fuse was too short now.

"So, what'd you do with them?"

"I didn't touch them."

"So, they're just lying out in the street?"


"Go and get rid of them. Now."

He promptly got all bent out of shape, insisting that I had no business ordering him around, that I was out of line, that I should apologize. I instead ignored him and started putting on my shoes to go deal with it myself. The notion that he had left firecrackers, with incredibly dangerously short fuses, on the ground in a neighborhood with small children seemed less of a priority to him than my affront to his independence.

Some people just have no sense of responsibility. I hope the police find the morons who left their little bomb lying in the streets, and lock 'em up for as long as they can.

Comments (10)

Sounds like a Shelbyville v... (Below threshold)

Sounds like a Shelbyville vs Springfield moment.

The problem of land mines a... (Below threshold)

The problem of land mines all over places like Afghanistan, the former Yugoslav republic, parts of Africa and SE Asia brings to mind that your solution, if applied metaphorically, might affect most of the developed countries with arms manufacturers and distributors, as well as their customers. Who would that leave to throw away the key after we're all locked up?

Food for thought.

Epador,I join you ... (Below threshold)


I join you in calling for the arrest of the CEO of Wilson, and would like to see the manager of my local Sports Chalet in chains. Not until we rid the world of the sports-industrial complex will the New Utopia bloom.

Those poor teenagers certainly couldn't resist the siren call of fluorescent green as it beckoned them to fill it with explosives. Not with greedy collusion between world governments and the international tennis cartel subsidizing the latest open tournament designed to indoctrinate our helpless youth.

Food for thought.

Epador,By your log... (Below threshold)


By your logic, Jay Tea shouldn't have been angry at the nimrod who dropped the firecrackers, but at whoever made them.

Un-frigging-believable.... (Below threshold)


Actually, the sad thing is that it's NOT unbelievable, it's TOTALLY believable, because people in this country have apparently lost all sense of connection between their own actions, or lack thereof, and their consequences, and, worse, lost all sense of responsibility for the consequences that they cause.

(Click here to learn about the woman who's blaming a magnet toy for the death of her toddler, who ate 2 of the magnets while unsupervised. Toddler. UNSUPERVISED.)

Years ago (during the fifti... (Below threshold)
Corky Boyd:

Years ago (during the fifties) the Saturday Evening Post carried a story on the Aberdeen Proving Grounds and some of the weapons experiments they did during WWII.

One of them involved the "baseball grenade" which simulated a baseball in size and weight and after being armed, exploded on contact. The theory was that most American kids had played baseball and could throw one farther and more accurately than the standard issue item.

During a demonstration for VIPs to show off innovative technology they developed, and with an announcer telling the crowd about the ease of handling the grenade, the unwitting GI tossed it in the air above his head and caught it, with fatal results.

That was the end of the program.

By the way, Jay Tea, double... (Below threshold)

By the way, Jay Tea, double bonus for going to recover the firecrackers and telling that guy off. Amazing how many people leave dangerous stuff around purposely like that. (Never mind the littering aspect, which is irritating enough.)

Can any one of the ctitics ... (Below threshold)

Can any one of the ctitics of my post tell me what dubious sport or recreational use land mines serve? If not, then the parallel satire kinda falls apart. I am saying bravo to JT, but lets think a little globally - how many firecracker injuries to children in the US yearly versus the number maimed daily in the rest of the world from land mines?

I was comparing manufacturers of land mines, and those that have placed them but not removed them, to the thugs who made the bomb in the tennis ball.

Attempts to repaint my picture otherwise probably represents another example of folks not critically reading things before jumping into critique mode. Or simply not caring enough before putting on their snoblog hat and twinkling their digits daintily over their keyboards.

I'd blog more but I am having my own mini NOLA-style break in the water barriers (fortunately only affected my home office), and it may be a while before I get my DSL plug into a dry area.

Mines do serve a purpose, w... (Below threshold)

Mines do serve a purpose, when used correctly, like along the DMZ in Korea. It's the placing that's the issue, not the making. ANd anyway, I'd be willing to bet that 95% of mines out there are Chinese or Russian made and placed by their proxy fighters.

Instructions to build exact... (Below threshold)
Tim in PA:

Instructions to build exactly this sort of device are in the "Anarchist's Cookbook", along with suggestions to do such things as throw them at passing bicyclists.

I'm pretty certain that whoever made it got their instructions from there; they're all over the internet. Luckily, the people who made this one did a lousy job or it would have done more than just "burst into flames".






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