Tuesday, June 21, 2011
My Week as a Terrorist
We have a big Army base near here and one of my mates is an Army Reservist, they often help out when the Army is in town doing maneuvers. So it was that he came to have a large number of empty Army ration tins which he saved for storing stuff in his shed. Somewhere along the way he decided to give some of them up so he actually had room in the shed for something other than empty ration cans.
He gave me several, the last of which I've only just managed to get rid of…but the intervening three years?
Sorting them out I discovered some strange semi hard foam in one of them, I put it in my daughters Busy Box. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, a Busy Box is any old box filled with household crap like cardboard tubes, wrapping paper, ice cream sticks, Easter egg foil etc. When the kids want to make something, you drag it out and let them go to town and build you something you don’t want.
I’d forgotten about the foam until I went to the box much later looking for some packing for several very expensive Stainless welding rods to send to my brother.
I wrapped the foam around the rods and taped it up good and tight, making sure my return address was on it and sent it off…no problem.
Early in the morning two days later I was busy at work when three police cars came screeching to a halt right in the doorway, armed police wearing flack jackets jumped out and made straight for me.
Vision me, if you will, looking behind me trying to see who they were coming for….
I was handcuffed and thrown into the back of a police car for the rather embarrassing ride down town. I don’t know if this has ever happened to you, but you drive past everyone you ever knew, and they all just happen to look up and see you there in the cop car being followed by another two police cars full of very serious looking cops.
A couple of hours questioning and then down to my house to see the cops have been there quite some time and made a complete search and a hell of a mess.
Eventually, with no real answers coming my way, one of the cops revealed the story…
An explosives alarm had gone off in the states main post office sorting area, the offending article looked a bit like Dynamite and had my name on it… The whole area was evacuated and remained so as we discussed the matter at length for most of the day.
It was about here the penny dropped and I remembered where the foam had come from… The Army!
I produced the rest of the foam and we headed off to the Airport to put it through their explosives sniffer… High explosives!
On closer inspection there were round marks on the foam to suggest it was once the lining of a box full of large cannon rounds.
Slowly the cops started to believe that I wasn’t really a mad bomber, that there were possibly no bombs to be found and that I had maybe made an honest mistake. (and they wouldn’t all be on TV having smashed a terrorist ring)
A phone call to the bomb squad to assure them it was safe to open the parcel and another hour of lectures and threats that they ‘would be watching me’ before they let me go home. A week later a couple of them dropped by to ‘have a chat’ and again a few weeks later, I guess by now they might have taken me off the terrorist register...but then again..
I never did get my welding rods back…but I wasn’t game to make a complaint.