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.



Argentum Vulgaris said...

ROFLMAO, as an ex-armourer and handler of demolition explosives amongst other toys I could see the writing on the wall. Now there's a story for the grandkids. You'll be making a video next 'Tempo - the dead Terrorist' with some guys hand stuck up your butt. Have you seen that Achmed one? If not look it up on YouTube.

A Busy Box, what a great name. We always had one of those but just called it 'the box'. Great idea for rainy days.


Pearl said...

Yikes! Lucky you aren't in the U.S. -- we've gone batty with suspicion!!


Sarah said...

My husband would take this as a sign that we must save nothing :)

Very killer funny story tho--I'm jealous! That's a convo starter anytime the silence is too uncomfortable.

The Jules said...

At least you had the decency to put your return address and your name on the explosives. Makes it easier for our hard pressed security forces that does.

In the spirit of keeping them on their toes, I like to entitle various boring emails with keywards such as "plot", "red mercury" and "comprehensive regicide" so they get flagged and some poor sucker in GCHQ has to read about my adventures with cladding or how I'm worried my skin tags are growing back.

magsx2 said...

Hi Tempo,
That is unreal, even after they seen the foam they were still not convinced. Do mad bombers leave behind there name and address? I bet you were wondering what the hell was going on when they handcuffed you. LOL.

Windsmoke. said...

What you call the busy draw we call the junk draw as it does end up over flowing with junk to the extent you can't close it. Lucky you live in Oz if it was America you could have ended up in a terrorist prison camp or even worse :-)

Tempo said...

@AV, I had no idea what the foam had been used for...let alone that it could have residue on it. Of course these days we cant be to careful.

@Pearl, So right there Pearl, I'd still be in some nasty cell somewhere if this happened in the USA. Thankfully Aussies are pretty laid back by nature.

@Sarah, I kinda agree with your other half... It sure didnt do me any favors.
Actually I've been pretty silent about it, I think most people would run a mile if you started a conversation with...'Do you want to hear about how I got on the terrorist watch list?'

@Jules, It seemed obvious to me that it wasn't dangerous BECAUSE my address was on it..they weren't listening. I've heard that using potential terrorist phrases gets picked up by systems looking for certain words. I guess that means you're on the list too.

@Mags, Id never been arrested before let alone handcuffed, but I remained bemused because I knew I'd done nothing wrong...in the end though it turned out I had...although accidentally.

@Windsmoke, Our busy box is just an old Microwave box (from when I bought a new one many years ago)and has to be cleaned out from time to time but even now it's full of the weird and wonderful.
Thank god for Australia!

Argentum Vulgaris said...

You missed a grand opportunity there. You could have been the first to blog from Guantanemo, oh the infamy...



Tempo said...

Hi AV, I really dont like orange mate... it's not my colour. Can you blog by carrier pigeon?

Kal said...

It's too easy to spin a conspiracy theory that somehow leads back to the ocean but it would pale in comparison to your adventure (ya stinkin' jihadist).

Tempo said...

Hi Kal, No one ever accused our cops of being smart... I guess they just jumped at the obvious without checking the detail.