Thursday, September 02, 2004

Zen and the Art of blowing things up.

My good friend Kevin came to see me today. He's NOT a musician. In fact he's an engineer. He's a welder in a manufacturing business. He's also a keen explosives expert. Now I use the term expert loosely. He's been blowing things up for longer than he can remember. It's his hobby. He can blow just about anything up.
The other week the boss of his company went on holiday so he decided that he'd blow a few things up. It started with an upside down metal bucket with a plastic bag full of oxyacetylene in the yard. They never found the bucket again. Then he wanted to make a mortar, so he welded a steel plate onto the end of a scaffolding pipe. Drilled asmall hole in the plate end and covered it with insulation tape. He filled the pipe with oxyacetylene and rammed a brass disc into the end of the pipe and hammered it home. Took his acetylene torch to the insulation atpe and stood back. He aimed at the industrial waste bin. The brass disc shot out with a large bang and went straight throught the bin and out the other side half demolishing a wall. Afer that he decided tomake his explosions a little less dramatic. So he got a load of zip top plastic bags and filled them ful of the old oxyacetylene with insulation tape fuses and dropped them around the work benches. he swears he's never seen someone with shell shock outside of a war situation. He blew up one of his work colleagues three times a day for a fortnight while the boss was on holiday.
One day he thought he'd try fertiliser to remove a tree from his garden. he dug a hole among the roots and stuff it full of a sodium chlorate mix. The tree ended up in the next door but ones garden.
Then he thought he'd blow something up inside a lorry trailer but used too much explosive and it ripped the whole of one side of the trailer apart. Good job it was already a scrapped trailer. It could never be used again. He once had a scrap microwave and filled it with explosives then with a very long extension lead switched it on. The microwave oven disintegrated with an almighty bang. Didn't do his extension lead much good either.

He is planning to do a course with the scuba diving club on underwater demolition so, with his certificate, he can have access to real explosives. God help us. What can he do with half a pound of C4? Or semtex? At the moment he is only using what he can make from domestically available materials. Now he's talking about using liquid Oxygen and other stuff. Liquid oxygen? Easily available from BOC.

He has a neat trick using hair spray aerosol cans. I won't go into details about that one for fear of being responsible for complete demolition of your houses. All I will say is it works with various deodorant cans as well. You've seen James Bond wasting that snake in the film using his hair spray aerosol. This is much worse.

Talking to Kevin it's amazing we are all still alive considering the explosive potential of all the stuff we have sitting in the cupboards under our kitchen sinks .

Apparently he started his pyromaniac interest by buying loads of penny bangers as a kid and wanting to make the bang a bit louder. He did this by collecting the gunpowder of several bangers and putting them all into one big banger. From then he was hooked. He claims he can destroy just about anything using stuff you can find in the average house. I wonder why he has converted his car to run on LPG. I'm sure he is planning something. What is he going to blow up next? He's not political or a terrorist. He just loves blowing things up. He told me today he is teaching his children. Oh My God! Three little Kevins on the loose. He has a daughter, I pity her husband if he crosses her. Forget burying the body there wont be a body to find, just bits. They'd need DNA testing to find out who it was. The body would be spread about a square mile. People would be picking bits off their washing on the line wondering what it was. Kevin is a great guy but I'll think twice about inviting him to one of my parties.

Rock on dudes


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