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Blowed Up Real Good

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West Virginia man lights cigarette in outhouse and blows his ass up:

    A man was hospitalized for burns after he lit a cigarette in a portable outhouse and the outhouse exploded.

    MECCA said that at about 9:40 a.m. Tuesday, Monongalia Emergency Medical Services responded to a burn call at the Clay-Battelle Community Health Center on the Mason-Dixon Highway in Blacksville.

    The spokesperson said a man, whose identity is not being released, was inside a portable outhouse when the explosion occurred.

    The methane gases inside the outhouse didn’t “take too kindly” to the lit cigarette, the spokesperson said.

    A Clay-Battelle Health Center spokeswoman said the man drove himself to the clinic. [Dominion Post]

This reminds me of a story from my youth.

DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME

When I was about 12 I was very much into pyrotechnics, and living in SoCal, we had easy access to the explosive output of Mexico.

After blowing up everything imaginable with the typical M-80s, M-100s, even the waterproof seal controls used by fishermen to scare the pinnipeds away from their nets, I thought I needed more fire power.

So, brilliantly, I took apart several jumbo firecrackers and poured the expolsive material into a small brass pipe I had purchased at the local hardware store, along with caps for either end. I had also drilled a hole into the center of the pipe BEFORE I started pouring the magic dust into the sucker.

The actual words had no meaning to me at the time, but I was creating a pipe bomb. I also had no idea of how powerful it would be, but I was aware of this lack of knowledge and sought to test it out under controled conditions.

We lived just a few blocks from the cliff above the ocean where San Pedro borders Palos Verdes. There was a vacant lot right at the cliff that had a construction port-a-potty that seemed to scream out “controled conditions” to my youthful ear.

So, one summer evening, as dusk obscured my activities, I carefuly inserted a fuse I had saved from one of my eviscerated M-80s into my little bomb, rode my bike to the vacant lot, carefully placed the device at the foot of the throne inside the box, and tore out of there on the wings of adrenaline (and my bike).

I was only about a block away when a muffled but undoubtedly powerful “kablam” sound rent the air, followed by the enormously satisfying stench of nebulized human excrement. I could barely contain my excitement as I – very casually – rounded the block as slowly as I possibly could and returned to the scene of the crime.

The port-a-potty had been shredded by shrapnel, the top had been blown off, and the entire scene reeked of incinerated offal. The damage was both thrilling and deeply frightening and I started shaking on the way home as the realization seeped into my dense skull that I could have easily killed myself or others and not just offed an outhouse, literally blowing the shit out of it.

My experiments with explosives effectively ended then.

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About Eric Olsen

  • http://www.shortstrangetrip.org Joe

    Pfizer ought to get a hold of him to do a commercial for the mother of all Tucks pads.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    You’re lucky to still have hands to type this post, Eric… :-/

  • Eric Olsen

    yes, that’s why it’s called a cautionary tale

  • http://theapologist.blogspot.com CW Fisher

    Good story well told. Do more of that; it’s good entertainment. Most writers I know only imagine they did that crap. I’ve met actual people like you, but they usually couldn’t write. Whereas you, you… well, Eric, I just take point A, which I’ll call, for purposes of coded abbreviation, “The Dead Dead on the Doorstep,” and draw a straight line to point B, “The Exploding Port-a-Potty(TM). I know there’s something in between, but what, and for how much longer?

  • Eric Olsen

    thanks Curt, I appreciate it – I have to space my stories properly or I will run out of them and have to start making them up, which is much harder

  • http://theapologist.blogspot.com CW Fisher

    you’re not looking small enough

  • Eric Olsen

    good point