The Accidental Terrorist
Anyway, that said, I was thinking about things and stuff and, as if from nowhere, I remembered something I did many years ago, at work, which resulted in nobody getting killed or maimed.
I made a rocket. Out of a number of ballpoint pen refills. You know, the metal PaperMate/Parker type. In idle moments, I carefully crushed match heads to a fine powder and rammed them into the refills, making sure to pack as much in as possible. This took many weeks, in between producing construction drawings and dealing with idiot contractors.
Finally, I ran out of matches. So I fashioned a launch ramp/tube out of a Rotring pen collar and fixed it to the top of my drawing board. Carefully angled toward the open window. The completed device was then placed into position. Then, worried that combustion might not be achieved successfully, I poked a paper clip up the rocket's arse and dribbled some lighter fluid in. (We used lighter fluid to clean stuff). That ought to do the trick.
My erstwhile colleague, Ady, stood by as I lit a match (bought a new box) and put the flame to the refills to initiate the launch sequence. At this point it became apparent to both of us, and to most of the street, that we had not built a rocket but a new type of fragmentation bomb. To this day it is still the loudest noise I have ever heard.
The moment the flame touched the "rocket" our eardrums imploded and the device vanished. Ady was babbling something but I couldn't hear a word he was saying. Passers by stopped in their tracks and looked skyward. There was a high pitched whining in my ears. And a really strong smell of, well, something singed. The walls of the office were peppered with tiny bits of curly metal shrapnel, embedded in the plaster. And the ceiling. Some managed to escape through the window and lay on the pavement glinting in the sun.
And not a single piece hit us, standing two feet away, although it took 24 hours before the ringing in the ears subsided.
That's when I realised that I am most definitely not a rocket scientist.
That is all.