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This is a question Breakin' The Law

'I'd taken some mushrooms in a pub,' writes Allen Smithee, 'and things had got a bit odd. People turning into goblins, barstools into toadstools etc. I wandered off from my friends and found myself in a carpark. I noticed a huge liquorice allsort driving towards me and Bertie Basset got out. I kinda realised that Bertie was a policeman and my brain went into paranoid fast forward. I decided that I must be being arrested and said, "I'll just get in the back of your car, Officer" Bertie looked at me with disgust, "Not bleeding likely sunshine. Just piss off home ok?"'

(, Wed 7 Jan 2004, 20:34)
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I was a teenage bomber
It all started so innocently with long afternoons under my bed ignoring my parentsí about the dangers of playing with matches. It then moved up to "genie-ing" entire boxes of Swan Vestas and chucking them out of the window. Within weeks there was a whole gang of us diligently scraping the heads of matches and watching with abject terror as they all went up in about a quarter of a second, usually depriving at least one of our number of their eyebrows.

It would have stayed at this innocent level had my mate Graham not got involved. Graham was a wizz at science, and filled our heads with ideas of rockets, bombs, and certain combinations of garden chemicals and innocent kitchen ingredients which I won't go into right now as WMDs are a bit of a hot topic. He would turn up after school with something he'd knocked up in his shed, which we'd pack full of "substances", light the fuse and dive for cover.

At the peak of our art we had rockets that could travel a good quarter of a mile, and what the bomb disposal people would call "improvised devices" that would leave a sizable crater. It was gratifying to see that some of the innovations we brought about subsequently turned up in the Iraqi Supergun a few years ago. This success, inevitably, was to be our downfall.

Being 14 year old kids, we didn't have a firing range to test on like the army did. So we used the school field. After one particularly excitable device had veered off course and set fire to a hedge, we were chased home by a baying hate mob who had witnessed the whole affair from the adjacent youth club. In our confusion, we ran through the wrong hole in the fence into our neighbour's garden, and it was quite a relief that the little squirt got a visit from the Old Bill complete with a down-the-stairs episode at the cop shop.

But had we learnt our lesson ? Oh no ! Up the local chalk pits we went the following weekend with a satchel of the things determined to make a noise. Dressing in combat gear didn't help our cause much: there was this blue flashing light as the law eventually rumbled our little game of world domination. There were cops everywhere, some of whom looking like they were prepared for World War Three, and all totally pissed off that we had spoiled their Saturday morning lie-in.

Being the cowards that we were, we laid the blame squarely on one of our number who had got cold feet and had run off home to watch Saturday Superstore on TV. Alas, we weren't present when the bomb squad went knocking on his dad's front door.

Crapping ourselves, we let off our entire stash in one go the same afternoon. I still have the scars.
(, Wed 7 Jan 2004, 20:49, closed)

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