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This is a question This book changed my life

The Goat writes, "Some books have made a huge impact on my life." It's true. It wasn't until the b3ta mods read the Flashman novels that we changed from mild-mannered computer operators into heavily-whiskered copulators, poltroons and all round bastards in a well-known cavalry regiment.

What books have changed the way you think, the way you live, or just gave you a rollicking good time?

Friendly hint: A bit of background rather than just a bunch of book titles would make your stories more readable

(, Thu 15 May 2008, 15:11)
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The big book of mischief
The below happened when three or four months before my 16th Birthday.

It must of taken at least an hour to download the txt file from my incredibly crap dialup internet connection. It took about the same time for my dot-matrix printer to print out the 50 odd pages, but, I had it. I had the big book of mischief. This summer was going to be fantastic.

After a very careful study of each section I decided that the most valuable use of time would be to make some explosives. I found a section called “grey powder” which seemed easiest to make. I quick wander into my dads green house and I had found the oxidant fertilizers which made the core ingredients.

After following the recipe exactly I was left with a small dish of runny paste – the book said to leave the paste to dry to a powder somewhere warm over night – I choose on top of my radiator. By the morning the paste was powder. I was getting very excited.
Now making the fuse was even easier – just run some cotton in the paste and leave it out to dry too. I just needed to make the container for the “Bomb”.
I found a plastic case that you used to get camera film in. I poured in the powder, which half filled it, slit a small hole to run the fuse in and taped the lid down hard.

My very first Bomb was ready.

On walking to high school we past a small common and I decided this would be my ground Zero. With a crowd of sceptical friends surrounding me I placed the device in a squirrel hole and lit the fuse. I had barely run four foot when the fucker exploded. And my god it went off. It ripped the small squirrel hole to whole large enough to put a football in. I was covered in wood chips. The crowd cheered. I instantly became a hero – considered dangerous – I was a bomb maker.

Straight after school I ran home and had about 3 hours of bomb making before my parents got home. I had told the entire school that I was going to make enough to blow the tree up and was under a lot of self induced pressure.

“How much to make” I thought – well the last lot made a hole, but, this time I want to blow down a tree. I will multiply the amount of ingredients by 10. Just to be safe.
After empting the fertilizers into a large bowl and mixing well – plus making a far longer fuse – I poured the mixture onto some old newspaper.

Now it took all night to dry out the small batch. This mound was clearly going to take a long time. My parents would also be a little concerned to see a mound of white powder drying out in my room. I needed to speed up the process and decided that setting the oven to 100 degrees will not do it damage, but, will speed up the process something.

I watched it for a few minutes and went upstairs to watch TV

My left ear had the largest ringing - my right ear had stopped working. I could not see as the picture above my bed had smacked me in my eyes. I stumbled downstairs to see what damage had been done. The oven door had been blown clean off the oven, through the tile and plasterboard wall on the opposite side of the kitchen and straight through my dad’s fish tank.
There was not a single uncracked tile. The ceiling was black and burnt. The kitchen was completely fucked up

I was completely fucked.
I was COMPLETELY fucked.

My mum went apeshit when I spilled coke on the carpet. I have just blown a hole in their fucking house. Panic took over, I went to the cleaning cupboard and found a Mr Muscle can and a duster. Christ knows what I was thinking, but, I furiously scrubbed the walls and ceiling of the black smoke stains.
The doorbell went
It was the fire brigade
I was completely fucked

The fireman practically barged in and inspected the mess. As there was no fire they decided to use the half hour they stayed to rip the piss out of me. By the time they left I was just a broken shell of a 15 year old boy. The last comment they made before they left was “the police will be here in a minute”

Unfortunately for me though – my mum got home before the police. I could have done with the police protection really.

I am sure that most parents will, at some point, come home to a wrecked home. Maybe the child left the tap running and flooded the floor. Maybe they had a party and some wine got spilt. Perhaps they got mud on the carpet.

I had blown the oven up. Sent the grill about a foot through the cupboard above. Blackened the walls. Broke the Tiles. Burnt the work top. I had put a two foot hole in the kitchen wall. I had smashed a fish tank, killed two fish and ruined a carpet. I had wrecked the downstairs elecrics. I had really fucked up.

As you can imagine – my parents went stir-mental-apeshit-scary-daggers-lock-that-waste-of-our-DNA crazy on me.

The very next day I was marched to the local co-op and forced at mum-point to apply for the job opening. I was told that I had to account for every ten minutes during the summer holidays. If i was not working at the Co-op i was working for my dad.

It took me 6 months and about 500 hours to earn the money to pay for the repairs. I worked my arse off to make sure that I paid back every single penny.

The big book of mischief taught me to think things through first. It taught me the value of a pound. It taught me about hard work and it what it can achieve. It taught me that work is rewarding. It taught me that plasterboard walls are not too strong. It taught me that my dads right hand was fucking lethal.

It also gave my parents a story to tell - which they do - at every single occasion.

Beat that for life lessons learnt
(, Fri 16 May 2008, 12:08, 18 replies)
Words can hardly express
how brilliant that story is.

(, Fri 16 May 2008, 12:15, closed)
in every way.

*biggus clickus*
(, Fri 16 May 2008, 12:23, closed)
is genius! *clickage*
(, Fri 16 May 2008, 12:25, closed)
*writes name on heroes list in pen...
(, Fri 16 May 2008, 12:31, closed)
Was that the anarchists cookbook?

I remember making the 'match-head tennis ball bomb' which was fun and make a very loud explosion!

(, Fri 16 May 2008, 12:32, closed)
Good work
Have a click!
(, Fri 16 May 2008, 12:36, closed)
"forced at mum-point"
twelfty clicks.
(, Fri 16 May 2008, 12:43, closed)
can you blame them?
this is a story worth telling :) *clickety*
(, Fri 16 May 2008, 12:48, closed)
@ Devil in Tights
"*writes name on heroes list in pen..."

and laminates!
(, Fri 16 May 2008, 12:52, closed)
The Anarchists Cookbook.....
I had a copy of the above about the same sort of time (ie. before it was considered a terrorist manual.) - and I always wanted to make some of the explosives mentioned.... I have to admit i shyed away from it in the end, and by the sounds of it, I was better off doing so!!

Your story is pure genius though. I nearly fell off my chair at work.

(, Fri 16 May 2008, 12:57, closed)
...simply awesome.
(, Fri 16 May 2008, 13:02, closed)
"forced at mum-point"
(, Fri 16 May 2008, 13:25, closed)
I'd say we can close this QOTW now- no one can top that!
(, Fri 16 May 2008, 13:29, closed)
I've had a few scrapes with, shall we say "energetic chemistry" at various points in my life, but nothing on this scale. Kudos for paying back the money, too.
(, Fri 16 May 2008, 14:19, closed)
Brilliant stuff
and well done to your parents in insisting you pay for the damage.

And probably for the best that the bomb went off at home, rather than as per your original plan which would have probably killed you.
(, Fri 16 May 2008, 14:25, closed)
That's amazing
One of the best QOTW answers that I've ever read.

*clicks with mighty gusto*
(, Fri 16 May 2008, 18:16, closed)
Brilliant story, lovely positive ending, lessons learnt and all that,
(, Sat 17 May 2008, 13:02, closed)

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