The Mad Bomber

Daily I find myself in two constant states; simultaneously one of both composition and decomposition. Getting old, my body is quite naturally in a state of slow decomposition while my mind on the other hand is forever aswirl in a constant state of composition. There is so much I’d like to express I hardly know where to begin but the hardest part is knowing where to let off because every thought in my head is linked one to another and my world view is just all-of-a-peace within me.

Starting out as a simple essay about a silly found objet d’art that strangely appealed to me it got me to thinking about so many other things. It’s part of The Story of My Life.

Back in the 1970’s homeward bound veterans of the Vietnam War were viewed by many as “ticking time bombs”; (e.g. Rambo, et. al.) and the draft-dodging sissy-boy stay-at-homes and sniveling cowards hiding behind their mothers skirts who inherited their daddy’s businesses were quite naturally piss-your-pants-and-tremble fearful of hiring battlehardened real men. I may be biased. I never wanted to be a veteran. I just wanted to be a civilian and get on with my life. But nevermind all that, even though it explains so much of my impoverished life.

A question sometimes asked by VA psychiatrists: Do you ever have homicidal ideations? Of course, dumbass; I was trained to kill by the U.S. Army.

But again, nevermind all that.

I disremember, but it was perhaps 25-30 years ago when I walked over to the old corner convenience store. (Latinos or New Yorkers might call it a bodega but it’s currently run by some Palestinians.) They sell a variety of dust-covered household staples, snacks, candy, cigarettes, soda, cold beer, and highly suspect milk, bread and rather sketchy bologna. (how would I know how long it’s been on the shelf?)

Anyway – It was about Halloween time and I spotted a cannonball type fuse bomb sitting on the end of the counter. It was part of a candy display. It was a round black cannonball with a short fuse sticking out of the touchhole. I offered to buy it on-the-spot but the guy wouldn’t part with it. I made a mental note to ask the store owner about it later. But years passed….


We were at a charity rummage sale for a fallen police officer, the rummage offerings just piled high on tables. Randomly picking through the heaps of household junk I moved a plastic pumpkin, the commercial kind little kids use for Trick or Treating. There was a black sphere inside. I couldn’t get it out. Apparently some kid had forced it into the pumpkin’s aperture and couldn’t figure out how to remove it. I stuck in my hand and found what appeared to be a raised neck or whatever. It dawned on me that that was the remains of the display bomb I’d wanted so long ago. I bought the pumpkin. (My brother has a collection of Halloween props – masks, bloody knives, rats, spiders, etc.) When I got home I cut open the plastic pumpkin and happily retrived -ta da! – da bomb! The fuse was missing so I glued in a short piece of cotton rope to replace it.

While I’ve done some research on the internet I still can’t state conclusively the actual origin of this fuse bomb but my faded memory tells me it was a Halloween display piece from Charms Blowpops (bubblegum suckers), not to be confused with the red, white and blue frozen Bomb Pops, akin to Popsicles.

For the life of me I have yet to confirm the actual name of the candy company that used this in their Halloween promotional store display way back in the mid 1980’s or early ’90’s.

So mop the beads of sweat from your brow – it’s inert.

About The Twentieth Man

Age 69
This entry was posted in Capitalism, Expository Writing, Humor, Noise, Personal History, Plain English, PTSD, Short Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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