#3. Hand Grenades Turn Up Inside Charity Donation Bins (A Lot)
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Despite popular belief, those big metal donation bins you see scattered around grocery store parking lots and gas stations aren't dumpsters. Employees working at thrift stores for Goodwill or the Salvation Army have to sift through piles of literal garbage when they empty those things out before they find any actual clothing, and half of that is infested with lice, bedbugs, and old bloodstains. Oh, and hand grenades, because as it turns out people throw those into donation bins all the freaking time.
Apparently, servicemen and women from yesteryear would just take grenades home with them as Army souvenirs, because they really needed a reminder of how awesome a time they had during World War II and nothing but a handheld murder device would do. So, these rogues would sneak grenades (among other things like ammo boxes, helmets, bayonets, etc.) into the suburbs to be stowed away in the attic for the next seven decades. Evidently they anticipated a future wherein all commerce is dealt in exploding currency.
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"And here's your change."
Once those old hoarders die, their families find all their old bullshit piled in shoeboxes and milk crates and hold a small exhibition boxing tournament to see who gets to drag it all down to the donation bin. They either never see the grenades because they're wrapped up in clothes (or packed inside a box that gets tossed into the donation bin unopened), or they assume the grenades are fake. As a result, thrift store employees routinely find live ordinance mixed in with the daily donations and have to call in the bomb squad to come pick up the grenades and dispose of them safely.
It's either that, or the work of some deranged Punisher-esque vigilante with a blood vendetta against secondhand clothing.
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"Just looking at this makes me boil with unbridled rage! Hand me my bazooka!"
#2. An Ornamental Cannon in Central Park Turns out to Be Loaded
Recently, workers in New York's Central Park were shocked to discover that an old British Revolutionary War cannon on display in the park for more than a century was still primed and ready to fire a live cannonball. This is different from the loaded weapons they normally find scattered around the park, because tourists generally don't stop to take pictures of their children climbing all over the 12-gauge shotgun lying in the bushes next to the bathroom.
The cannon had been donated to the park around the time of the Civil War, after being salvaged from an old British warship. Luckily, not a single person involved in the cannon's recovery, transportation, or installment as a public decoration ever bothered to check and see if it was carrying live ordinance. And the barrel was capped with concrete as a safety measure, because "safety" occasionally means "turn an ancient piece of artillery into a giant fragmentation grenade".
"Eh, it's just shards of exploded metal, pussy."
So it sat on display in the middle of America's most famous city for the next 130 years, literally ready to explode at any moment. To be fair, most people you find in Central Park seem ready to explode at any moment, so it's easy to see how the cannon could've slipped through the cracks. Finally, preservationists working on restoring the cannon removed the concrete plug and immediately noticed there was a cannonball still lurking within (a detail which had eluded everyone else for two-and-a-half centuries). They called the NYPD, who came in and removed 800 grams of active gunpowder from the iron-belching murder tube. That's almost 2 pounds of explosion dust, crammed inside a glorified bench in Central Park. We're surprised Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson weren't led to it by a series of riddles.
We don't know what they're afraid of. In the South, they use them to stave off burglars and hunt squirrels.
#1. Customers and Employees Both Find Syringes Inside Clothing at Wal-Mart
Recently, some shoppers at a Georgia Wal-Mart were stabbed with discarded syringes while hunting for roll-back bargains. Normally this wouldn't be considered too out-of-the-ordinary, considering a large portion of Wal-Mart shoppers have diabetes and/or methadone prescriptions, but these syringes weren't carelessly tossed on the floor or left by the paper towels in the bathroom -- they were carefully hidden inside articles of clothing that were still on the racks.
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"Now, does the heroin come with it, or do I have to buy that separate?"
One victim, a 14-year-old girl, got a fistful of pointy medical waste when she stuck her hand into the foot of her new pajamas, which suggests that she wasn't clear on how pajamas are supposed to be worn, in addition to raising troubling questions about why a teenager would own footy pajamas in the first place. Another woman was stabbed by a syringe while opening a package of bras. Employees had even found a syringe inside a pair of socks a week earlier. After the stabbing incidents, the police were notified and conducted a search, and more syringes were discovered scattered within merchandise all over the store. Remember, this is all in the same goddamned Wal-Mart.
"Look what I found behind your ear! No, seriously ..."
So far, no one has tested positive for any horrific diseases, and investigators have begun poring over the surveillance tapes to see if they can figure out who in the bell-jingling reindeer scrotum has been shoving their dangerous medical leftovers into the folds of Swaziland sweatshop clothing. To its credit, Wal-Mart has gallantly refused to pay any medical costs incurred by the stabbing victims unless it can be unequivocally proven that one of their employees was responsible for lacing the store with hypodermic needles, because it isn't like they have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for their customers or anything.
For more unexpected treasures, check out 5 Pieces of Junk That Turned Out to be Invaluable Artifacts. Or discover 6 Objects You Won't Believe People Managed to Lose.
If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out 6 Animals You're Not Safe From in Your Own House.