Bombs are frightening, and there are some folks out there who -- out of paranoia or tattoos fueled by youthful indiscretion -- see Ted Kaczynski's mugshot whenever they close their eyelids. Therefore, nowadays just about anything and everything can be interpreted as a bomb threat. Here's some of the most oddball shit to recently be mistaken for deadly explosives. We're surprised the whole world doesn't crash to a halt whenever a television station airs a Wile E. Coyote cartoon.
#4. Modern Art
In June, artist Russell Jaffe received a call from police after a piece of his artwork -- a smashed television he wrapped in poetry containing such zanily scrawled phrases as "IT IS YOU MAKING A HUGE MISTAKE" -- shut down downtown Iowa City for several hours. What happened? A buyer who had recently purchased the artwork from Jaffe left the piece in a "community exchange" booth near the Iowa Arts Festival, and somebody reported the objet d'art to the police. They proceeded to annihilate it with a robotic water cannon, the kind of critic nobody warns you about in art school.
"Seriously, I'm just so over postmodern hobo-nism." -HydroBot7500, Iowa City PD, HuffPo/Arts Asst. Ed.
If there's a lesson we can glean here, it's that if your artwork can be mistaken for the manifesto of a ranting lunatic and if somebody has already abandoned it in a "free stuff" booth after a few weeks, it's time to give watercolors a whirl. That, or you're definitely the next Damien Hirst. There's no middle ground.
#3. Lyrics to a Pink Song
A teenager was recently arrested after he excitedly tweeted some Pink lyrics at the singer's concert in Melbourne. Mega-enthralled to see the least exciting musical performer since the Counting Crows, this fan posted to his Twitter account, "@Pink I'm ready with my Bomb. Time to blow up #RodLaverArena. Bitch." The authorities proceeded to confront the boy at the concert, whisk him off to the police station, and charge him with being a public nuisance.
Jim Dyson/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Which is really a charge Pink should have to face any time she has a concert.
It turns out the teen was misquoting the Pink song "Timebomb," which mentions nothing about detonating a stadium named after a 74-year-old Australian tennis player. However, the police were unaware of this, as A) "Timebomb" was never released as a single and B) the cops likely gave up on the singer a decade earlier, after hearing the aural diarrhea that was "Just Like a Pill." At the end of the day, the arrest was the least embarrassing part -- this poor rascal now has to contend with the sinister fact that his friends know he's a Pink fan.
#2. An Invitation to a Dance
Here's another entry for "The Annals of Evidence That Charlie Brown Has Breached the Fourth Wall and Entered Our World." Earlier this spring in St. George, Utah, the local bomb squad was called to investigate a strange package labeled "ARMY" left near a church gazebo. Given that gazebos are neither effective military bases nor sentient beings with the ability to request and/or receive parcels, suspicions were aroused.
"Tell command we're going to need air support. This is no normal gazebo."
So what was it? Candy and an invitation to a dance. You see, a starry-eyed young fellow wished to ask some lucky lady to some vintage of cotillion, so he devised a treasure hunt that would conclude at the church's gazebo. It's unclear if she accepted his invite after his romantic gesture closed down several streets, but we're just going to assume her name was "Amy," and he was boned from the get-go.
#1. A Backpack Full of Sex Toys
If Michael Bay has taught us anything, it's that explosions can be highly erotic. Unfortunately, this aesthetic doesn't translate into the real world, but these twain sort of met in a Colorado Walmart last week. After store security caught a woman shoplifting, they noticed her male companion looking visibly uncomfortable. A perfunctory glance into his backpack revealed "liquids and piping," so the bomb squad was called in.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty Images
All of this could have been avoided if they had just supported their local Ma and Pa sex shop
instead of going for everyday low prices.
The situation became even direr once bomb-sniffing dogs seemed to corroborate officers' fears. But in the end, police discovered that the backpack was simply jammed to the brim with lube and other devices that adults ferret away in their private holes. (The man was then arrested for unrelated outstanding warrants, not being a big ol' pervy-perv.) The moral to this story: Don't keep bacon-flavored lube in your backpack full of fake dongs.