>Raising a Generation of Terrible Scientists

Posted: February 21, 2011 in friends, kids, stories of me, wtf

>So my kids got a ‘SCIENCE KIT’ for Christmas and when I say “Science Kit” I mean “not remotely a science kit AT ALL because – I’m sorry – if our country’s best and brightest minds are trying to figure out how to make sugar candy out of sugar and, you know, FOOD COLORING and unless that asteroid that is hurtling towards us can be stopped with rainbow-colored sweeteners or – even better – super absorbent crystals then we are already dead, people.

Already dead.

When I was a giant fat shit of a kid I would have RELISHED a “science kit” that allowed me to make junk food but instead what I got before there were apparently “laws” and “child safety concerns” and “concerned parents” was something like this:

Hell yes. The “Tri Lab Pak” science kit.

Got a small, inquisitive child?

Then this kit with small containers of random caustic chemicals AND a sharp metal hammer is just the thing they need!

Next to my house was a “barrel shed” for our trash which my dad built because he used to be a construction worker and building shit is what construction workers do when they’re not passed out from drinking twelve packs of Schlitz (read: ALWAYS).

So my buddy Ed and I who are apparently gluttons for punishment decided it would be a great idea to scoop up all these containers of chemicals from my Tri Lab Pak and go out to the barrel shed and then, you know, do what little kids do:

Make a bomb.

This seemed like an amazingly good idea at the time because, since we were about 8 years old, that made us experts at mixing random chemicals like ‘sulfur’ and ‘lithium’ and ‘mercury’ (ah, the 70’s!) together so this would be a no-brainer.

Key words there: NO. BRAINER.

The kit had a bunch of glass test tubes and, for some reason, some other kind of glass container with a wick sticking out of it.

We figured that bottle was a pretty good place to dump all the chemicals into and then light it using a book of matches that was just lying around my house next to a pack of cigarettes just above the liquor cabinet and holy shit way to be great parents, mom and dad. wtf.

To verify the historical accuracy of this post, I sent it to Ed to review to make sure I hadn’t missed anything, at which point he replied with this:

Ah, yes.

Because what dirty bomb of questionable molecular stability would be complete without a shitload of GUNPOWDER.

With all the chemicals in place, we closed the double shed doors behind us and I picked up a barrel lid to shield us from whatever was going to happen next because, hey, safety first.

Ed lit the match and held it to the wick as we both ducked behind the barrel cover…

..and waited.

Match goes out.

Ed lit the match again and held it to the wick as we ducked again..


Ed: “It’s not lighting.”

Me: “I wish this made sugar candy.”

Frustrated, we laid the barrel lid across one of the barrels, then Ed popped the top off the glass bottle and dumped some of the contents out and laid the bottle on it’s side, like Wile E. Coyote making a fuse out of gunpowder and right at that analogy you pretty much know this is going to end badly.

Without anything shielding us now, and the doors closed tight, Ed held the match to the dumped out chemical cocktail.


Ed: “Damn. It’s still not ligh..”

The next thing I remember is this gigantic BOOOOOOOOOOM and a flash of light and the doors to the shed blowing wide open and OH MY GOD SO. MUCH. SMOKE and by the time I regained semi-consciousness I was two blocks away running as fast as I could (not fast at all) with Ed in the lead because, you know, we just BLEW UP MY FUCKING SHED HOLY FUCKING SHIT WE MUST RUN UNTIL EVERYONE AROUND US SPEAKS CHINESE AND WE WILL BEG FOR ASYLUM.

I don’t remember much other than kind of hiding out in an alley somewhere waiting for the fire engines to fly by but they never did. DISAPPOINTING.

Eventually, I wandered back to my house and somehow the shed was not actually on fire but the doors were pretty fucked up and there wasn’t a single shard of glass or anything anywhere so I’m going to guess that they either completely vaporized or they’re embedded in my skull which, honestly, would explain a lot.


Maybe the “Tasty Science” shit isn’t that bad after all.


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