Many years ago, I managed to get detention for my whole Standard Six class after I scattered little specks of highly volatile explosive outside the staff room.
My mini-Guy Fawkes plot involved nothing more than a slim volume titled something like “Fun Scientific Experiments You Can Try at Home Under Adult Supervision” (yeah, sure), a trip to the local pharmacy for two essential ingredients (what did they think a schoolboy was going to do with iodine crystals, for heaven’s sake?) and an uncharacteristically early start to my day.
My intention, if I remember correctly, was to punish the poor sods who’d taken responsibility for my education. I also had a vague idea of tormenting a teacher who had hauled me out of assembly the previous week and reprimanded me in front of everyone for growing my hair too long. Anyway, it worked beautifully: as the unsuspecting teachers trooped in for their morning tea, the tiny “bombs” went off under their shoes, leaving vivid purple stains:
As might be imagined, the resulting fallout was quite vigorous. I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to my former classmates for ruining their afternoon, and to assure them that I at no stage believed they would carry out their threat to cut off my goolies if they ever caught me outside the school grounds. I managed to survive by calling on a friend from another school, a large and legendary person named Julius, who let it be known that if anyone touched me, he would in turn be subjected to all manner of bad stuff.
Having moved to another institution, I considered the next step in my career as an urban anarchist. Making bigger bombs was too crass and predictable for words; I needed something more subtle and sociologically significant. So I bought an old motorcycle, removed the silencer, and started it up outside the school hall just as the headmaster began to speak. Every day. I have abiding memories of an old guy leaning out of an upstairs window and shouting at me while I twisted the throttle.
Whence this orgy of nostalgia? To the karmic principle – which is, of course, utter hogwash, but occasionally useful if one wishes to make a point. And here’s the point: many years ago, in my ignorant youth, I tormented some perfectly innocent people with nary a care for their feelings. Now, in turn, I am being tormented by people with nary a care for mine.
Specifically, by a man who has had the baffles removed from his car’s exhaust and races past my house at inappropriate times, waking me and leaving me in a bad mood for hours. Another tormenter holds loud parties opposite my house, restricting his guest list to people who are able to converse at 105 decibels (consider that a power saw at 1 metre’s distance produces 110 decibels, and a jet engine at full tilt churns out 140 decibels). Oh, and then there’s the person who keeps offering to send pictures of nude college girls to my cellphone at 3 am (and no, I do not visit those sites).
Okay, I’ve said I’m sorry. Now will all of you please go away? (But before you do, does anyone have a cool home-made explosives story?)
* Oh, and before I go see the car in the second picture above? It’s the amazing Nissan GT-R, a supercar offering the kind of performance and handling that turns strong men (you know, guys like us) into drooling idiots. I spent a while with it last week, and I think I’m in love. More next time