If this news update out of Seattle is any indication, we have a whole new kind of terrorist threat in America. Tennis ball bombs. They look innocent enough. Children love them. Dogs can’t resist them, and they’re now a weapon of mass destruction.
Or not. Probably not.
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I can look back fondly on my youth indiscretions. While I was not a member of a country club, I lived close enough to one that I could ride over on my Huffy and snag balls that the inept housewives hit over the 30 foot fence that surrounded the tennis courts.
Our favorite thing to do with them was a game we called “Butts-Up,” which was essentially an excuse to throw tennis balls at your closest friends. I guarantee some jackass has claimed he got PTSD from playing Butts-Up, or something like it.
And that’s kind-of how I feel about the scare tactics surrounding tennis-ball bombs, too.
In order to make a tennis ball explode, you’ll need a detonation device. For most, this would be an actual fuse. If you look closely at the video, most of the “bombs” are smoking.
Note to self: if the tennis ball is hissing, and emitting sparks, throw that thing away–and far away.
Perhaps that’s where the threats to canines come in. Say you’re out walking rover when ISIS operatives decide that they’ll give you a little scare by popping off an M-80 tucked inside a fuzzy yellow package. You notice the smoking ball roll out at you feet, just as the junior terrorist screams Aloha-Snackbar! So you throw the ball as hard as you. But poor Rover, unable to overcome his instinct, breaks free from your grasp and runs to fetch the bomb.
Actually, I can’t take this seriously. I’m not sure if you’ve picked up on that yet–but I think this is something that has been going on for years. As long as there have been hollow tennis balls, boys have been cutting them open and stuffing them with all manner of explosive and incendiary objects.
I hate to break it to the people responsible for the hysteria captured below, but this isn’t terrorism. It is male adolescence. My favorite, and a great way to spend an afternoon, was to shag a pair of wire cutters and cut the heads off of a couple hundred strike-anywhere matches. Then you poke them into the tennis ball until no more fit. Throw it up, watch it fall–poof.
For the rest of you–especially the hysterics who really need something to worry about–just steer clear of any rogue tennis balls.
Now, if only you can train your dog to fetch sticks, but not balls. That might be a bit harder to pull off.