As many of you have emailed to inform me, it is now official: the nation of Great Britain has, collectively, gone off its nut. The final damning evidence was this, the report that a pub in Shoreditch was evacuated because some utility workers found a replica of the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch in a drainage pipe beneath the street.
Of course, there’s probably a defense that could be mounted for the poor hapless utility workers and the bomb squad that took over an hour to determine that the ‘grenade’ was actually a ‘ “grenade” ‘. If it had been lying in the ditch for a while, it might have been crusted with grime and muck, making it resemble–well, come to think of it, it would’ve pretty much been indistinguishable from a dirty Christmas ornament at that point, and calling in the bomb squad over a dirty Christmas ornament is hardly much better than calling them in over a useless but shiny piece of plastic that is also not shaped like either a hand grenade or a bomb.
I suppose the big question that needs to be answered in order to properly determine just how foolish the workers were is which of the many Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch replicas they found in the ditch. Here are three that I know of:
The one on the top left has the benefit of coming in a nice box. Sometimes bombs come in boxes, right? Granted, if this was our sewer-dwelling hand grenade, it means that the bomb squad was called in over a suspicious cardboard box, and that’s only incrementally better than their coming to check out a Christmas ornament. The dual grenades on bottom might remind someone of two sticks of dynamite tied together into a bomb, I suppose, providing one’s idea of what a bomb looks like is derived primarily from Dudley Do-Right cartoons. But their being 1) plush and 2) clearly labeled might make mistaking them for bombs even more embarrassing than the cardboard boxed one–and did I mention that one doubles as a whoopie cushion according to its packaging?
That leaves the bomb up on the top right as the least embarrassing by default. Problem with that one is that it’s a very expensive prop replica of the Holy Hand Grenade. You can tell it’s expensive because it looks like it was thrown together by someone with a glue-gun and some glitter–just like the grenade in the original movie! That sort of swag will set you back two-hundred squids at a minimum, so how likely would it be that the owner of such an expensive piece of movie memorabilia would leave it underneath a fire hydrant in London?
In honor of this impressive police work, we shall now commence a reading from the Book of Armaments, Chapter 4, Verses 16 to 20:
Then did he raise on high the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, saying, “Bless this, O Lord, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy.” And the people did rejoice and did feast upon the lambs and toads and tree-sloths and fruit-bats and orangutans and breakfast cereals … Now did the Lord say, “First thou pullest the Holy Pin. Then thou must count to three. Three shall be the number of the counting and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither shalt thou count two, excepting that thou then proceedeth to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the number of the counting, be reached, then lobbest thou the Holy Hand Grenade in the direction of thine foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it.”