__Good morning, young sir, and what exactly is it that I see before me? What fascinating object have you brought for me today? Is it, by chance, a shell that you have there?[He is feshly from the school coach that brings pupils from outlying areas. Known to me as a frequent visitor to Hankley Common, an area still used by the military for training purposes. He looks for "stuff" - and seems to have mounted a successful expedition recently, for he cradles affectionately in his arms a serious looking piece of ordnance, a tordedo shaped object with fins at the non-business end. One of the fins is deeply scorched. He has a crowd of interested admirers surrounding him.]
--Nah, sir, nuffink like that, sir! It's a fire bomb. __Ah, well, that's all right then! Even so, I think I'll take it into my protective custody and pop it in the sick bay - just for safety's sake. Meanwhile you all will pop yourselves into the playground - also for safety's sake. Miss Thisk will see you there. And maybe Mrs Wisdom would like to see that EVERYONE proceeds there? - promptly please![They all leave for the playground and I do as I've said I would, but in the sick bay change my mind. Reassured by all the scorching that whatever was inside the thing is "spent", and warming to it, I'll make it - I decide - a visual aid, and use it in a lesson for the children. Now wrapped in sick room blankets and some fluffy pillows, it is ready for its transportation to the field. I lay it on the grass, and round it place four chairs to which I tie some yards of tape to fence it off. Then I have my next quite brilliant idea: I call the bomb squad. They arrive - to great excitement from the children - in a remarkably short time.]
-Really sir, what I most would like to do would be to simply detonate it with no frills, but if I was to do so, all those houses...[and here he points, in a one fingered fashion, to the first house in The Close. His thumb is raised, as though he means to simulate a gun, and now he sights along it as his finger points to each house in its turn...]
...would lose their windows. That would never do.[I heartily agree. He compromises, says he'll go for a diminished bang. Sandbags the incendiary and prepares a controlled explosion.
Now he yells to the pupils 'Everyone shout "Berrrrrrrrumph!"' they all do, and coinciding with their interpretation comes a deep-throated, strangled thump; a high decibel, real life, no messing "Berrrrrrrrumph!"; an impressive sheet of flame threatening to set the trees alight; a gentle rain of mud; and at the end, a crater fit to please the eyes of any child - and not a sign of my four chairs!He'd had the "fire bomb" underneath his bed for months. He found it where I'd thought - on Hankley Common. The coach driver had taken it from him at one point - and dropped it!