Shake it, and see if that does anything!

February 16, 2010

ordnance 490

Blog Guy, I’m graduating from college in May and I’m looking for an interesting career. Somebody gave me a colorful brochure on “The Exciting Field of Unexploded Ordnance Collecting,” and I wondered what you thought of that.

ordnance 220Look, I know it sounds glamorous, but I don’t recommend it.

See, the phrase “unexploded ordnance” is an incomplete thought. It really means ordnance that hasn’t exploded YET.

Ah, I get you. Well, my degree is in Film Studies, so if you have any ideas…

A Film Studies major, huh? Well then, maybe this IS the right career for you. After all, some of those explosives are real shiny and might look pretty on your coffee table.

Anyway, here’s how I picture a typical day on that job:

“Hey Lonnie! A car bomb just went off out there. Can you run over and pick up any stuff that didn’t explode yet?

“Look, I’d do it myself, but I’m eating my lunch. Don’t bring the stuff back here, just put it in a car and drive it to the big Unexploded Ordnance Pile, out there next to the Accordion and Bagpipe School.

“Oh and Lonnie, you be sure to use the Toyota, okay?”

Join the Oddly Enough blog network

Follow this blog on Twitter at rbasler

Top: A Somali government policeman collects unexploded ordnance at the scene of a car bomb in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, February 15, 2010. REUTERS/Feisal Omar

Right: A man holds unexploded ordnance at the car bomb scene. REUTERS/Mowlid Abdi

More stuff from Oddly Enough


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

Can you say “Darwin Awards”? And by the way, unless Lonnie is using a strong zoom lens on the camera, he is way too close to both of those knuckleheads.

Although, looking at the second photo, it appears to be missing the fuse, which at least means it’s likely to remain unexploded for the near future.


Posted by Dave_not_dave | Report as abusive

Tat is one colourful shirt… he is more suited for Hawaii… methinks!!!

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

@Shra: True 😀

Posted by fwd079 | Report as abusive

Shra – not digging the plastic shoes?

Posted by Dave_not_dave | Report as abusive

Perhaps I shouldn’t tell you all this, but I was the assistant to the EOD (Exposive Ordinance Disposal) person in one of my military units. (That was not my regular work. I was an MP.) He was the unit armorer and had been in the artillary, but beyond that he had no experience. In the year I assisted him, we had two calls. In the first one, a CO found a live hand grendade in some numbnuts’s footlocker. The pin was in it. ~yawn~

The second one was more exciting. A hunter had strayed onto one of the helicopter firing ranges. He found an old unexploded mortar round, set it up on a tree stump, and shot it with his rifle. pow-KABOOOOOOM!

Medics wouldn’t even drive out on the range without EOD.

I just can’t believe I ever volunteered to do that stuff. If my family knew I did that, they would have killed me, dug me up, and killed me again!

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

There aint any shoes here worth my attention, Dave-y!

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

“Ah been wantin to get me one of them there coffee thermoses…Ah’ll just use mah Dremel to change this into one! Hyuck hyuck.”

Posted by justK | Report as abusive

Bob used to have a manteltop, but it went bye-bye after one of the almost used explosives got used.

Posted by IamNotSomebody | Report as abusive

@K: *chuckle* *chuckle* *chuckle* Brilliant!!

NotSomebody, how do you know this? Did you actually mail Robert the almost used explosive?

Tim, the problem with the shirt is after the third recruit is done with it there is not much of a shirt to be worn by the next in line, is there?

Posted by justM | Report as abusive

I agree, K is mega-brilliant. Every one of her comments makes milk come out of my nose. However, I had to Google to find out what a Dramel was, which sounds dangerously educational to me.

Posted by rbasler | Report as abusive

Dremel, Basler, Dremel!!

And on second thoughts… that looks like a shaker to me…
you know the one in which you mix cocktails in…. yum… is thinking of a martini in the middle of the day, tend to thinking that I may have alcoholic tendencies?

Its just that I havent had one in oh-so-loooooooooooong!

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

So is Lonnie taking the Toyota because it’s cheap, or because you can’t stop it? … and he should prolly make sure it backfires while leaving the pile (conveniently located by the accordion school)…

Posted by Db8r | Report as abusive

Those are all fair questions. He’s taking it because let’s face it, it’s expendable. And I’m glad you noticed how convenient it is that the pile is located next to the Accordion and Bagpipe School. The city planners did a good job of thinking that one through….

Posted by rbasler | Report as abusive

Robert, you got me curious now: Is that the same school Barry Manilow did his music studies in?

Posted by justM | Report as abusive

No, I believe Manilow studied music at a school located next to a nuclear weapons stockpile. Sadly, it was an uneventful two months while he worked on his degree.

Posted by rbasler | Report as abusive

No ! Don’t blow up the bagpipes !

Posted by CrowGirl | Report as abusive

Crowgirl, those guys across the pond have a strange dis-regard for bagpipes….
Maybe we should give them an earful..
Say, how are your lungs today?

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Personally I like bagpipes, but only if they are done right. Most of the time they are the sound of pure evil.

Posted by IamNotSomebody | Report as abusive

Plastic shoes may not be stylish but boot nails make magnetic-triggered ordnance go BOOM – not as funny as this picture. It’s still a better job than getting $100 a day to find dead bodies in Haiti.

Posted by strangename | Report as abusive

Tell me about the rabbits, George … er Unca.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

Now Unca… why woiuld you want to see his booty shaking??? (raised eyebrow)

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

[…] Atlantic filled with people on their way to overseas jobs they’ve read about here, see. Like Unexploded Explosives Collectors, Fish Sniffers, Boat Trackers, Chest […]

Posted by We’re going down! Is this blog finished? | Oddly Enough Blog | Report as abusive