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The following is excerpted from an e-mail message sent to me by my friend Randy Rouda on Thursday, 19 October 1995. Names and locations have been removed to protect those involved from being giggled at for the next decade.


Yesterday, the [local] bomb squad sprung into action, protecting the world from an act of senseless terrorism.

A briefcase was discovered in the parking lot for the courthouse where I work. Someone notified the Marshal's Office. (Why they didn't notify lost & found is beyond me.) The Marshal called the city police who brought along their favorite toys. They X-rayed the briefcase and saw wiring and stuff that looked like blasting caps and a timer.

The decision was made to attempt to destroy the device on the spot. They grabbed their cannon (yes, cannon) which looks like a bazooka and shoots shotgun shells with high pressure water rather than gunpowder. Direct hit. Blew the briefcase all to hell. Also scattered bits and pieces of a Toshiba laptop in a wide arc. But everyone agreed they'd had a good time.

No one has dropped by to claim the remains.

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