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Danger: Unexploded Banknotes

Posted by Deborah Courtnell

     I urgently need to get cash out of the Stockbridge ATM which is handily situated inside the Co-op a mere 200 yards from our house.

     It's a quick walk and it's not raining. There is almost never a queue and, as machines go, this one is pretty reliable. Plus the Co-op itself stays open long after most Stockbridge residents have gone to bed and opens hours before I surface.
   
     I’ve heard the occasional Esteemed Villager mutter darkly about the Co-op for reasons I have yet to fathom. As far as I'm concerned the Co-op is about as convenient as a convenience store can get and completely superior in every way to any corner shop I knew in my previous urban life.

     It's not the Co-op that's the problem. It's that, some ten miles from here at the petrol station in the village of Weyhill, in an act of sabotage worthy of inclusion in the Darwin Awards*, some thieves with a death wish blew up a cash machine in order to steal the cash inside it.

     Or what was left of the charred, singed and presumably mostly useless cash after they had wired the machine and triggered the detonator.

     As the Wise Father is fond of saying: 'You couldn't make it up.'

     Yes, said thieves, having clearly been influenced by watching too much of the wrong kind of telly in their formative years, (Laurel & Hardy, The Pink Panther, Dastardly & Muttley) attached some kind of Improvised Explosive Device to the ATM on the wall then blew it up.

     At night.

     In a petrol station.

     And, clearly determined upon guts and glory, they  filmed themselves in action via the petrol station's closed circuit tv. The footage shows all the paper money whirling about in the mini cyclone caused by the blast.

     The footage has been repeated over and over again on every news channel North of Baghdad and West of Colchester.

     It's mesmerising.

     Now Hampshire constabulary has issued the following safety advice to members of the public planning on getting cash out of a cash machine:

     'If you notice anything unusual, or see any wires or cables running from the machine, do not attempt to touch it and call the police immediately.'


*The Darwin Awards highlight those human beings whose madcap antics and deranged inventions eliminate them from the race that is natural selection. Usually through severe maiming and/or death.

05.04.2013
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