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Explosive drama

8 May 2008 by superlative

Yesterday was an unusual day, as I was only at work until about 12 and then we all got evacuated because of a bomb scare. It was terribly exciting… A caretaker man came round and said in a quiet voice “we all need to leave the building immediately, we’re not setting the fire alarm off because we don’t want to cause panic”. So clearly we were all much more panicked by that than we would have been by the alarm, the fire alarm goes off all the time. So anyway, because he was verbally asking everyone to leave it took about 15 minutes to get everyone out, and none of us knew what was going on.

After a while we found out that the builders on campus had dug up a suspected incendiary device. I was quite disappointed to learn it was something from World War II, that seemed much less exciting than if we had been attacked by misguided terrorists who for some reason thought a couple of buildings in a field were a high-profile target. And seeing as the closest bomb squad lived an hour away in Portsmouth and we’d already been stood around for an hour, they said we should all go home. I think some students got chucked out of a final exam because of it, and lots more had to leave the students residences so God knows where they were meant to go… We were allowed a 10-minute window to go back into the building and get our stuff, which I also thought was a bit odd – if it’s unsafe it’s unsafe isn’t it? They don’t normally say “yes go back inside but make it quick”. Explosions are pretty quick themselves, so if you were standing next to one the fact that you were only going to be there for a couple of minutes would be small consolation as your head flew one way and your body another.

Fortunately, no-one got exploded, and a couple of hours later they decided it was a spent artillery shell that had no chance of exploding and not a bomb after all. Of course, by that time it wasn’t worth coming back to work so I had a nice afternoon in the sun instead, and very smugly thought “I’m getting paid to get a tan at the moment”.

How annoying would it have been if it had been pouring with rain though?? You weren’t allowed to shelter anywhere, so we would have had to stand there and be miserable. So yay for sunshine, yay for dodgy German workmanship in making bombs that don’t actually explode, and yay for artillery shells that masquerade successfully as bombs without actually endangering anyone.

In other news, Magenta is currently eating a fly that I stunned with a rolled up newspaper. She hasn’t caught anything on her own yet, so I thought I’d help her out. It should take her 5 days fully to eat the fly, providing she doesn’t spit it out like last time. Honestly, who would have thought a fly trap would be so fussy…

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