Ask A Demolitions Expert

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Vol 31 Issue 03

Ugly Girl Killed

CASPER, WY—The murder of clumsy, unattractive, 6-year-old Edith Pelphrey has not sent shockwaves of grief through the nation.

Clinton Clinton

WASHINGTON, DC—It was confirmed Monday that President Bill Clinton, who was Bill Clinton throughout the entire four years of his first term, is still Bill Clinton. "We are pleased with the stability of the president's identity," White House spokesperson Kathleen Shepherd told reporters. "It indicates that President Clinton is unlikely to transform from Bill Clinton into a non-Clinton form." Washington officials hope Clinton can remain Clinton throughout his second term, preventing unfortunate events such as in November 1975, when President Gerald Ford was briefly What's Happenin's Rerun.

New Low Stooped To

SEATTLE—Standards were lowered even further Sunday when a new, previously unimagined low was stooped to. "I am shocked and outraged," area resident Gwen Withers told reporters. "I mean, I consider myself a pretty tolerant person, but this is just... eurgghh!" Experts predict the new low will remain steady for a period of weeks, after which it will lower yet again as mankind continues its centuries-long slide into total barbarism.

Christ To Wed Longtime Backup Singer

NASHVILLE—It was confirmed Tuesday that Jesus Christ, 1,996, is engaged to Felicia Tufton, 38, who has sung backup on all of Christ's albums since 1983's Ridin' The Beams. "We are very excited about this new chapter in Jesus' life," said Gerald Hart, Christ's manager. "The couple will take a two-week break for the wedding at the end of their current tour, and after the honeymoon, they'll be back in the studio finishing Jesus' forthcoming album, The Long Haul." In the wake of His decision to marry, Christ says His plans of redeeming humanity from sin will be put on hold "indefinitely" while He pursues family life.

Teen Makes Clever Remark During Science Class

COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA—A dry explanation of cellular reproduction was considerably lightened Monday when Arnold Hager, 15, made a witty and cutting remark to a classmate during science class. "I'd like to reproduce cellularly with Cindy Loomis," Hager told his lab partner, Dennis Wender, 15. "'Cause Cindy's got, like, huge amoebas." Reactions to the remark varied: The class' teacher, Mr. Scarpelli, 58, angrily assigned extra homework, while student Brett Bunn, 16, giggled uncontrollably.

Redford To Re-Digitize Ordinary People, Improve Space Battle

HOLLYWOOD, CA—Robert Redford took time off from his Sundance Film Festival duties this week to oversee the final Industrial Light and Magic re-digitization of his Academy Award-winning 1980 drama Ordinary People. "I've always been bothered by a couple of the scenes, and I've really wanted to redo them using some of the new technology," Redford said. "For instance, in the scene where the Timothy Hutton character first confronts his mother about the older son's death, you can see certain imperfections in the space battle going on in the background." ILM technicians are also adding a series of large, spectacular explosions to the second Judd Hirsch therapist scene, and the spaceship exhaust emanating from Donald Sutherland's car will take on a more realistic, fiery appearance with the help of new special-effects technology. Five minutes of new footage edited out of the original will also be added, including Mary Tyler Moore's secret meeting with an alien bounty hunter who for years has repressed his abusive childhood.

Charitable Donations

Americans have contributed a steadily increasing amount of money to charity over the past 10 years. Why?

Down With The Income Tax!

Reading from his enormous ledger book, my accountant informed me today that my decision to purchase the Almagamated Vulcanized Testicle Company had resulted in a considerable loss, and I had no choice but to sell. Drat the foul luck! Why isn't the fool public purchasing rubber testicles? They're easy to care for and jaunty-looking, and they emit a pleasant odor!
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Technology Unfortunately Allows Distant Friends To Reconnect

WAYNE, PA—Providing them the tools necessary to bridge a gap that both individuals say they were more than willing to maintain indefinitely, sources confirmed Monday that the advent of modern technology has unfortunately allowed distant friends Mere...

Ask A Demolitions Expert

Dear Bruce MacInnis,

My husband and I split last year. We're still good friends, though, and lately he's been seeing a new person, someone I feel isn't right for him at all. Should I say anything? I know I'm not jealous—after all, I wasn't right either. What's my move?

—Protective in St. Paul

Dear Protective,

When choosing dynamite, remember that it's a tricky substance to work with. For most jobs, you should be using "40 percent" dynamite as per U.S. Bureau of Mines chart #14-A, which is best in the controlled-shock wave aspect. You want your expansion rate right around 9,500 feet per second. Anything more powerful, like 50 percent or liquid oxygen accelerant cartridges, and you're looking at a negative safety aspect.

Dear Bruce MacInnis,

I work in a large office, and I'm in love with the woman in the next cubicle. I'm wary of office romance, though. Could the answer be as simple as switching cubicles if things don't work out? Or am I giving myself an excuse to do something I know is wrong?

—Discombobulated in Detroit

Dear Discombobulated,

Bringing down the entire building in one blast may not be a good idea. Before you do anything else, check the structure for unusual materials like four-chrome/18-tungsten reciprocate vanadium industrial tool steel, which was standard for load-bearing members in the mid-'70s. For that you'll need Krupp esterless cross-colloided nitrocellulose number 16, or even higher. Your safety aspect with this material is important, because it can predetonate mildly, which isn't often fatal, but it can give you a pretty good scare. Buildings are a demolitions expert's bread and butter, so just go slow, hit all the beams, and synchronize all your blasts to bring her down all at once.

Dear Bruce MacInnis,

I enjoyed your response to the reader whose husband doesn't enjoy foreplay. In your humble opinion, is there anything wrong with a gal like me demanding that her boyfriend go slow? Call me old-fashioned, but I'm not the "Wham, Bam, Thank You, Ma'am" type!

—Frustrated in Fordsville

Dear Frustrated,

Unlike buildings, bridges have a built-in gravity aspect that lets you get a little creative. Your steels are more in the line of two- to six-inch cast deflective-damping silico-manganese-molybdenum alloys, if they're even that good. An amateur might run det-cord the length of the thing, put a canister of 40-percent every 10 yards and squeeze the blast with gelatin nitrate esters. But you have to remember that any concussive blast will have a torqueing effect on the structure, so I'd use Primacord instead of squeeze and compression, and let gravity do the work.

Bruce MacInnis' syndicated advice column, Ask A Demolitions Expert, appears weekly in over 250 newspapers across the U.S.

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