Thursday, May 24, 2007

Potato surprise

In World War II--or at least in the old war movies I watched--grenades were called pineapples (for their resemblance to that fruit) and the word grenade itself means pomegranate in old French. And to continue the food similes, a particular style of grenade that had a stick at one end so it could be thrown farther was called a potato masher.

So how ironic is it that a woman in Naples, Italy, bought a bag of potatoes that turned out to have a grenade in it? It was a WWII-era American grenade with its pin pulled (so therefore active) that had been buried for years in a potato field.

The story ends happily with no mashed potatoes or exploded Italian cook. The potato purchaser was washing what she thought was a dirt-covered potato when she discovered the grenade and called the police, who recovered it and detonated it. Phew.

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