WHEN Pennsylvania police officers seized a cargo of highly...

Salmagundi

April 18, 1995

WHEN Pennsylvania police officers seized a cargo of highly sensitive explosives at a rest stop in the Poconos, their main problem was moving the evidence.

So they decided not to. Rather than risk an accidental explosion during transit, the officers cleared the area, blocked off the highway and put the explosives in the middle of the rest-stop lawn.

Then they blew it up.

The blast left a four-foot crater and blew shrapnel 50 yards in every direction. No one was hurt and everything worked out fine -- except for the crater, of course.

...* * *

SPEAKING of explosives:

Unlike most people, thrill-seekers crave danger. They go out of their way to find it. When someone takes that danger away they get upset.

Such was the case in Arizona where eight men were convicted of trying to make the world a better place. They used explosives to do it.

It seems that in a particularly rough section of the Salt River near Phoenix, there was a six-foot quartz ledge in the river that created a waterfall, making that section too dangerous for most whitewater rafters, who were forced to walk around it.

So the men blew up the ledge.

Now the Salt River is much safer, and more boring, and the eight men face a combination of jail time and community service.

Crime doesn't pay. Neither do good intentions.

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