Hand grenades were used off and on since the invention of black powder, appearing in small numbers in such conflicts as the American Civil War. However, they did not really come into common use until the trench warfare of World War I made them invaluable.

Interestingly, the glass Civil War model led to an intruiging peacetime use - the glass bottle fire extinguisher grenade. Made from the mid 1800s to the early 1900s, these glass bottles were filled with water and fire retardant chemicals. They were to be thrown into the fire and shattered. The water and chemicals would mix and produce a retardant gas.

In World War I, enterprising troops began to make primitive grenades with jars filled with gunpowder, rocks and a simple, often unreliable, fuse. The ideal fuse burned about three to five seconds -- enough time to throw the grenade into the opposing trenchlines, but not enough time for it to be caught and returned.

As the utility became obvious, standard grenades started to appear. The german "stick" grenade was tossed more like a knife, as opposed to the baseball-like American models.

The tendency of a grenade to explode messily, killing anyone nearby leads to the expression "Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades" - although in the modern era we have many other weapons of mass destruction that qualify for similar reasons.

For those of you with destructive endeavors, this might be for you. But keep in mind, making this is probably illegal, and not very nice.

Don't blame me if you see many one-eared bunnies, flopping around helplessly.

This specific model was used quite a bit in WW2, mostly by desperate snipers.

You will need:

1. Open the tin can by making a 'X' at the top and then pulling the corners away from the middle.

2. Discard of any contents that may have been in the can. If your can had any botulism in it, good for you, just another way to hurt your opponent.

3. Hold the stick of dynamite in the center, with the stick not touching the bottom.

4. While holding the dynamite, fill the rocks or broken glass in around the stick.

5. Once the can have been sufficiently, but not overly filled with the propellents, fold the corners of the cut tin can back in place. Do this while taking care to secure the dynamite stick in place with the sharp corners of the can.

6. Light the dynamite.

7. Throw the can, with propellants and dynamite. Throw it far away.

8. Run away.

You have just made and used a very destructive hand grenade.

Hot sun, few people crowding the French Quarter streets. The sun was high in the air, signifying that it was after noon. I was in New Orleans to enjoy myself, finally and barely of legal drinking age. But I still am who I am, and I wasn't prepared to get horizontal or drink too soon in the day. One must, as an Episcopalian, pace oneself.

A man standing in a football-mascot-like hand grenade costume accosted me and suggested I try a drink that is just as much part of New Orleans culture as the everpresent Hurricane or its sister drink the Cyclone, never mind the haute couture Sazerac and other drinks at the more expensive bars in town. 

So I wander over to the counter, a half-door manned by a very busy individual with churning alcoholic-slurpee machines churning high-potency drinks. It's very much a "make money in volume" affair in New Orleans, there are banks of ready made alcoholic slush dispensers everywhere in the Quarter. 

Did I want it in slush form, or in liquid form? The slush form was a reasonable sum, somewhere under $10, but the liquid form was well at the $20 mark almost. I decided to try the latter.

The first taste was, for all intents and purposes, smooth, with a nice complex fruity flavor that ended on a peach note. There was literally no alcohol bite in it whatsoever. This was something you could serve to the unexpecting as a fruit drink. Seeing me swig it, the proprietor put his hand on my forearm and warned me not to drink it too fast. It might be in a dayglo Hand Grenade/bong looking plastic vial, and it might not taste of alcohol, but it packs a wallop and there is a two drink MAXIMUM limit on sales. 

And by God, he was right. By the end of the drink I was clearly well on my way to inebriation. That's a dangerous little combination.

Knowing it was futile, I asked what was in it anyway. I'd love to make it where I'm at, and besides, I'm a fan of novelty drinks. Somewhere once close to the Canadian border in New England I'd been served "blueberry tea", which contained neither blueberries nor tea, but was a heated cocktail that tasted exactly like it. And like that particular bartender, the guy looked at me with a "you're not getting our secret formula" look when I asked.

"Oh, a little of this, a little of that".  And with that, he started dispensing a Daquiri to two "spring-break" style girls you know'ing and "I'm so sure"ing at each other over their cellphone texing.

I wish they were cheaper, because they're delicious. They probably work out to a good deal if you're trying to get as drunk as possible as cheap as possible. Though they don't have the same recognition as the Hurricane or the Cyclone, they're worth seeking out if you're ever in the French Quarter.

 

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