"How I Almost Blew My Nuts Off" is a mini-chapter in The Real Frank Zappa Book by Frank Zappa (of course) with Peter Occiogrosso. The passage appears early in the book (page 26) and is as follows:
You used to be able to buy single-shot caps at the hobby store. These were better than the ones in the little rolls because they had more powder in them and made a bigger bang. I spent hours with my X-Acto knife, cutting away the extra paper, saving the trimmed charges in a jar. Along with this, I had another jar full of the semilenthal Ping-Pong dust.

One afternoon I was sitting in our garage - an old rickety one with a dirt floor, like the place with the machine-gun bullets. It was after the Fourth of July and the gutters in our neighborhood were littered with used fireworks tubes. I had collected a few and was in the process of reloading one of them with my own secret formula

I had propped it between my legs, filling it with a layer of this and a layer of that, packing each layer down with the butt end of a drumstick.

When I got to the layer of single-shot caps, I must have pressed too hard and the charge ignited. It blew a crater in the dirt floor, blew the doors open, and blew me back a few feet, balls first. Why, I could have almost escaped from jail with that one.

Since this is only a short passage from the book (which is amazing, and should be a pre-requisite for being alive on Earth in my humble opinion), I feel the need to clarify a couple of parts in the excerpt.
First, The part about the "Ping Pong dust". Earlier in the book Frank tells a story about a man who attempted to escape from jail by using explosives made entirely of dust shaved off of ping-pong balls and playing cards. Apparently back then there was an enamel used on certain things that was highly explosive. When Frank learned this, being the explosive-crazed kid that he was, he scraped the enamel off all the ping-pong balls that he could find to use in his own home made explosives.
(This also explains the final line of the passage about almost being able to escape from jail.)
Second, the part about the "place with the machine-gun bullets". In Franks neighborhood there was an old abandoned house that had been deserted since he had lived there. One day he and a friend broke into the garage and found a crate or two of live machine gun bullets. Frank took a few of the bullets to empty of their powder and use for himself.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.