You really can’t make this stuff up.
The BBC reported on an art project in Sweden that turned into a bomb scare. Or maybe, that was the idea from the beginning. You be the judge. (There is also a Radio Sweden article about the event for those that desire a perspective closer to the events.)
[Artist Conny Blom] taped bunches of carrots together with black tape and attached blue and red wires and a clock to them.
Police received worried calls from members of the public who thought they were real bombs. Mr Blom was forced to remove his art – and may face charges.
The article goes on to say that Mr. Blom describes the event as a “harmless stunt.” The police agencies involved may describe the event a bit differently; Blom may face charges.
The article I found lacked a picture of the actual carrot bombs themselves, opting instead for just a generic picture of a bunch of carrots. UPDATE: Nina from Sweden commented with a link to pictures on the artist’s site.
As much as I despise the use of intent to distinguish between criminal and non-criminal conduct, that may be the only thing that makes sense here.
If Blom was making genuine hoax bombs (which are illegal here in Texas, USA) and disguising the carrots to appear more like real dynamite sticks, then I can see pursuing criminal charges. But, if it’s obvious enough they are just a bunch of carrots made into “a caricature of a bomb” I don’t see why there is so much fuss. Given that Blom was working at the request of a local art gallery, I doubt there was much intent to have the bombs look convincing to all but the dumbest and most gullible passers-by. Of course, the quote from P.T. Barnum may be proven right yet again: “You’ll never go broke overestimating the stupidity of the general public.”
This event does speak volumes for how hyper-sensitive we have become to terrorism, across the entire planet. Prior to 2001, this may well have gone over as “oh, look, someone made a fake bomb out of a bunch of carrots, some wires, and a cheap alarm clock, how cute.”
One last semi-topical aside: I am reminded of a TV news report I saw once on a local station when I was a kid. A bum snuck onto a bus, whereupon the passengers in the back shouted “there’s a bum on the bus.” By the time the driver heard it, it had changed into “there’s a bomb on the bus.” When the report aired, this was kind of funny. I have a feeling it would not be nearly as funny today.