Kids, don’t try building your own reactor at home

No, really, some grownups won’t get it if you do. Even if you are only pretending.

The Australian reports on a couple of German kids whose game of make-believe went a bit too far.

The schoolchildren in the western town of Oelde had built the nuclear reactor mock-up out of a computer casing and taped a “radioactivity warning” they had printed out from the Internet on its side.

“When the boys returned to their ‘nuclear power plant’ from a brief stop at home they were sent away again as the area and a wide radius around it had been cleared and blocked off,” police said in a statement.

The only thing that kept these kids from getting in real trouble was the parents going down to the police station and telling the cops it was a kids’ game of make-believe. I can only imagine the cops’ reaction.

Did the cops in this German town really get fooled by a simple “radioactivity warning” sticker downloaded off the Internet and taped to the side of an old computer case? I remember several contemporaries when I was a teenager pasting radioactivity and biohazard stickers on notebooks and such. Then again, that was the 1990s; this is 2009. Still, it does give credence to “common sense isn’t that common anymore.”