NYC Playwright's Prop Causes Bomb Squad Chaos

Karloff

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NYC Playwright's Prop Causes Bomb Squad Chaos



He didn't think twice about it, but the bomb disposal unit certainly did.

"I didn't think twice about it, because, literally, it's two blocks of clay," says playwright Ethan Fishbane, "a calculator that's cut in half, and some wires from a Gameboy. It's stupid stuff." Unfortunately for Fishbane, when he threw his prop - a makeshift suicide bomb from his thesis project American Suicide Bomber Association - in the trash when he moved out of his Manhattan apartment, the building superintendent freaked. Cue bomb squad - with the Joint Terrorism Task Force and Arson Squad on standby - who plunged into every trash bag up and down Bedford Street seeking more infernal devices.

"They came to knock on my door," says Fishbane, whose response, once he realized what they were talking about, was "'Oh, my God! I think that's my prop. I think that's mine." The play has been performed several times, in Indonesia and South Africa as well as New York City, without any problem. The plot has two people discussing the nature and practice of suicide bombing, only to be interrupted by a third - an audience plant - armed with a bomb. Written as a Tisch School of the Arts senior thesis project, earlier this year Fishbane was looking for $1,500 Kickstarter funding to take him to South Africa as part of a planned performance. The Kickstarter [http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/355738339/asba-johannesburg-conference-2013] was successful.

"I felt the response was wholly appropriate," says Fishbane. "Even if it's just a prop for a theater piece, [the police] were on top of it." This will probably be the last play he ever writes about suicide bombers, he told the New York Post.

Source: Guardian [http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2013/aug/05/theatre-prop-bomb-scare-new-york]


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CriticalMiss

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This guy gutted a Gameboy to make a theatre prop? He should be locked up! No parole!

You'd think he would also have disassembled the thing that he made to intentionally look like a bomb before throwing it away, for precisely this reason. I'm still mad at the Gameboy thing.
 

Tortilla the Hun

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May 7, 2011
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I think the biggest crime here is that he stripped a Game Boy for parts.

Unless, y'know, it was junked in the first place...

Either way, this is a pretty amusing occurrence. Perhaps next time he throws any sort of "suspicious" props away, he'll take the time to disassemble them first.

EDIT: Damnit...ninja'd.

 

iniudan

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CriticalMiss said:
This guy gutted a Gameboy to make a theatre prop? He should be locked up! No parole!

You'd think he would also have disassembled the thing that he made to intentionally look like a bomb before throwing it away, for precisely this reason. I'm still mad at the Gameboy thing.
I might have been one of those mystical broken Gameboy, which are rare due the original Gameboy is basically the cockroach (sadly no cockroach pokemon that I could have used the name instead) of gaming, has they can survive about anything.
 

Zhukov

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I just had this awesome idea for the next time I want a day off work.
 

Karloff

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To be fair, if that is the prop he had in the picture, yea that does look like a old generation suicide vest that uses C4 and a controlled det/dead man switch electronics.


Have to laugh though, he makes a play about suicide bombers, makes props for it that would fit a suicide bomber, then throws it away without dissembling it only for someone to see it and call the bomb squads.


While the calculator wouldn't really be a way for a bomb to actually explode unless you use some really really horrible planning, wires are wires and can carry an electrical charge regardless if they are from a Gameboy, TV Remote, or even 'spider' wire.
 

Kargathia

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Kalezian said:
To be fair, if that is the prop he had in the picture, yea that does look like a old generation suicide vest that uses C4 and a controlled det/dead man switch electronics.


Have to laugh though, he makes a play about suicide bombers, makes props for it that would fit a suicide bomber, then throws it away without dissembling it only for someone to see it and call the bomb squads.


While the calculator wouldn't really be a way for a bomb to actually explode unless you use some really really horrible planning, wires are wires and can carry an electrical charge regardless if they are from a Gameboy, TV Remote, or even 'spider' wire.
Well, reusability isn't that high on the agenda anyway when it comes to bomb vests, so you've got a bit more leeway jerry rigging things.
 

TiberiusEsuriens

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I'm glad the theatre guy took responsibility for the device instead of milling the situation for its 'artistic statement' like a generic-stereotype-hipster would. Also, mad props for complimenting the police for doing a good job.

How worried people are right now, I can't imagine how disassembled this would have to be for clay, wires, and a vest to not freak out the superintendent. I doubt a "This is not a bomb" tag on it would have been sufficient.
 

McMullen

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TiberiusEsuriens said:
I'm glad the theatre guy took responsibility for the device instead of milling the situation for its 'artistic statement' like a generic-stereotype-hipster would. Also, mad props for complimenting the police for doing a good job.

How worried people are right now, I can't imagine how disassembled this would have to be for clay, wires, and a vest to not freak out the superintendent. I doubt a "This is not a bomb" tag on it would have been sufficient.
For some people, I'd imagine you'd have to make sure that no two components or wires from the board are electrically connected to each other before disposal. Especially if you're brown.
 

Baresark

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This is pretty amusing. A good laugh. Nice how he owned up to it on the spot though, that I'm sure got him some points with the authorities. It helps that his play is actually performed at real theaters and he is credited with it, no doubt. Also, you can blame the guy for just throwing away the prop. In his head he did not create a dangerous thing and he was done with it, so of course just throwing it away would be the most natural thing to do. Everyone is all surprised that he didn't think to disassemble it, I would have been surprised if he did think to disassemble it.
 

Karloff

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Kargathia said:
Kalezian said:
To be fair, if that is the prop he had in the picture, yea that does look like a old generation suicide vest that uses C4 and a controlled det/dead man switch electronics.


Have to laugh though, he makes a play about suicide bombers, makes props for it that would fit a suicide bomber, then throws it away without dissembling it only for someone to see it and call the bomb squads.


While the calculator wouldn't really be a way for a bomb to actually explode unless you use some really really horrible planning, wires are wires and can carry an electrical charge regardless if they are from a Gameboy, TV Remote, or even 'spider' wire.
Well, reusability isn't that high on the agenda anyway when it comes to bomb vests, so you've got a bit more leeway jerry rigging things.

But there is a major difference between "ALLAHU ACKBAR!" and setting your underwear on fire like a dumbass.
 

Kargathia

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Kalezian said:
Kargathia said:
Kalezian said:
To be fair, if that is the prop he had in the picture, yea that does look like a old generation suicide vest that uses C4 and a controlled det/dead man switch electronics.


Have to laugh though, he makes a play about suicide bombers, makes props for it that would fit a suicide bomber, then throws it away without dissembling it only for someone to see it and call the bomb squads.


While the calculator wouldn't really be a way for a bomb to actually explode unless you use some really really horrible planning, wires are wires and can carry an electrical charge regardless if they are from a Gameboy, TV Remote, or even 'spider' wire.
Well, reusability isn't that high on the agenda anyway when it comes to bomb vests, so you've got a bit more leeway jerry rigging things.

But there is a major difference between "ALLAHU ACKBAR!" and setting your underwear on fire like a dumbass.
True, while it'd be feasible to fashion a gameboy into a makeshift detonator, it'd require a bit of technical know-how. Merely sticking two wires and an AA battery in a block of C4 won't cut it.
 

mad825

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Well, at least he turned out better than that Brazilian plumber [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Jean_Charles_de_Menezes#In_Britain][footnote]for all you boys and girls not from the UK[/footnote]. He ended-up with a right headache.