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Friday, January 12, 2007

Two Pineapple Grenades

You know how it goes: you're making dinner and suddenly discover you're missing some essential ingredient you always have plenty of. You start frantically searching the top and bottom shelves of the pantry, all the way to the back, mumbling to yourself, “We just can't have run out of pickled pig snouts!” Two pineapple grenades And then you see it. Not what you were looking for, to be sure, but it, that item that's been sitting there for so long you've completely forgotten when you bought it or why. You look at the “best by” date and suddenly it comes home to you that you're getting old and have lived in one place for what would have seemed a lifetime in your youth. And then you wonder if it's still good.

Well, in this case, the answer to that last question is pretty obvious. In fact, I was a little hesitant to pick this one up to check the expiration date for fear it would blow up in my hand. The Mk II fragmentation hand grenade used by the U.S. military from World War II through the start of the Vietnam War was often called a “pineapple grenade” due to its shape and the grooves moulded into its surface. Well, here, right on my pantry shelf, was a real pineapple grenade!

According to the stamp on the lid (which you can read if you click the image to enlarge it), the contents of this can would be “best if eaten by” December 1999. Given the shelf life claimed for such canned products, it's probably been sitting on that shelf for about a decade. I haven't seen anything quite so scary-looking around the house since I extracted the grotesquely distended batteries from a UPS which was in the midst of melting down.

The frag at the left is an inert training grenade which, unlike the can of pineapple, is at no risk of exploding. Now, all I need is to get some decade-old cottage cheese to mix with the pineapple—yum!

Posted at January 12, 2007 20:28