By Harry Gilliam
Okay, I ran across this great game in the Washington Post (August 17, 2001). Click the link for a pdf of the article.
Without going into all the rules and gory details, the game is played by tossing a steel slug 60 feet towards a slanted mud bank in order to hit the center ring (the bull’s-eye). One of the ways you make points is by hitting a triangularly-shaped paper packet of so-called “gunpowder.” The packets are called “mechas.” More on those in a minute.
Who’d a thunk it?
It reminds me of horseshoes, kinda sorta. But mo-bettah, because something actually explodes when you hit it. And of course, as you will see in this video, because it is actually encouraged to play this wonderful sport while drinking.
(click the video to play)
Now, of course I will have to add Colombia to my short list of places to escape to once the laws and regulations start to finish their slow strangulation of our once-great country’s economy. Oops, there I go, ranting again. “Stop it, Harry!” Bad dog!
But let’s get right down to the nitty gritty, here.
First, some kindergarten pyro…
The “mechas,” the exploding Tejo targets, are said to contain “gunpowder.”
Now, gunpowder is just another name for our old fireworks friend, black powder. And black powder, my children, I can purty much guarantee you, will not explode when you lay a pack of it on a mud bank and sling a steel slug at it from 60 feet away.
Nosireebob. It will not.
The question, then, is what the hell IS inside a mecha? We all NEED to know that.
And that is what this contest is all about.
Fustest one to accurately determine two things about a mecha gets a free case of Sky Lanterns from Skylighter.
- Since it ain’t gunpowder, what is the explosive comp? Which chemicals?
- How are mechas made?
Just do your research, and answer both questions in the comments below.
The first person to answer both questions accurately wins the case of 36 Sky Lanterns.
You have to PROVE that your answer is correct. You can speculate and guess all you want. But guessing ain’t gonna land 36 Sky Lanterns on your humble doorstep. Nosireebob.
You will have to divulge your source for both the mecha pyro comp, and for the construction method. And show us all those sources.
The earliest comment/post on this blog who proves the answers, wins.
The judge for this contest will be Señor Harry Gilliam. All decisions by the judge are final.
When the mecha is hit, it often explodes and then burns.
It is not gunpowder (black powder). But calling them gunpowder would be a handy way to get around problems in shipping them… or in disguising their true composition.
The mecha’s explosive composition is a secret. That suggests to me that it may be really simple and/or that the mix may be illegal.
Check out other YouTube videos of Tejo and find close-ups of the mechas as they explode and burn. They don’t “act” like firecrackers.
Now, go get ‘em, and check back often to see what’s come up.