Associated Press
From left to right: Graham Chapman, Michael Palin and Terry Jones, three of the six
creators of the hit British TV comedy series, "Monty Python's Flying Circus."

Monty Python's “Holy Hand Grenade” Sparks Bomb Scare in London

March 20, 2009 12:00 PM
by Denis Cummings
A toy “Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch” caused a scare in London, leading to the closure of a road and a pub.

“Holy Hand Grenade” Shuts Down London Street, Pub

Islington police blocked a section of road and forced the evacuation of a pub in Shoreditch, east London, after water company engineers discovered a “suspicious object” beneath a fire hydrant cover. A bomb squad was called in to investigate the matter and after about an hour it determined that the object was the “Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch,” a fictional weapon featured in the 1975 film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”

Alberto Romanelli, owner of The Windmill pub, was unhappy that his establishment had to be evacuated. “It all lasted about 45 minutes before they decided it was nothing—which I thought was pretty obvious from the start. I lost a good hour’s worth of business,” he said.
The event is reminiscent of a January 2007 bomb scare in Boston, where some subway stations and parts of bridges and highway were closed after police thought a series of lighted boxes were bombs. The devices, which resembled Lite-Brite toys, were part of a marketing campaign for the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie, and featured images of cartoon aliens holding up their middle fingers.

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Many people thought authorities in Boston drastically overreacted to the devices, which caused no stir in the nine other cities where they were placed. The incident became an Internet meme, as Boston was widely ridiculed for treating cartoon characters as threats.

However, authorities defended their actions as appropriate in the post-Sept. 11 world. “People can be smug and say all you have to do is look at this and know this is not an explosive device, but the truth of the matter is that you can’t tell what it is until it’s disrupted,” Police Commissioner Edward Davis said to The Associated Press.

Video: Holy Hand Grenade

Reference: Monty Python and the Holy Hand Grenade

A “mini plush Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch” is available in the Dulcinea Media Store, as is the DVD of  “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”

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