Terror came to Fort Wayne, Indiana, late last week as a suspicious package arrived at the offices of a local law firm in a move that seemed to presage a deadly bomb outrage slaughter campaign.
After a tense operation by robot and human bomb-disposal operatives, however, it was discovered that the infernal device was in fact - in the judgement of the local bomb squad - a potentially exploding turnip.
The threatening vegetable was despatched in a "bluish gift bag" contained within a box slightly smaller than a baseball, according to Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette reporter Abby Slutsky.
The bomb squad was summoned at once, naturally, and used "a robot, fondly known as 'Bob'" to move the gift-bagged turnip of death into the car park. At this point an officer in full armour bravely approached the vegetable and X-rayed it.
According to remarks by Fort Wayne police spokesman Michael Joyner, as reported by Slutsky, the bomb technicians - having had a look at the X-ray - "were certain the package did not contain an [ordinary] explosive device". Nonetheless, they "opted to err on the side of caution and decided to try to detonate [the turnip] with a water cannon".
The only possible interpretation of this is that the bomb squad had received definitive warning of mutant/genetically-tampered-with EXPLODING TURNIPS (or maybe that the X-ray didn't come out)
We here on the Reg bomb-disposal desk, however, would never have used a water disruptor in a case of this type. The obvious technique for use against a exploder-turnip-based bomb (based on the UK's much broader perspective in this field) would clearly be the use of the "Baldrick" penetration attack. (We are not making the Baldrick up.)
"I'm now on constant alert against this and other rooted vegetables," said Fort Wayne lawyer Mark GiaQuinta, to whom the package was addressed.
He theorised that the explosive-esque yet nourishing gift had been sent to him by a disgruntled individual against whom GiaQuinta had acted in court. This person, described by the attorney as "volatile", had perhaps been trying to send the message "you can't get blood from a turnip".