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Date Posted: Fri, June 03 2005, 13:13:55
Author: Jeff Northridge
Author Host/IP: dialup-4.246.255.99.Dial1.SanJose1.Level3.net / 4.246.255.99
Subject: Re: Coffee Time
In reply to: Allison M 's message, "Coffee Time" on Fri, June 03 2005, 10:50:33

Howdy Allison;

C-4 was a plastic explosive. It came in sticks with a green plastic wrapper and were about 12" long by 2" wide by 1" thick. The C-4 itself was white and had the consistency of play-dough. Normally, the stuff was set off by inserting a detonator which was attached to a fuse and lighting the fuse and then getting out of there before the fuse burned down. The whole system works quite well under water too except that you have to light the fuse in air first.

Ordinarily, C-4 was a really stable substance. You could cut it with a knife, mold it into various shapes, kick it, jump up and down on it, and even hit it with a sledge hammer and it wouldn't go off. You could also take a lighter or match, set it on fire, and it would burn in a vigorous but controlled manner. However, if you hit it while it was burning, it would explode so don't do both of the above simultaneously. Also, don't eat it. We had a cute little spider monkey who ate some C-4 and he died from it.

GIs in Vietnam took advantage of the flamable properties of C-4 to create instant campfires; about an 1/8th of a stick would do the trick. These were used to heat C-Rations, LRRP Rations, and anything else that we could get a hold of in the way of food and to boil water. There were little packages of instant coffee in every C-Ration box. So there's your answer: C-4 leads to fire which leads to boiling water which leads to coffee time. I never saw a tea bag in Vietnam though. That's more of a British thing.

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  • Coffee Time -- Lindsay, Wed, June 15 2005, 14:14:29 (pool-70-109-191-144.man.east.verizon.net/70.109.191.144)

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