Ken Petersen of Woody’s Hardwood Flooring Ltd. in Kelowna, B.C., can’t forget this job where not all was as it appeared:
“Back in the ’90s we used oil-based finishes and built 2-inch ABS pipes with caps on each end to store our applicator sleeves in paint thinner. We had a job in a large house in a very nice area of the city, and the homeowner was not diligent about paying his bills during the build, but we got along well, and I was assured there would be no problems. After we finished his floor, he came to our shop the next morning to return the applicator tube because our guys forgot it at his house—and the applicator and tube were ripped to shreds. He said he got home about 4 p.m. the day before and saw this tube leaning against his front steps. At that time there were a lot of pipe bombs being used in the city, so he instantly thought that’s what it was. He called the police, who came and looked at it through binoculars to confirm that, yes, it was a pipe bomb. All the neighbors were evacuated, and then the police brought in a bomb dog. The dog smelled paint thinner and finish, so it went crazy and confirmed it was a bomb. Then they brought a remote control robot to get the pipe bomb and put it in a cylinder to blow it up. And that’s when everyone saw it was ... an applicator tube for finishing hardwood. The customer told me, “I’m getting ready to move in, and everyone in the neighborhood hates me.”
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