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Old 14th January 2020, 11:14 AM   #1
plague311
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Woman tries to make a bomb in Wal-Mart

The motive hasn't been announced as of yet but:

Quote:
According to the arrest report, the woman was roaming the aisles for more than an hour. Her behavior was “suspicious,” the security guard told deputies.

...

According to the arrest report, the two men were able to stop the mother just as she was about to light the wick of a candle, built in a mason jar with nails and denatured alcohol.
They seem to make a pretty big deal out of her being a mom, and I'm not really sure why. Her son was with her at the time, but she obviously didn't plan on blowing both of them up. She was going to use a candle so they could move away. I've seen a few different reports, but one thing that's confused me is the police make this sound extremely heinous but she's only being held on a less than $9,000 bond.

I'm really curious as to the reasoning behind this but I'm betting it comes out as an ex-employee or someone that couldn't return an article of clothing.
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Old 14th January 2020, 11:21 AM   #2
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Linked on the same page, surprisingly also in Florida (any story coming from the Sunshine State will have more fun in the links at the bottom):

Disney security guard arrives naked to Florida prostitution sting

https://kdvr.com/2019/12/12/disney-s...itution-sting/

I'm sure it's just those sunshine laws.
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Old 14th January 2020, 11:22 AM   #3
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Sounds like meth-head antics to me. If I were a betting man I'd play that action any day of the week.

Curious how explosive a glass jar full of rubbing alcohol is really going to be. It can certainly start a fire, but I doubt that neither the fuel nor the container are capable of creating enough pressure to fling nails at any meaningful speed.
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Old 14th January 2020, 11:27 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
The motive hasn't been announced as of yet but:

I'm really curious as to the reasoning behind this but I'm betting it comes out as an ex-employee or someone that couldn't return an article of clothing.
I'm wondering if it might have been an attempted theft...

Set a bomb as a distraction, then when everyone is in panic grab some merchandise and escape when everyone is focused on the bomb.
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Old 14th January 2020, 11:33 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Sounds like meth-head antics to me. If I were a betting man I'd play that action any day of the week.

Curious how explosive a glass jar full of rubbing alcohol is really going to be. It can certainly start a fire, but I doubt that neither the fuel nor the container are capable of creating enough pressure to fling nails at any meaningful speed.
I'd expect the candle with the wick to the bottom of the candle and in contact with the alcohol might just tend to draw the alcohol up as fuel. Kind of like an oil lamp.
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Old 14th January 2020, 11:36 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
I'm wondering if it might have been an attempted theft...

Set a bomb as a distraction, then when everyone is in panic grab some merchandise and escape when everyone is focused on the bomb.
That's an interesting take and one that's certainly plausible imo.

The only thing that would confuse me is how she didn't notice these people following her around. From what I've read it sounds like they were behind her for awhile.
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Old 14th January 2020, 11:37 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by The Man View Post
I'd expect the candle with the wick to the bottom of the candle and in contact with the alcohol might just tend to draw the alcohol up as fuel. Kind of like an oil lamp.
Sure. It's more the glass I'm thinking about. The glass will shatter at a fairly low pressure and it isn't going to send any nails flying with a lot of speed. But this lady included nails like it were a pipe bomb, which relies on the high blast pressure of a tightly capped pipe.


Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
That's an interesting take and one that's certainly plausible imo.

The only thing that would confuse me is how she didn't notice these people following her around. From what I've read it sounds like they were behind her for awhile.
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Old 14th January 2020, 11:48 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by The Man View Post
I'd expect the candle with the wick to the bottom of the candle and in contact with the alcohol might just tend to draw the alcohol up as fuel. Kind of like an oil lamp.

As best I can surmise from conflicting reports, there was no candle (and I can't think of any way to use one with the rest of the items). Instead she was using a shoelace stuck into (or wrapped around) the jar as a wick, which she was trying to light. Would only be effective as a Molotov cocktail. (Well, you could light it and put it on a lower shelf to ignite some flammable merchandise above it, but you could use the same match to just set fire to the stuff on the shelf instead.) The nails would be worthless either way.
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Old 14th January 2020, 11:54 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Sure. It's more the glass I'm thinking about. The glass will shatter at a fairly low pressure and it isn't going to send any nails flying with a lot of speed.

The inclusion on nails leads me to think that the intent was for shrapnel damage, which doesn't really seem plausible to me with a glass bomb body. I suspect that such a glass bomb would burst at fairly low pressure and not produce dangerous shrapnel.
Yep, with the the inclusion of the nails shrapnel seems to be the apparent intent (if not just cargo cult bomb making). However, my point is that just the bomb body itself doesn't seem plausible. Even if the alcohol were to catch fire I don't see it breaking the glass. In order for the alcohol to catch fire enough air has to get in, which means combustion gasses can get out. So either a slightly brighter and longer burning candle (fueled by the alcohol) or just like a flaming drink shot in a mason jar. I just don't see the fast chemical reaction needed to even just break the glass.
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Old 14th January 2020, 11:59 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Meth

Search your feelings, you know it to be true.
It's Florida, I'm certainly not going to argue with a Meth theory for any story coming from Florida.

I also have the same outlook for most parts of Kentucky, and a significant portion of Alabama.

Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
As best I can surmise from conflicting reports, there was no candle (and I can't think of any way to use one with the rest of the items). Instead she was using a shoelace stuck into (or wrapped around) the jar as a wick, which she was trying to light. Would only be effective as a Molotov cocktail. (Well, you could light it and put it on a lower shelf to ignite some flammable merchandise above it, but you could use the same match to just set fire to the stuff on the shelf instead.) The nails would be worthless either way.
Yeah the article I linked to said shoelaces at the top, but makes no mention of them later. It doesn't say anything about a candle at the beginning but says:

Quote:
According to the arrest report, the two men were able to stop the mother just as she was about to light the wick of a candle, built in a mason jar with nails and denatured alcohol.
I wonder if they'll release some security footage. I'd be interested to see if she put it in the middle of an aisle or if she put it on a shelf. I don't know that she had a thought out plan (probably the meth )
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Old 14th January 2020, 12:23 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
I'm wondering if it might have been an attempted theft...

Set a bomb as a distraction, then when everyone is in panic grab some merchandise and escape when everyone is focused on the bomb.
It's certainly possible, but I would think it would be easier to assemble the "bomb" off sight and bring it with you. Going the trouble of MacGyvering a solution onsite seems like over complicating it.

I mean a Walmart isn't like an airport or something where you have to "sneak the explosive in."

That being said someone who's trying to make a bomb in a Walmart probably isn't the sharpest tool crapping in the woods so to speak.
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Old 14th January 2020, 12:35 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Meth

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Old 14th January 2020, 12:43 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Quote:
I'm wondering if it might have been an attempted theft...

Set a bomb as a distraction, then when everyone is in panic grab some merchandise and escape when everyone is focused on the bomb.
It's certainly possible, but I would think it would be easier to assemble the "bomb" off sight and bring it with you.
Well duh.... if she could afford the parts to assemble the bomb off site she wouldn't have to try to rob walmart in the first place!

(Just kidding....)

But more seriously, yes it makes sense to assemble the bomb off site, but that would apply to whatever she was actually planning to doing (either rob the place, or as an act of domestic terrorism.)
Quote:
I mean a Walmart isn't like an airport or something where you have to "sneak the explosive in."
I don't know... some of those senior citizens they have as greeters at Walmart seem like they could be pretty mean.
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Old 14th January 2020, 12:52 PM   #14
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I just naturally assumed you can buy bombs at Walmart, without having to put them together yourself. Is that not the case?
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Old 14th January 2020, 12:55 PM   #15
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Rather surprising how much of her logistics are being considered here. Probably more thinking than she has done this calender year.
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Old 14th January 2020, 12:58 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I just naturally assumed you can buy bombs at Walmart, without having to put them together yourself. Is that not the case?
For assemble-it-yourself bombs you have to go to Ikea.
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Old 14th January 2020, 02:08 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I just naturally assumed you can buy bombs at Walmart, without having to put them together yourself. Is that not the case?
You got in before me. I was about to ask why she didn't just go to the bomb aisle.
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Old 14th January 2020, 02:23 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
I'm wondering if it might have been an attempted theft...

Set a bomb as a distraction, then when everyone is in panic grab some merchandise and escape when everyone is focused on the bomb.
That was my first thought. I worked at a Walmart in an area known for meth production and use briefly, and heard several stories of people trying similarly ridiculous schemes as distractions for robberies. Most commonly, it was yelling at a manager while a friend snuck out, but there were a few instances of people throwing (for example) jars of pasta sauce on the ground, then trying to sneak out with DVDs or the like.

I also seem to recall a story about a man attempting to use a cart full of raw meat and beer as a battering ram. IIRC, the store had a serious problem with the theft of both beer and meat; see, both were unfortunately located right next to a fire exit, and people could just walk right out with either (or both) and make a clean getaway if a car was waiting. To limit this, the store started blocking off the exit after a certain time of night (which probably wasn't legal, but hey, it's Walmart; I saw the managers commit several labor violations, I'm sure they wouldn't be above blocking a fire exit), and we all figured that the attempted thief was caught off guard by the exit closure and just decided to make a run for the front door. Somehow he was stopped (I think the doors just didn't open fast enough?), and ended up being arrested.

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Old 14th January 2020, 02:24 PM   #19
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Old 14th January 2020, 02:57 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
I'm wondering if it might have been an attempted theft...

Set a bomb as a distraction, then when everyone is in panic grab some merchandise and escape when everyone is focused on the bomb.
Putting nails in the bomb is going way beyond it being "a distraction". She wasn't aiming for a scary distraction. She was aiming for injuries and deaths.

Alternatively, you could propose that she wanted people to only see the bomb (which would cause a scary distraction) but not for it to explode. But then why would she be trying to light the wick?
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Old 14th January 2020, 03:26 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Putting nails in the bomb is going way beyond it being "a distraction". She wasn't aiming for a scary distraction. She was aiming for injuries and deaths.

Alternatively, you could propose that she wanted people to only see the bomb (which would cause a scary distraction) but not for it to explode. But then why would she be trying to light the wick?
It's is a lucky thing that the women was so inept.
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Old 14th January 2020, 03:33 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Putting nails in the bomb is going way beyond it being "a distraction". She wasn't aiming for a scary distraction. She was aiming for injuries and deaths.

Alternatively, you could propose that she wanted people to only see the bomb (which would cause a scary distraction) but not for it to explode. But then why would she be trying to light the wick?
A lit apparent bomb is scarier than an unlit one. The lit bomb, like the ticking time bomb, imbues a greater sense of urgency.
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Old 14th January 2020, 03:46 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
As best I can surmise from conflicting reports, there was no candle (and I can't think of any way to use one with the rest of the items). Instead she was using a shoelace stuck into (or wrapped around) the jar as a wick, which she was trying to light. Would only be effective as a Molotov cocktail. (Well, you could light it and put it on a lower shelf to ignite some flammable merchandise above it, but you could use the same match to just set fire to the stuff on the shelf instead.) The nails would be worthless either way.
OK, didn't know about the shoelace, just going by what was said or quoted here. So cargo cult bomb making, going for appearance more than functionality.
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Old 14th January 2020, 03:49 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
They seem to make a pretty big deal out of her being a mom, and I'm not really sure why. Her son was with her at the time, but she obviously didn't plan on blowing both of them up. She was going to use a candle so they could move away.
The thing about people making bombs is, sometimes they go off before you want them to. As in, very before. Like "while you're in the middle of making them" before.
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Old 14th January 2020, 04:05 PM   #25
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That's the best she could come up with? When the ammonia is right next to the chlorine? The BBQ department has lighter fluid? The plumbing section has lye, the personal hygiene has pressurized cans of hair spray, the food section has vegetable oil, the garden section has fertilizer, a sack of sugar and ummm.....
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Old 14th January 2020, 04:08 PM   #26
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Floridian MacGuyvers. Lucky thing she didn't try to light the propane tanks with her meth pipe lighter.
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Old 14th January 2020, 05:14 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I just naturally assumed you can buy bombs at Walmart, without having to put them together yourself. Is that not the case?
I'm pretty sure they don't sell actual bombs, but they do sell ammo, and with a few boxes of shotgun shells, you could probably scrape together enough powder to make a real bomb (if you didn't just blow some fingers off while taking the shells apart), and you could use the shot for shrapnel.

It appears that what the woman in question actually built was an alcohol lamp, with some nails for decoration. I don't think you could start a decent fire with it, unless you put it under something combustible, or threw it hard enough to break the jar.

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Old 14th January 2020, 06:26 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
Yeah the article I linked to said shoelaces at the top, but makes no mention of them later. It doesn't say anything about a candle at the beginning but says: [quote from the article about security guards intervening "just as she was about to light the wick of a candle"].

My guess is that "wick of a candle" is a reporting error; the guards or LEOs said just as she was about to light the wick of the device (the shoelace, if there actually was one) and the reporter helpfully added "of a candle" because that's the only meaning of "wick" he or she knows.

It's also quite possible that the suspect really did stick a candle into a mason jar of denatured alcohol for some reason. Perhaps a taper candle or long birthday candle, intended to serve as a sort of delay fuse. It doesn't make sense, but neither do the nails. That does make the mentions of shoelaces a bit mysterious, though.
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Old 15th January 2020, 12:09 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Rather surprising how much of her logistics are being considered here. Probably more thinking than she has done this calender year.


Yeah, this. She probably learned everything she knows about bombs from watching TV. On TV, everything explodes, so why not a mason jar of rubbing alcohol?
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Old 15th January 2020, 12:40 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
My guess is that "wick of a candle" is a reporting error; the guards or LEOs said just as she was about to light the wick of the device (the shoelace, if there actually was one) and the reporter helpfully added "of a candle" because that's the only meaning of "wick" he or she knows.

It's also quite possible that the suspect really did stick a candle into a mason jar of denatured alcohol for some reason. Perhaps a taper candle or long birthday candle, intended to serve as a sort of delay fuse. It doesn't make sense, but neither do the nails. That does make the mentions of shoelaces a bit mysterious, though.
Found something with some more detail in WaPo:

Quote:
She opened the packaging for an odd array of items she hadn’t paid for such as matches, brad nails, denatured alcohol and a Mason jar. Then, police said, she tried to light a wick made from a shoelace.
So it looks like it was basically a shoelace in a mason jar with some nails and alcohol.

They still don't have a motive as to why she wanted to bomb Wal-Mart, but I say meth is about as good a motivator as any.

Again, though, I just don't understand why it's only an $8,500 bond for making a bomb with a child.
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Old 15th January 2020, 02:25 PM   #31
MRC_Hans
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
The motive hasn't been announced as of yet but:



They seem to make a pretty big deal out of her being a mom, and I'm not really sure why. Her son was with her at the time, but she obviously didn't plan on blowing both of them up. She was going to use a candle so they could move away. I've seen a few different reports, but one thing that's confused me is the police make this sound extremely heinous but she's only being held on a less than $9,000 bond.

I'm really curious as to the reasoning behind this but I'm betting it comes out as an ex-employee or someone that couldn't return an article of clothing.

Denatured alcohol and nails? How did she expect that to explode? It might burn quite merrily, which could cause some damage, but explode? ... No way.

Hans

ETA ... oh, I'm late.
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Old 15th January 2020, 02:38 PM   #32
Thermal
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
Found something with some more detail in WaPo:



So it looks like it was basically a shoelace in a mason jar with some nails and alcohol.

They still don't have a motive as to why she wanted to bomb Wal-Mart, but I say meth is about as good a motivator as any.

Again, though, I just don't understand why it's only an $8,500 bond for making a bomb with a child.
Maybe she was deemed too incompetent to charge her with actual bombmaking, hence not a threat to society?

Mebbe the actual charges are Felony Decorative Hurricane Lamp Building?
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Old 15th January 2020, 03:34 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by CORed View Post
I'm pretty sure they don't sell actual bombs, but they do sell ammo, and with a few boxes of shotgun shells, you could probably scrape together enough powder to make a real bomb (if you didn't just blow some fingers off while taking the shells apart), and you could use the shot for shrapnel.
Not get all casebro, but this is not hard, but very time consuming. Or so I've heard.

Quote:
It appears that what the woman in question actually built was an alcohol lamp, with some nails for decoration.
That explains the low bond. They just nabbed her for ripping off some Joanna Gains designs, not terrorism. If she had included the shiplap it would have been much more.
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Old 15th January 2020, 06:26 PM   #34
P.J. Denyer
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
That's the best she could come up with? When the ammonia is right next to the chlorine? The BBQ department has lighter fluid? The plumbing section has lye, the personal hygiene has pressurized cans of hair spray, the food section has vegetable oil, the garden section has fertilizer, a sack of sugar and ummm.....
casebro's next post ended with the words "Hold on, just gotta go answer my door", and we never heard from him again......
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Old 15th January 2020, 06:32 PM   #35
P.J. Denyer
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
Not get all casebro, but this is not hard, but very time consuming. Or so I've heard.



That explains the low bond. They just nabbed her for ripping off some Joanna Gains designs, not terrorism. If she had included the shiplap it would have been much more.
I think I'd sooner have the would-be bomb on a sheof at home than Gwyneth's latest

https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2020/jan/13/why-is-gwyneth-paltrow-selling-a-candle-that-smells-like-her-vagina-goop



Maybe slightly NSFW, definitely evidence we don't deserve to survive as a species.
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