Dont Play With Fire, Meriam Buluh

We all know how a ‘meriam buluh’ could earn you a handicap parking lot. Although many warnings and sad stories have been told, teens could never resist the war-head sound as it echoes the night.

E for Eddie

My first experience was when I was 13. I followed elder kampung friends into the woods to look for bamboos. Poorly equipped and alien terrain, it was life threatening for an urban boy like myself. I thought of turning back but they were short handed to carry the bamboos for lemang and pelita, plus I don’t even know my way out.

Later at night, I was briefed by elders how to engineer a canon. It’s a simple chemical reaction, provided you know the right amount of sulfur.

KABOOM! I had both my palms firmly pressed against my ear and stood 15 meters away, yet the sound was still intrusive, pummeling through air gaps knocking my ear drums. It was loud, very loud, close to Armageddon.

As I grew older, I became immune to the obnoxious sound. Building one was as easy as folding a paper plane. Like other canon builders, improvision is needed for safety and sound intensity.

I made mine using several wraps of metal pipes and wires. Though it wasn’t as loud as others, mine gave a feint, higher pitched and hollow sound. It could be heard several kilometers afar also, it annoys.

This year, no one build one. I guess canon bearers grew bored or could be due to tighter police supervision.

Whatever it is, I’m glad this dangerous tradition was never inherited. Likewise, pity the generations to come who’ll never get the hands on experience.

pic: Denotes, ‘E’ for Eddie using Sony Alpha 350, slow shutter speed.

ps: Don’t play with your private part fire, it’s addictive.

pss: Anyone know where I can get my hands on ‘thunderclap’ and ‘mercun bola’? 😮

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