Like most Atlantans I am fascinated by the story of Basil Eleby, a man whose life might have come and gone without leaving a mark in Atlanta’s history books if it were not for his (alleged) creation of a “couch bomb” following an (alleged) nip of crack cocaine. Most of us native Atlantans were not surprised that all it took to bring our hometown grinding to a halt was a piece of discarded furniture placed on top of a shopping cart and set on fire.
Don’t you want to know what kind of furniture he used?
I sure do. I mean, how do you accidentally weaponize a piece of furniture? Can you make a laser-guided futon, or a ballistic leather recliner or a uranium-depleted combat stool? So many questions.
Did he use a mid-century love seat style sofa in various vibrant colors to give any living room, office or play room a splash of color and modernism? You know, the kind with a hardwood frame and soft linen tufted upholstery, effective for spalling hardened concrete and melting rebar?
Being that this highway cuts near the tony Buckhead area I would like to imagine that he actually set afire a swank BarcaLounger Premier II Leather Reclining Loveseat in Stetson Coffee Hand Rubbed Top Grain Leather.
In the end, nobody really wants to buy a weaponized love seat, so how do we check to make sure we don’t buy one accidentally? Is there some sort of list that NATO maintains? Maybe there’s some sort of warning listed on the tag.
“Do not place love seat underneath an elevated highway while smoking crack cocaine”
And how about that shopping cart? What was that all about? Was Eleby’s weapon system designed to be rolled toward its intended target? Probably, but the world may never know.
On Monday night WSB-TV reporter Mark Winne interviewed Sophia Brauer, a key witness to the inception of the Great Atlanta Couch Fire of Aught Seventeen. According to Brauer, the payload delivery system (the shopping cart) was from Target, which as most American readers will know means that it was largely made of plastic. As Eleby’s (alleged) furniture fire began to grow the shopping cart began to melt, eventually igniting the PVC pipe it was jammed against.
Regardless of what happens to the man, Basil Eleby’s (allegedly) audacious act of tomfoolery has left an indelible mark not just on our town, but the entire planet – millions of lives have been affected around the world and there’s just no way to know how profoundly he may have altered the history of the human race.
In the mid-term, the sustained crush of traffic caused by the city absorbing commuters on alternate routes may finally provide the perfect scenario to prompt the State of Georgia to kick in the necessary funding to make MARTA truly useful.
As silly as it sounds, I would humbly suggest that we refer to that portion of I-85 as the Basil Eleby Overpass because: why not?
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