In November 1997, 2 teenagers in Texarkana, TX allegedly removed a large amount
of metallic mercury from an abandoned sign plant and distributed the material among friends.
Time Magazine, June 14, 2001
The boys found it in the old neon plant
and passed on forty pounds of it to friends
who put it on their cigarettes and smoked it,
covered their watches with it, their dimes
and quarters went silver. They dumped it on their
bedroom floors. They poured it on the counter
at Subway, chased its gleam and globules across
the kitchen’s sun- soaked linoleum, showed it off,
slipped it into an aquarium. One of them
coughed up blood before the Toxics Crew from State Health
came postulating terrorism or mischief of a juvenile sort.
Before the five were hospitalized vomiting and panting,
before the seizures, before the dog died.
The kids thought they had the flu.