About 45,000 people evacuated Koblenz, Germany this weekend so that experienced detonators could safely defuse two World War II-era bombs that have been hanging out in the Rhine all these years, threatening their lives. Sounds dramatic, doesn't it? Yet as far as drama and action goes, the operation was completely underwhelming.
All of the video footage we've seen has shown calm, quiet scenes of the bombs—one British, one U.S.—just lying in the water amidst sandbags, and the bomb experts hard at work. Even the bomb squad chief comes off as soft-spoken and modest. Does he feel like a hero? No. Not even a little bit? No. "I did my job, that was all," he told one German media outlet. Come on, guy, you just saved a whole town! Give it some gusto, some pizazz. Own your moment.
Apparently the bombs—which, if set off, could have created a 20-yard wide crater—couldn't be blown up by other bombs because that would have been too destructive, what with all the houses and buildings. So the squad played it safe and cut the fuse instead. Meh.
Officials say that about 3,000 undetonated bombs remain in Germany, which means about 3,000 remaining opportunities to turn these operations into more entertaining spectacles. Maybe the next town can do a citywide lip-dub of that old Gap Band song? Anything, anything would be more exciting than those placid news reels of decrepit old bombs just floating in the water, like overfed seals.