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RUSH: Here’s Ray in Burlington, Connecticut. Welcome, Ray, great to have you with us.

CALLER: It’s a pleasure, Rush. I’m going to ruin everyone’s day by calling that guy that had the mercury poisoning a fruitcake.

RUSH: Wait a second, wait a second, the fruitcake from Rockwall, Texas?


RUSH: Why are you calling him a fruitcake?

CALLER: Well, really what he did was collect on his employer’s time, his insurance and wasted a lot of time from other people. Mercury poisoning, we use to play with mercury as kids. We used to make lead coins, cover them with mercury, and pass it. Illegal but we did it, just for fun.

RUSH: Was this elemental mercury?

CALLER: Could have.

RUSH: It is elemental mercury that provides the fumes here that then provides or causes the damage.

CALLER: Right.

RUSH: Look, if you would have been dealing with elemental mercury and you’re putting it on nickels or whatever you said, lead coins, you, too, would have been made uncomfortable by the fumes.

CALLER: Well, I hate to tell you, I’m 76, and I was about 14 when I did this. And I survived.

RUSH: Well, now that you say that, I understand. Frankly, I can understand in a fashion, although I don’t agree with you that the guy from Rockwall, Texas, was a fruitcake about this. I mean the Centers for Disease Control is warning everybody about these fumes and there are hazmat teams that have to fumigate houses where one of these bulbs breaks. But I understand, we’re a bunch of babies. I’ve seen the thing that floats around on the Internet that we played with lead toys back when we were growing up, kept the front doors open, we’d go out and play all day, never see our parents for six or seven hours. They didn’t worry about what was going to happen. We rode bicycles and crossed the streets and so forth, and now everybody’s babied and nannied and assumed that virtually every breath you take is a life-threatening event, every step you take is a life-threatening event. And every step and breath that you take has to be regulated by some government agency and that nobody has responsibility for what they do anymore. It’s always somebody else’s fault when something goes wrong.

I can understand that you at 76 years old would look at succeeding generations as a bunch of wimps and a bunch of weaklings and in many ways, in many ways out there, Ray, I could agree with you. I mean they’ve had to invent their own traumas out there in order to make themselves believe that life was tough. But look at you, playing with mercury. Metal coins, nickel coins, puts mercury on and passed it around. I’m like you. I’m one of the most, the practical jokes that I played back when I played ’em, they were over the top. They were over the line. Today, they’re nothing. But they, when I did some of the stuff that I did — and I announced it shortly after this program began back in 1988, much of it my mother was learning for the first time. (laughing) Dawn’s saying, ‘He still has no remorse over what he did.’ No, it was fun. Some of the most fun times of my life. I certainly didn’t like school in my childhood, so many of my practical jokes were aimed at the school.

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