Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Nitro Gang

Writing about Frankie Fraser reminded me of a little anecdote an old school cop told me the other month. In the good old days - it seems - safe crackers used nitrolglycerin as a tool of the trade. It was so unstable, however, that they had to carry it in balloons that they would suspend in harnesses in the boot of a car when it was being transported to a job. Pretty obviously when you are driving a car with a trunk full of high explosive you tend towards a light touch with the brake and accelerator. Further,

Nitroglycerin breaks down into nitric oxide which helps relax blood vessels to improve blood flow. However, to accomplish this it robs the enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase from the mitochondria. This can cause premature aging, impaired healing, and all kinds of additional health problems. Studies indicate that long term use of nitroglycerin is bad for the heart and cardiovascular system.

So if you ever found yourself behind a few broken down old geezers in a car crawling along at twenty miles an hour it might be a pensioners outing, but it might be a peterman and a gonif or two off to a box-job.

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