"Use Only As a Tire Thumper"
Well, I'm on a roll lately, buying obscure but cool items online. Here's one that arrived the other day, a genuine Ozark Tire Thumper, 19 inches of cedar, weighted with a solid lead core. Grooved handle, super strong, leather thong. Tire thumpers are allegedly used by truck drivers to see if their tires are underinflated, you know, give the tire a good sound thump and you can tell by the sound if the tire is low on air.
Something shady about this tire thumper, though. You'll notice it looks like nothing so much as a sawed-off baseball bat. A sawed-off baseball bat weighted with lead: yes, the center of the "bat" is drilled out and filled with solid lead. Heavy! One might almost suspect this tire thumper of being sold for thumping things other than tires. Note, stamped on the side of the tire thumper it reads, Use Only As A TIRE THUMPER.
Oh really? What else might it be used as? Skull thumper, maybe? Kneecap thumper? On the package it says, sold for use as a Tire Thumper for checking tire pressure only. In other words, just because it looks like a lead-weighted sawed-off baseball bat, don't you go getting any ideas! Add to that how this Ozark Tire Thumper has a way of turning up for sale on "self-defense" websites. Oh, and shipping is prohibited to several states, plus all of Canada. I also find on some discussion forums that if the cops pull you over and find a Tire Thumper in your car, in some localities you could be charged with carrying a concealed weapon, even if you've got tires to be thumped.
Sounds mighty suspicious to me. Though this Tire Thumper is certainly not concealed, leaning against the wall right next to my bed. For years I've had a little souvenir Chicago Cubs bat sitting there, one of those miniature souvenir baseball bats that's skinny as a toothpick and weighs about three ounces. This Ozark Tire Thumper, 19 weighty inches of solid cedar and lead, will come much more in useful for me, should I ever wake up in the middle of the night and hear Mr. Burglar's footsteps creaking up the staircase in the dark.
Not that I'm saying it's likely. But just in case, forearmed is forearmed. And let the burglar beware!
Besides, I already am responsible for two or three out of the top 25 Google search results for "sawed-off baseball bat."