Live and Learn, Any Day Given

The Story of Mercun: Mercun Bola and Friends

The Story of Mercun: Mercun Bola and Friends

Mercun is life. Lol. Now, like I said in my previous post, I have a wardrobe of stories to share with you regarding mercun and meriam. And today, I feel like telling you my experiences playing some of the most explosive and dangerous firecrackers ever existed on the market! Introducing, mercun ketupat, botol, telur and mercun bola!! Oh wait, they’re still available for you to purchase though. xD


Mercun Ketupat

If you imagine ketupat nasi or ketupat daun kelapa, the ones you eat with satay and kuah kacang, you’re wrong. It’s a different kind of ketupat. lol. The mercuns take the shape of ketupat palas. Yeap. Triangle, not square. Okay since nowadays we have a kuih called samosa, you can picture that as well. Very similar, except samosa is tasty, and the mercun is nasty. hehehe~

mercun ketupat palas
mercun ketupat via rajamercun

Definitely my personal favourite. Mercun ketupat is one of the loudest firecrackers you can surprise people with. It makes a ‘PAANNGG’ noise instead of ‘BOOMM’ . Perhaps that’s the result of its anatomy. The ketupat is somewhat small and flat, yet handsomely dense and neatly compressed. The best thing about mercun ketupat is that you can throw it like a shuriken, or fling it like Gambit tosses his cards to cut and slice his enemy. What the hell am I talking about hahahaha. Go la Google, try to understand my pop culture reference. ihik.

But it was not popular back then due to its price. Quite expensive compared to other similar yet more powderful firecrackers. No bad experience, though, except I bought a box of lame, stale ketupats. Masuk angin. So the PANNGG!! was lousy and humiliating. More like PAPP. -_____-  Zzz… what a waste.

Oh, and don’t underestimate the ketupat. It may appear meh to you, but I’m not gonna lie about it; a piece of ketupat makes a hell loud of sound. Sometimes even louder than mercun telur and mercun bola, which I will explain in details shortly later. Hehe


Mercun Botol

The Malays are very good at naming things. You know la how kampungs and villages got the names, the roads, etc. Welp, you guessed it right. Mercun botol is exactly macam botol. Coke bottle.

mercun botol coca cola
mercun botol via rajamercun

I’m not sure where those firecrackers were manufactured. Some say China, some say Thailand. But I believe they loved Coke so much. Coca Cola la, not cocaine. *facepalm* Back then, canned drinks were not so popular. Or weren’t available pon. That explains why we had mercun botol instead of mercun tin. Or mercun kotak. Ahahaha

Anyways! botol is much smaller than ketupat in size and shape. Three botol to one ketupat, 3:1. Yet, the sound it offers to our ears… fuhh~ not as loud as ketupat but okay la. Hahaha. Oh but brighter! The only downsides of this type of firecracker are the debris it shoots upon exploding, and the availability over the counter. Unlike ketupat – which is made of layers of not-so-thin brown papers – mercun botol is made of plastic. Chemically thickened plastic. So when it goes off, considerably big chunks of the mercun are unlikely avoidable. Sure got one. Pretty scary you know.

Once I was injured by the flying debris. I was standing quite far from where my friends were playing. Then I saw them lit a mercun botol and started to run away. Few moments later it went BAMM!! – and milliseconds after I felt like I was gunned down by a 9 mm semi-automatic. ‘Thud’ right on the left portion of my tummy. Noharoommm saket gilaaaaa!! While groaning in pain, I picked up the bullet that hit me. Yep, it was the mercun botol. Wuwuu… so guys, please be careful di jalan raya. Eh.


Telur and Bola

Now come to think of it, I think we were terrible at naming things creatively. HAHAHA. These two – mercun telur and mercun bola – appear seriously like egg and ball. Football, soccer. Okay la the telur is not exactly like chicken egg or quill’s or duck’s. They are more like makjun you know; like the capsules sold at warung kopi in kampung-kampung. But since it’s somewhat oval and smooth on the outer surface – like an egg – so they called it mercun telur (egg firecrackers). Em em…

mercun telur mercun bola
mercun telur and mercun bola via lanun ranggi

And mercun bola? Looks EXACTLY like a soccer. Football. Bolasepak. The shells especially, are purposedly designed that way. At first I thought it’s called mercun kura-kura or something. What? I blamed the shells. Very much similar to a tortoise’s shell. But after a closer look… okay, football. No wonder. Hahahaha

Mercun Telur

Practically it’s just mercun bola in the shape/form of an egg. But to be honest, I didn’t quite like it compared to mercun bola. They’re of the same category – fearsome and scary (lol) – but the shell of mercun telur is just typical plastic. Something like the gashapon ball. Yaa. So when it goes boom, the shell will shatter into hundreds of sharp and dangerous shards. Very much like the real hand grenade. So… it wasn’t my go-to kind.

Mercun Bola

The mother of mercun, by far. We used to have mercun badak (hippopotamus! or was it rhinoceros? hmmm) but… it was discontinued after few years being fan favourite. Mercun badak was legendary. Uber awesome. Epic loudness. Stunning explosion. But because it was too powerful, the manufacturers withdrew it from the market. As the replacement, they introduced us the downscale bersion of mercun badak; super loud yet somewhat cheaper and safer (hahaha safer.. hahahaha xD) – the mercun bola.

Perhaps there’s a truth behind the claim that mercun bola is much safer than mercun badak and mercun telur. The construction is the key – a shell made of two thickened hemispheres to form a round/sphere ball-like shape, which contains high volume compressed gunpowder. Belerang. So how does that make it better than telur?

When it explodes, the shell is not broken into a thousand small pieces like mercun telur. Here’s the improvement. Because of the use of newly chemically engineered plastic for the shell, the mecun will blast off right in the middle, between the two hemispheres, separating the two apart – each in one piece. Cool, huh. Whoever came out with that idea, may God bless you. Ahahaha

Not a child’s play

Guys, these two good friends are no joke. They’re REALLY like a small scale of those hand grenades. Before you try catching a grenade for your boyfriend or girlfriend like what Bruno Mars suggested in his platinum hit single, you can try with these bad boys first.

They are the loudest behind the no-longer-produced mercun badak. Fuhh. Don’t mess around with the two. When you cucuh the sumbu… it’s either you throw it far from you (or any living things like your family members, neighbours, your mom’s favourite cat or those goldfish in the murky cloudy water of that 2′ x 3′ aquarium your father got you for your eighth birthday) or you run for your life — away and FAST from the blast site. The detonation explosion could… no.. surely WILL cause unspeakable damage and injury – especially if it explodes near your mouth. Confirm cannot speak. Guarantee. Fight me.

There were and are many cases involving the misconduct of the mercuns. Some stupid fellas tossed a mercun bola at his friends – thinking that they would manage to flee in time. Guess what, the firecracker ignited itself much quicker than usual, which led to the wrong timing that boy experienced and the terrible injuries his friends had to suffer. Haih…

Here’s a video for you. =)

Safety first

I, too, used to play those mercun. My friends and I really enjoyed the BAAMMMs and the BOOOMMMs produced by mercun telur and mercun bola. Lucky me, my parents told me


dekat-dekat kawasan rumah, rumah orang, kandang kambing, reban ayam…” and the likes. So yeah. I was a good boy, I was. We played near the surau and the areas where we set our meriam (cannons) . Whoooaaa… xD

There were two unforgettable times I regretted what we did upon experimenting the firecrackers. First, I jokingly said to my friend, the mercun bola can crack a safe, just like in Hollywood movies and cowboy soap operas. Oh oh, like those in Rambo! Except, they used grenades and dynamites la. So as I was laughing, he sped himself up towards a public phone. That time still got public phone, okay. Have you ever seen one? =p

And what did he do? He set a bola inside the slot where the change (coins) would drop after we hang up. I was in disbelief. Within seconds… a super loud explosion took place and oh my God – the metal-cased public phone was totaled. I blinked my eyes a few times before I closed my mouth and started walking in the direction of the poor phone booth. Lucky enough the machine which contained the coins was not affected, only the outer case of the telephone. Phew. Then I made a call to telekom malaysia, reporting the incident since that was the only thing I could think of at that time.

Don’t forget to plug your ears…

Another stupid act was on me. Lol. Still, involving Telekom Malaysia jugak. xD or… should I write about it in other entry? Oh well, let’s just spill it here. Hee. Remember the public phone incident? Well, that’s the cornerstone of the next stupid thing we did. Bhahahaha. Long story short, I found a tiang telekom lying lifelessly on the ground by the roadside. Tumbang, perhaps resulting from heavy rain and thunderstorm we had previous night. Or maybe because some people took it down, since the cables and wires were all gone. Hmmm

Whatever. So I thought, we can make something good out of it. Like… a meriam besi or something? !! Eureka!! xD hahahahaha. Told you I’m good at such crazy things. Ekeke. So without any hesitation, I brought the pole home. Don’t ask how, you really don’t wanna know. Lol

Later that evening, after Asar prayer, my good friend and I began the meriam project. I’ll spare the story of how we cut through the industrial grade steel and whatnot for another post, okay? Main focus here, we got the job done. I was super proud of myself. xD So we used the modified and ingeniously engineered tiang telekom as a meriam (cannon, mind you.. =p) religiously. Meriam story later, okay? Okay? Promise. Hehe. But before that! We got a few mercun bola with us, exclusively prepared for the opening ceremony. Hewhew~

You can already tell what’s next, can you. Hihihi. And yes, we did that. I placed the hard metal, steel pole flat on the ground, and there it went – a mercun bola, inside the (now cannon) tiang telekom. Technically, that’s the literal meaning of “fire in the hole” . Owwww!! Did I just?? *badumtss* xD Okay okay, back to the story..




If you can imagine a nuclear explosion, atomic kinda explosion… please do so. Because I felt like it was the closest, most similar explosion to those bombs the Americans dropped to destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki back in World War 2. Oh – my – God. What had we done. It was super duper extremely loud – we experienced a vertigo! Telinga berdesing like I don’t know how to describe it… and the screeching sound lasted for many seconds, at least a minute I can assure that. Oh boy…

We could see some villagers, stopped and stood by the roadside – at the far end of the paddy field, to see what was going on. When we regained our capacity and capability to hear normally, I could tell we were in great trouble by the yell and shout they were making furiously. Ahahahaha. Goodness. What a discovery. Lol!

And nope. That’s not the end of it. Ekeke. There’s no such thing as serik. Hikhik.


Ahh… I miss my childhood. And teenage years. ^^


And that’s all for today. That’s it for mercun ketupat, botol, bola and telur. Sorry that I purposely some names and terms as is. Not gonna translate them into English, boys and girls. The feel is different. Ehe. And they might sound weird in English. Hahahahaha. Till next time! Hope you enjoyed your reading here. ^^

1 thought on “The Story of Mercun: Mercun Bola and Friends”

  • I enjoyed reading your posts about your childhood memories teacher. Like I can imagine you in your childhood, based on the pic you showed me when you were 12, remember? Was that the time when you play all those mercuns? hehe. I bet you had a great time masa tu. ^~^

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