Live and Learn, Any Day Given

The Story of Mercun: Mercun Papan

The Story of Mercun: Mercun Papan

Mercun papan is life. Lol

Mercun and meriam are my forte. Or were? Lol. How come? Well, I grew up in a kampung. A village. A rural area, where the paddy fields were green (and yellow after few months. lol) and the parit was clean, the air was clear, the people were friendly – except when you play mercun and meriam religiously – close to their houses. Ekeke


Mercun papan is what in English?

No no. Not the kind that you see bursting in air on the fourth of July. Pardon my American reference. I mean, yeah those are firecrackers in English, but they’re “bunga api” in Malay. This one is like the one you set to go pom pang pom pang prangg prap pap pap pap on Chinese New Year. But of course, of different types and sizes la. Those used for CNY are big and super loud. Expensive liao. Only rich people can afford. I was miskin, so had to buy small ones only. Hehe. Wait, think I’m still miskin though. Lol xD

I started playing mercun when I was… I think when I was still a kindergarten innocent. Wait, no. that’s mercun bawang. Pop pop. Lousy one. Doesn’t count. Hahahaha. So the real experience was in the following year. Darjah 1. Heee.. My first mercun was mercun lada. Utara people called it mercun cabai or mercun papan. What’s with the names? It’s called lada because… technically lada is another word for cabai or cili… but the main reason was the firecrackers were of the size of cabai. Small, yet deadly. Chewahh. xD And it’s called mercun papan (board) because of how they were packed in a box – like a stack of papan or plywood. Haaa… now you know. ^~^

Oh yes. Some of my friends called it mercun lipan. I don’t know whether it’s popular anywhere, but yeah. Hehe

mercun papan
mercun papan or mercun lada via lanun ranggi

Fire in the hole!

Mercun papan was among the cheapest, compared to other mercuns. You can get a box of 10 papans of firecrackers for only RM3.50 (that time la… haha). Each papan consists of 40 tiny dynamites. And there were two ways (at least) how to play it. One, the Chinese style. You set fire to the main sumbu – a string that binds all 40 sticks of the mini dynamites together, and enjoy the beauty of the PRAPP PAP PAP PAP PAP PAP PAP for a few satisfying seconds. Sexy!

Another way to take them boys to another level was by untying those mini sticks. Synthesize them into single unit, and you have 40 chances to bring out the anger in people per papan. Lol. By that, it means you have to cucuh one by one la. Well, I kinda enjoyed it that way, though. Especially when I got the opportunity to throw them at my friends.

Don’t try this at home.

Or elsewhere. You know when creativity strikes hard, you can somehow achieve something unthinkable? Unsafe pon ye jugak. Hahahaha. Now this third method was the most dangerous… only for the brave. Or maybe for the stupids. Like me. lol

A single unit of mercun papan looks like a dynamite. A dwarf version of course. And it has two ends kan – one with the sumbu, the other is the bottom. Did you know, the manufacturers tricked us all by filling the stick only 3/4 full? Yeap. Well, maybe that’s how it’s done anyway… hahahaha. But the thing is, it’s not full! The remaining quarter of the firecracker was not compressed with gun powder. Only a thick layer of paper. Like the cigarette butt, but thick.

I was kinda adventurous so to say. I first figured it out when I took a look at the debris of the mercun we played. Hey… some parts of the mercun were still intact. How could that be? I thought when they exploded, everything exploded la kan. Like, should there remain nothing but small useless pieces of thin coloured papers. After a few seconds of examining the leftovers, I found out that they were all the same. The bottom part was never gonna burst.

Which means, hypothetically speaking, it’s safe to hold and watch them explode!

Bhahahahaha. Yeap. I risked my thumb and my index finger just to prove my theory. Took one ready-to-roll mercun lada… held it at the very end of the bottom part – super tight – and cucuh the mercun and kept on holding it with my dear life. . .


The mercun meletup. And my fingers didn’t. YAAAAYYY!! Eureka! I skipped death. hahahahaha. Okay that’s over exaggerated. Lol. Ever since, whenever I wanted to scare my friends or to show off, I would just repeat the process in front of them. And they would be like.. whooooaaa… cool! Beraninya. Hebatnya. Tak sakit ke? Erm… to be honest, it’s pretty much painful you know… ^^” on the first experiment my fingers went numb for many seconds, and the tingling sensation was not what I expected from my discovery. Ehe… But then again, it’s worth the try. It was fun! Budak kampung kann~ mesti la lasak. hihihi

Speaking of adventurous…

This one is a bit… I don’t know… NSFW? 18SG? ekeke. But if you feel like reading, I welcome your courage and guts, literally. xD

I used to like to torture pests. Pests, okay… not pets. Not any random animals. Huhu. What kind or torments? Pouring gasoline on a trapped mouse then set it on fire was one of such. Tying unconscious cockroaches on “ubat” nyamuk then let them taste the agony of slow death was my favourite. Lastik cicak and drown them in vinegar was my weekly routine. ^^” You sure you wanna continue reading this? Ekeke

Ramadhan was the only time I could get my ammunition. Firecrackers, I mean. And fasting didn’t stop me from hunting those lizards. Bukan biawak la.. cicak. Haha. So when I managed to collect the cicaks, like a small plastic bag full of them… instead of drowning them, which was the basic template of torture, I would shove a stick of mercun papan into the lizard’s mouth, down its throat – and sometimes reaching its stomach, depending on the size of the poor reptile and the mighty mercun – set the sumbu on fire, throw them into the sky and watch them burst into pieces.

Please don’t picture it in your mind… you might vomit out your guts pulak then. Bluekk.

Hahahaha. It was fun, though! Don’t you think?? Ekekeke

Enter the frog

Katak pulaaakkk…. lol! Okay okay. I know you had enough. Allow me to save it for later. hiks. What about other firecrackers? Mercun bawang, bola, telur, ketupat, etc? Expect more entries on those stuff this very ramadhan. hahahahaha

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