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Cactus plugging is the practice of vandalizing or destroying a cactus, usually a saguaro, for fun. Typically, the cactus is cut open, drained, then packed with explosives and ignited. In another variation, the vandal simply shoots bullets into the cactus body until portions fall off or the entire cactus falls over.
In one notorious incident in 1982, one David Grundman (27 years old) was killed while cactus plugging. After he and a friend had successfully destroyed a smaller one, they decided to destroy a saguaro cactus. This went rather badly, as a 4-ft-long arm of the saguaro he was "plugging" fell on him. The song "Saguaro" by the Austin Lounge Lizards (co-written by Ann Clardy-Ekstrom and Michael Stevens) poked fun at Grundman's death.
The act of cactus plugging, if performed on a saguaro, is illegal. In any case, it is a particularly destructive form of vandalism, as saguaros require over 100 years to reach a substantial height.
- Klingaman, Gerald (December 12, 2008), Plant of the Week: Saguaro Cactus, University of Arkansas, retrieved 2013-02-13.
- The Many Faces of Death: DEATH By Cactus - David Grundman, USA
- Brunvand, Jan Harold (2011), Too Good to Be True: The Colossal Book of Urban Legends, W. W. Norton & Company, p. 73, ISBN 0393104168.
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