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Fla. man builds Intercontinental Ballistic Love Missile for Valentine's Day

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 6 days ago Nada Hassanein
a red stop sign sitting in front of a house: The prototype "Intercontinental Ballistic Love Missile" at 2117 West Indianhead Drive, pictured Monday, Feb 12, 2017. According to an info sheet accompanying the display, such a device could be capable of "saturating any content on earth with instant and complete love energy." In lieu of a working ICBLM, the info sheet suggests a number of "love action ideas" including: smile often, befriend neighbors and vote. © Hali Tauxe/Democrat The prototype "Intercontinental Ballistic Love Missile" at 2117 West Indianhead Drive, pictured Monday, Feb 12, 2017. According to an info sheet accompanying the display, such a device could be capable of "saturating any content on earth with instant and complete love energy." In lieu of a working ICBLM, the info sheet suggests a number of "love action ideas" including: smile often, befriend neighbors and vote.

TALLAHASSEE — Meet "Cupid 1."

It's a softer version of the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) weapon capable of carrying a nuclear warhead — it's an Intercontinental Ballistic Love Missile.

Standing at 14 feet tall on Eddie and Nancy Gines' Indianhead Drive front lawn, embellished with scarlet Valentine's Day hearts and Cupid decals, the "love missile" is far from calamitous.

Inside an info-box are copies of its associated love manifesto, complete with "love action ideas": smile often; befriend neighbors; plant a tree; be there for someone.

"Imagine a neighborhood, a community, a country, a world where love permeates all beings and things. Together we can make that a reality," the note reads.

Cupid 1 is elder-care social worker Eddie Gines' labor of, well, love. He and his family spent three weeks building it from wooden pallets and air conditioning duct.

The tongue-in-cheek prototype taunts North Korea's weapon of mass destruction. It's even equipped with its own "big red button," poking fun at the social media brawl between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

“Really, we have a powerful weapon already that would wipe out the weapons of mass destruction. And that's love," said Gines, 57. "We each have the capacity to be love and share love, and an endless supply within our hearts and souls to share that.”

a truck that is sitting in the grass: The prototype "Intercontinental Ballistic Love Missile" at 2117 West Indianhead Drive, pictured Monday, Feb 12, 2017. In lieu of a working ICBLM, an info sheet accompanying the display suggests a number of "love action ideas" including smile often, befriend neighbors and vote. © Hali Tauxe/Democrat The prototype "Intercontinental Ballistic Love Missile" at 2117 West Indianhead Drive, pictured Monday, Feb 12, 2017. In lieu of a working ICBLM, an info sheet accompanying the display suggests a number of "love action ideas" including smile often, befriend neighbors and vote.

No matter how much he'd like to, Gines obviously couldn't conjure up a real missile that would spread infectious love instead of destruction.

But he could try his hand at a symbolic one.

“There could be this fantasy weapon that could get us back to square one, I thought. That doesn’t exist obviously … so I got to think about it a little further," he said.

Gines said he hopes the display inspires others to spread compassion.

"Lately, with everything going on politically and the fracturing in the community ... the one thing that would really help all of that and maybe get us back on track is to focus in on love energy," he said.

His wife, Nancy Gines, added, “We’re so focused on the negative things … that we forget to just reach out to each other. Put down your phones, put down your apparatus, wave when someone passes down the street.

"Just calm down and start appreciating each other, because we only have each other.”

Follow Nada Hassanein on Twitter: @nhassanein_

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