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This is a question Pointless Experiments

Pavlov's Frog writes: I once spent 20 minutes with my eyes closed to see what it was like being blind. I smashed my knee on the kitchen cupboard, and decided I'd be better off deaf as you can still watch television.

(, Thu 24 Jul 2008, 12:00)
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improvised flamethrower
I fear this may be a little toff popic, although I’m quite sure any rational bloke would insist when it comes to desirable gadgets an improvised flamethrower is right up there with a Jessica Alba Android and TeleportationTrousers, therefore not technically a pointless experiment. However, whilst pyrotechnical experimentation should always be nurtured in the young and reckless, the choice of firing range in this instance may be at best filed as ill advised.

Many moons ago I worked for a fairly rubbish ‘New Media’ company with a lot of bored, disillusioned staff. Jinks were always high. We had a set of steak knives in the kitchen, not sure why but they were perfectly balanced for my burgeoning knife-throwing act – until that is the semi-psychotic boss (same bloated buffoon as in my ‘Only 14 Hours to Bristol’ post) raged into the studio during an all staff meeting demanding to know who had been using his office door for 'bloody knife throwing practice'. Cue blank looks all round. I did find it indicative of our work ethic that he immediately (and rightly) assumed knife throwing had occurred. Other experiments included creeping up behind people on the phone and liberally wrapping parcel tape round their head – securing the phone to their noggin (this works best when they are also resting their chin on their free hand so you can cocoon that too) thus ensuring they must continue an (albeit muffled) conversation with Mr Self Important Client Tosser. Other japes involved cutting the corners off large boxes then arranging the boxes as crumple zones for stunt man ‘death’ leaps from filing cabinets. Using the wet & dry vac to hoover up peoples coffee from their mugs in one greedy slurrrrp always got a response too - usually ‘for fucks sake Spimf, fuck off will you, you fucking idiot’. Shooting out the bulbs on the desk lamps across the room with an air pistol tended to unsettle/enrage the occupant of the workstation a fair bit as well. So you get the picture – a committed and focused bunch of highly trained imbeciles.

One particularly slow day I spotted some large heavy-duty cardboard tubes lying innocently, yet temptingly in a quiet corner. Like any right minded person I immediately thought: Hmmm… Big Arnie-style RPG launcher! I chose a fine sturdy tube about 4 foot long with a plastic end cap then selected a slightly thinner tube that would fit inside. A great big wodge of bog roll was taped around one end to make a sung and effective plunger for my makeshift munitions. Initially, this was simply ‘plunged’ to make the plastic end cap fly off with a satisfyingly low frequency ‘THHHONK’. Put simply i had fashioned the worlds biggest pop gun.

Soon my bodged bazooka sprouted a shoulder strap, side handle, plunger grip and nicely weighted cardboard ‘RPG’. Menacingly, I strutted around the studio attempting to shoot large things off high shelves and generally breaking stuff. With it's Kappa board fins and conical nose my ‘RPG’ flew surprisingly well. Boredom however, is a relentless staggering zombie that never lags far behind dear Spimfy. It was then I spotted the lighter fluid we used to clean Spraymount off stuff. I think I may have heard a small internal ‘ping’ as a little light bulb fluoresced in my head. A fist sized ball of bog roll was given a liberal soaking, lit to a near invisible Sambuca style blue flame by a willing assistant then rammed down the barrel with a broom handle, the plastic end cap was then popped on to provide a bit of back pressure. Clearly the restricted amount of air inside would only last so long, so launch had to be hasty. This however meant aim was a secondary consideration. I plunged the fucker with aplomb.

Fuck. Me.

It would be no exaggeration to say ‘a fucking great big fireball’ streaked from the end of my cardboard contraption with quite spectacular results. The pressure combined with a sudden rush of nice oxygen rich air produced angry red and yellow flames. It made a fantastic roaring noise as it soared across the studio trailing acrid black smoke and a deep thud as it slammed into the window recess resulting in an even bigger ball of flames. HOORAY! Everyone whooped and cheered - the few sensible ones (developers mainly) standing well back, shaking their heads and muttering about inadequate fire exits. The flames rapidly subsided to a little smouldering clump of blackened bog roll - the hilarity waned in harmony. Then, quite unexpectedly... Whoosh! The fabric window blinds went up in flames – big style, eagerly assisted by the dust and cobwebs around the ancient window frame (did I mention our office was a converted mill in a World Heritage site? Probably best not to). Dust and cobwebs and dead spiders burn like a motherfucker by the way, which I discovered while trying to ‘clean’ my garage with a blowtorch once.

In a blind panic I belted across the room and (with some difficulty) yanked the burning blinds down and proceeded to stamp on them with some considerable urgency. This had an immediate effect; being that it set fire to my shoes. I can honestly say the spectacle of me rain dancing with flaming feet did seem to lift the mood for a while.

A couple of days later the (increasingly psychotic) boss was eyeing the scorched, melted patch of fuzzy office flooring and looking for answers. Blank faces again. Good job he didn’t turn round to see the hastily installed non-matching window blinds stolen from another department.

length? fully extended about 5 foot mate.
(, Sun 27 Jul 2008, 12:06, closed)
Clicky for hoovering up Coffee - I now need a wet and dry for my chair :'(

This company didn't happen to be based in Kirkstall did it?
(, Sun 27 Jul 2008, 14:02, closed)
There's an odd thing about Scotland
There's a weird gravitational effect which seems to tighten wallets no end...
(, Sun 27 Jul 2008, 14:19, closed)

Where would you be thinking of in Kirkstall, Nerrep? That's where I live.
(, Sun 27 Jul 2008, 14:57, closed)
Absolutely glorious!
(, Sun 27 Jul 2008, 15:23, closed)
There's a media company in the mill there as well - though it seemed like a pretty pleasant place when I visited contrary to the one in the story.
(, Sun 27 Jul 2008, 20:32, closed)
Your style and class are an inspiration to us all. Well fucking done mate.
(, Sun 27 Jul 2008, 21:02, closed)
Only pulling your chain, Mr Strap :)

(, Sun 27 Jul 2008, 22:54, closed)
Oh Spimfy
I've just sat giggling like a loon at my Monday morning desk.

Thank you and clickety click.
(, Mon 28 Jul 2008, 9:36, closed)
*click* for making me laugh and reminding me of some of the studios I've worked in where we did lots of silly things.

"Xtreme darts" was the best. The boss made the mistake of allowing us a dartboard. I discovered it was fun to go into the office next to our studio and launch the darts from 30 feet away with the hardest overarm throw I could manage. The dart had to get through the sliding patio door between the rooms, then avoid the filing cabinet and storage heater on the same wall as the dartboard, before burying itself an inch into the board, or the studwall on which it was mounted.

Needless to say, I missed a lot and we had fun patching up the holes that appeared at the end of the studio.

Now I work in a corporate studio where I can't even fart at my desk anymore. Humph.
(, Mon 28 Jul 2008, 13:02, closed)
(, Mon 28 Jul 2008, 23:15, closed)
"Using the wet & dry vac to hoover up peoples coffee from their mugs"

(, Thu 31 Jul 2008, 0:17, closed)

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