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Archive for December 19th, 2008

Boxed In

 

A single box can provide hours of entertainment.

A single box can provide hours of entertainment.

As most good things do it started with a box.

Several boxes were lying around the dorm and my roommate, a mechanical engineer, placed one atop our door in the classical “Box Falls on Opener Trick”. It worked surprisingly well.

Next we tried several variants on the falling box trick. One was to put the box at an angle on top of the door so it is not seen and then place a box obviously down low. The hope is that a person, after falling for the initial trick, is suspicious of the inconspicuous box (since it is) and nudges or kicks it aside. This then hits the door are drops the precariously placed box onto their head. Humor would then ensue.

This did not work as well as planned. The fault was that most people just stepped over the box or, in a credit to their critical thinking skills, looked up before entering.

No more boxes were allowed on top of the door then.

But swinging was left wide open.

Several challenges faced us. How do we trigger the swinging box? How do we hang it from a flat ceiling (we are not allowed to drill into the walls)? How do we pull the box back?

Our neighbor came and helped us for this variant. To trigger we tied a piece of yarn to two toothpicks which went into the closed door jam. When the door opened the toothpicks were released and the box came down. Then in order to hold the box back several bungee cords and yards of rope looped from the toothpicks, over my bed and back to the box. We marked and tied the optimal pull back distance after several tests. To hold it to the ceiling a flock of duct tape sacrificed itself for our cause.

It would have worked perfect. It would have been beautiful. It would have been hilarious.

Except everyone was suspicious.

The ideas remain and the pranks shall continue.

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