For instance, there was the famous Dorm Barbecue Incident of Territorial Hall. This story will be instantly familiar--in spirit if not in actual details--to anyone familiar with engineers. It all started with one of Greg's engineer neighbors, a washing-machine motor (1/4 hp) and a fan blade. The obvious idea was immediately implemented, resulting in a fan that required bricks on top of it to prevent its movement off the desk, bed, table or floor.
Such a fan simply begs for proper use. In this case it had been a long winter; and spring, while clearly on the way, was yet a month or two off. Let not such a silly impediment halt the enjoyment of that greatest of summer rituals, the barbecue. A Weber grill was found, the door was closed, charcoals were loaded and lit, and the superfan was inserted between the grill and window aperture. None present had ever seen a column of smoke make a righthand turn before, but that did not affect the fine taste of the consumables in the least. And not a whiff ever escaped to the hallway.
The TP Blizzard Incident also traced its roots to that hyperthyroid fan. Set the fan on the floor pointing up, spool half a dozen rolls of toilet paper underneath, and can you say ``instant whiteout conditions''? Of course you can.
Then there was Electric Pencil Welding. It turns out that graphite is extremely conductive, especially when you put 120VAC across it. That and a grounded frying pan really make the sparks fly. (This after the wooden pencil casing has flashed into crispy non-existence, of course.)
And who can forget the Mr. Donut Assault Force? Our hero's roommate, commonly known as Pooh Bear, worked the late shift at Mr. Donut nearby. As a result, he often brought home several dozen semi-stale doughnuts for research purposes. Needless to say, one restless night the doughnuts took to the air (along with some bottle rockets), and the next day the carpets ran red. Alas, maimed jelly doughnuts are not a pretty sight.
Yes, those were the days--days of paper-airplane all-nighters, free Junior Pacman, experimental parking-ramp physics and a set of newspaper-filled Levi's atop a pair of Nike's, which sat in a stall for a week before anyone got up the nerve to peek under the door.
Best we close the book on this for good. (But for an even more amusing story--with pictures!--about Strawberry Pop-Tart Blowtorches, click here. Also check out Purdue's infamous liquid-oxygen-enhanced barbecue grill. Greg will add links to the SpamCam as soon as he finds it again.)