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Hitting The Fan

In the past people have ... accused me of talking shit. But nobody can say I'm not serious about my subject. In fact you could say I have a Masters degree in ... In recent months I hav

In the past people have occasionally accused me of talking shit. But nobody can say I'm not serious about my subject. In fact you could say I have a Masters degree in coprology! In recent months I have been busy writing a paper (toilet paper, obviously) entitled "What Really Happens When the Shit Hits the Fan ?". Clearly one needs to define one's terms and my approach was as scientific as it could be.

Firstly I decide to confine my researches to three types of fan:

i) Electric fans
ii) Cricket and/or football fans (depending on which one is in season at the time) and
iii) Hand held fans i.e. Of the kind which is fluttered by demure young ladies in period dramas

Secondly there was a need to be able to grade various kinds of shit according to size, weight, malleability and viscosity. This required the use of expensive scientific instruments and so I equipped myself with -

electronic scales,
a pestle and mortar,
an engineer's measure,
a sieve,
packet of rubber gloves
shower cap and safety glasses (call me a fashion victim if you like. It's my choice.)

I set up a standard desktop fan (this one had a safety grille which, although removable, I chose to leave on for the purposes of the experiment). I then ate six cans of a discount brand of baked beans and sat down to watch some old Boris Karloff movies. The horror films had the desired effect and within ten minutes I was shitting myself with fear (OK so I'm a scaredy cat too, so what?). Shortly thereafter I was busy gathering what we shall term "material" in readiness for experiment numero uno.

The fan was switched onto its highest setting (moderate breeze or number one on the Beaufort scale for any budding meteorologists reading this). I rolled the first turd* and verified its weight as 200 grammes or about half a pound if you are still using NASA units of measurement. I then fired the missile from a distance of ten feet using a modified crossbow (patent pending) designed by yours truly (talented or what?). The "chocolate cannonball" hit the fan absolutely dead centre. Approximately twenty percent of its mass clung to the outside of the safety grille. Eighty percent reached the blades.

And a staggering one hundred percent was flung off into the office where the tests were being conducted. I apologised to the executives in the immediate vicinity and retired for a shower.

Following the first experiment, office based tests had to be put on hold for a temporary period. There were three main problems. Firstly it was proving very difficult to get funding for my experimental endeavours. Usually when you request financial support for work of the kind which I do, people think you are talking out of your arse. I suppose they are right in a way . . . Secondly there were some technical refinements to attend to; certain brands of beans result in missiles of far too watery a consistency. And thirdly there was an ongoing legal problem. Something to do with an office manager's dry cleaning bill and my reply that he had signed a waiver and had been given plenty of prior warning of all possible consequences. It annoys me. It really does. They all want free publicity in the local press but as soon as anything goes wrong they don't want to know you.

That's science for you, I guess.

My next experiment involved one of the popular nineteenth century style ladies fans. Always striving after authenticity (or authentishitty?) in all things, I cautiously approached the local amateur dramatics society which was happy to supply a victim. Sorry, that should be "volunteer". For health and hygiene reasons the volunteer wore a full face motorcycle helmet and bikers leathers. The fan she held was twenty centimetres in height and described an arc of sixty degrees when fully opened. It was held at an angle of ninety degrees to the ground and with the volunteer peeping demurely over the top just to make things more realistic.

For this experiment I had conscientiously prepared five "missiles" in the comfort of my own home the previous evening. The first one was launched from twenty feet away. The results were better than I could ever have anticipated. The fan went flying , the motorcycle helmet's visor crack'd from side to side and the volunteer was left sprawled in a heap on the stage.

After beating a hasty retreat I concluded that the missiles had probably been baked for too long (one can never be too sure when using electric ovens) thus resulting in devastating ballistic qualities. Although my theatre season ticket has now been revoked I am hoping for a reply from NATO with a view to providing member countries with a regular supply of "missiles" in the event of future global conflicts.

I finally turned my attention to conducting tests with sports fans. Football fans might prove to be too much of a challenge, I decided. Dealing with irate office staff or theatre luvvies is one thing (actually it's two aren't they???) but being surrounded by lagered up soccer supporters could be a little less pleasant. Besides, if I timed it right I reckoned I could get a trip to the Caribbean out of it. So, cricket fans it would be . . .

Footnote: The experiment went as well as could be expected, bearing in mind how well all the
previous ones had gone. I am writing this from a hospital bed in what the local police have advised me must remain an undisclosed location in the West Indies. I hope to be sufficiently recovered to be able to return home in a few weeks time. As for the results of my third and final experiment . . .

The missiles had to be fired very discreetly in order to avoid any repeat of previous problems. So I launched them from my seat in the cricket ground and watched to see what would happen. The batsman hit the first one and immediately on impact it disintegrated into mere dust. I suppose he must have thought he had hit a six because he started to run for the opposite wicket. However, this was when the other team's fast bowler was just coming out. He seized his chance with both hands and promptly bowled the errant batsman out. The crowd went wild. . .

And as it turns outFeature Articles, turds ain't half as hard as cricket bats!!!

* Please note: this is not an officially recognised SI unit.

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Chaos magician, baking enthusiast, self-styled 'darkside philosopher' writer and joint owner of

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