Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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10 pence a look

curiosity killed the cat
  (+40, -2)(+40, -2)(+40, -2)
(+40, -2)
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A cubicle similar to a passport photo booth appears in a public place (say a square, or a tube station). Like a photobooth, it has a small space shielded by a curtain.

Unlike a photobooth, it has no instructions or clues as to its function, only a coin slot and a large sign that says '10 pence a look' (for our American cousins, this could be translated to '10 cents').

A curious person puts in a coin and enters the booth; they are instructed to shut the curtain. Once they do, they see a roughly face-sized hole, through which they see a screen which instructs them to stick their head through.

This triggers a personalised audio-visual experience. The lights go down. 'Ride of the Valkyries' plays. A glowing effigy of a cat rises slowly from below them, spinning on its axis. 3D patterns appear on the screen, creating a tunnel effect. Little LEDs around the edge twinkle, creating a hypnotic effect.

As the music reaches a climax, it suddenly stops and everything suddenly goes dark. There is a pregnant pause.

Then an automatic spring-mounted arm holding a wet (fresh) fish is released from its moorings, slapping the person full in the face. At the precise instant the fish hits the face, a high-speed digital camera takes a picture and prints it out as a souvenir.

The slapped customer, realising that no real harm has been done, exits the booth, too embarassed to let the next person in the queue into the secret (and of course also desiring that others should suffer).

bumhat, Aug 24 2006

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       I like.   

       In other news, anticipation grows for your long-awaited self-titled idea.
Texticle, Aug 24 2006
  

       I'm reasonably sure an asshat was made and subsequently deleted - not entirely sure though.
fridge duck, Aug 24 2006
  

       schrödinger's booth.   

       +
tcarson, Aug 24 2006
  

       Consider the side-effects of the fish.   

       First, you're generating a small but growing population of fish-smelling faces in the vicinity of the booth. This might attract real cats... or maybe seagulls, or something.   

       Second, the freshness of said fish would depend on the volume of trade; if you get, say, three users per day @ 10p, how many days will pass before you can afford to replace the fish?
pertinax, Aug 24 2006
  

       [pertinax] One day. The installation is not expected to be self-funding !
bumhat, Aug 25 2006
  

       [texticle]   

       hm, would that be a hat for your head that looked like an arse; a hat designed to be worn on your arse; or a hat designed for itinerant gentlemen in the USA ?   

       Or better still, a huge hat made out of itinerant gentlemen in the USA ?
bumhat, Aug 25 2006
  

       I'm sure I've seen something like this before but the old memory isn't what it used to be. I like it anyway so I'll give you a provisional croissant pending further research.
DrBob, Aug 25 2006
  

       one would need to remove all lawyers first. (+)
James Newton, Aug 25 2006
  

       //that no real harm has been done//   

       But what about the fish? [+]
Mr Phase, Aug 25 2006
  

       most excellent + [bunhat] You should look at the work of installation/sculpture artist Michel Huisman. Has made many objects which require viewer to put head inside boxes - hard to find references, but there is a very good book on his work (which I have)
xenzag, Aug 27 2006
  

       I just read this idea in the near-silent computer lab of the university I am attending, and I couldn't help but laugh out loud. [+] for the idea, and for making me look like an idiot to all those around me.
Hunter79764, Aug 27 2006
  

       Stick it in a tourist trap and have it splash the victim with water (maybe add some dye). If the tourists aren't paying enough to fund it, the local residents might :)
aguydude, Aug 28 2006
  

       Booth slaps tourist around a bit with a large trout.
Cuit_au_Four, Aug 28 2006
  

       Grade A sillyness. Build it and they will come and get slapped by a fish.
wagster, Aug 29 2006
  

       My finger hovered over the fishbone button until I read the sentence about taking a digital snap of the unfortunate peepster. That's what makes this idea great. +
simonj, May 27 2008
  

       //The slapped customer, realising that no real harm has been done, exits the booth, too embarassed to let the next person in the queue into the secret//   

       I think Mark Twain already invented this part of the concept (in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, IIRC)
supercat, May 28 2008
  

       I thought that the customer would sit in the booth, place their face in the face- shaped hole, and then the curtain would draw back to reveal that the customer was actually facing a large crowd of spectators who would look at him.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 28 2008
  

       // they see a roughly face-sized hole, through which they see a screen which instructs them to stick their head through//
- Then a better title would be "John Dory Hole".
//slapping the person full in the face//
Against the scales, one would hope!
gnomethang, May 28 2008
  
      
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