h a l f b a k e r y
"Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
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When large buildings are demolished,
there's usually a crowd of spectators at a
safe distance. Carefully timed charges
or pulverise load-bearing elements in a
precise sequence, so that the building
collapses inwards and downwards in a
neat, telescoping pile of dust.
It's a little
bit fun to watch, but it could
so much more so.
For an immodest fee, Dr. No's Demolition
Team (a wholly-owned supersidiary of
MaxCo. Horse Rendering and
Hydroelectric) will stage a demolition to
Half an hour ahead of time, a gyrocopter
will arc in over the adjacent rooftops and
land outside the doomed building. A
linen-suited figure (who, for an extra fee,
can be pursued by a bowler-hat-wearing
midget) will fire a wrist-mounted
grappling hook up to a seventh floor
window, winch himself up, and gain
Nothing else will be heard for some time,
apart from the distinctive sound of an
olive being dropped into a martini glass.
A few moments later, sounds of a tussle
will emerge from a ninth floor window,
followed by a low-pitched hum. The
words "No, Dr. Buchanan, I expect you to
die!" will drift out towards the waiting
Pin-dropping silence will be broken by
sound of an ultrasonic wrist-watch
shattering a large pane of glass,
forty thousand gallons of water will burst
out of the eleventh floor windows,
carefully missing the crowd in the
area. As an optional extra, realistic
sharks, pirhahanas or electric eels can be
included in the deluge.
For a slightly more immodest fee, at this
point, marines can rappelle down from a
helicopter onto the roof, gain entry
through a ventilator, and emerge soon
thereafter to abseil down the face of the
building and make their escape.
As a crowd-pleaser, you can select from
(a) an ominous hum which mysteriously
increases in pitch and volume (b) the
mechanical ticking sound which is made
only by the digital clock on a nuclear
bomb or (c) the sound of a large vat of
cooling fluid overheating, accompanied
the popping of rivets and the occasional
scalding-steam-induced scream of a
As demolition hour approaches, the
suited hero re-appears at a fifteenth
window, supporting a semi-conscious
bikini-clad woman. For an additional
the bikini can be dispensed with, and
replaced by a tress of long hair cascading
and obscuring intimate body-parts.
(Please note - subject to availability and
Wearing a concealed safety harness, the
linen-clad figure grasps the top edge of
the immense "Global Comm" banner that
(for no apparent reason) drapes the
building. Concealed pulleys lower him
and his female companion to the ground,
accompanied by a realistic ripping sound
as the banner tears.
As soon as he hits the ground, our
operative ducks and rolls*, getting clear
the building just as the final sequence of
charges are activated. Realistic solar-
furnace-overheating sounds and
tearing-metal effects precede the first of
the demolition charges, carefully placed
destroy the central supporting columns
the building. Thwarted evil laughter and
the distinctive sound of a dastardly
escape-pod-door being closed are just
audible as the shards of sugar-glass spin
through the air, missing the viewers by a
carefully-judged three metres.
A succession of louder tortured metal
sounds, and the distinctive rumble of
pieces of machinery spinning off their
bearings, reverberate from the lower
windows. A highly-paid stunt-minion is
one of the last people to run from the
building. (If you have opted for our "all
frills" package, the minion can be on
The final explosion is augmented by
special whistling, ricochet-type noises
are never produced by normal
these are the dying cries of a World
Dominator's Evil Empire collapsing.
As the building starts to cave in and sink,
very neatly, into the cordoned-off area,
auxilliary charges in the upper floors
realistic-looking polystyrene oil-drums,
each bearing the word "TOXIC" -
towards the crowd (NB - an extra charge
levied for any realistic-looking
oil drums which are lost or damaged).
Finally, as the asbestos-free dust settles,
the popping of a champagne cork, the
sound of tinted electric windows closing,
and a gently surprised female voice are
heard from around the corner.
[*a duck-and-roll buffet lunch for
spectators can be provided for an
MaxCo. can also offer a ship-scuttling
service for vessels up to 100,000t
displacement. Please be sure to ask
about our "Carribbean" and "Penzance"
||We have considerable resources at our
disposal. Additional dummy floors can be
built (most conveniently at the top of the
building) to allow a more dramatic
||//This part may be a little difficult in a
building of, say, 12 or fewer stories?//
[UB], I have to tell you, as a fiend, that your
persistent use of a question mark at the
end of a statement is only reinforcing the
Australian stereotype? And that's, like, a
bad thing? I'm sure it's not applicable in
your case, but it would be, like, an easy
mistake to make?
||English is both my first and second
language, and I have a working
knowledge of both American and
Australian. In English, we'd say "I think,
old chap, this part would be a little
difficult in a building of, say, 12 or
fewer stories." Alternatively, we might
re-phrase it as "Wouldn't this part be a
little difficult in....stories?"
||In spoken English, one might be a little
more colloquial, but not in written
English. No offense intended?
||only UB can make the word *concession* sound like a threat?
||// sp: offence. // By George, you're
right; I was lapsing into American there?
||Regarding most speech being a series of
non-sequiturs, I have to admit to having
some friends like that too.
||This is turning out to be worse than we feared.
||We should? Maybe we were making
concessions? And thank you. (And yes, I
know one should never start a sentence
||I concede, and am in your debt.
||MaxCo. prefers to maintain a discreet
presence in the demolition business. This
is proving to be a challenge.
||BorgCo prefers an indiscreet presence, characterised by huge, unexpected explosions, the wail of emergency-service sirens, and manic laughter, not necessarily in that order.
||But we are always seeking new partners. .....
||//careening towards the crowd// With respect, I'm fairly sure you mean 'careering'.
||bun bun bun bunbunbun! and you grammar nazis, please do it to a less attractive idea...
||//With respect, I'm fairly sure you mean
'careering'// No, I meant 'careening',
which means to move swervingly, violently
etc. It's partly synonymous with
||From the American Heritage Dictionary: //Whatever the origin of this use, however, it is by now so well established that it would be pedantic to object to it. // So, as a pedant, I feel vindicated. My hunch is that land vehicles only started 'careening' as a result of an error by an American broadcaster in the 1970s, but I can't prove this and may be very wrong.
||//a slightly more immodest fee//
||Would that martini be shaken, no stirred or stirred, not shaken? Seems important to this story in some strange, yet loving way. Of course, we could say the helicopter is a Russian model...polited with love.. Folks would have a ball if in the backgound there were thunder. The idea is brilliant and would make tons of gold for the the right person...but I just can't put my finger on why I say that. Perhaps some of the stunt people involved would live and others would be let to die. Of course, they could be only faking their death, in which they would appear to live twice. The show would be for the audience eyes only, who would spy it out of love for the James Bond themes. The demoliton man could use a golden gun and a golden eye to start the demo sequinces. He, of course would never be held responsible if anyone get's killed...he would have an exemtion license to kill.
||Quite so. If your name weren't Bob (and if
you didn't make all those dreadful puns)
I'd kiss you right here - a pucker-lips now.
||Hi Max. I have a large-ish space station cleverly hidden in orbit around the earth that I no longer have any use for. Would you be a nice chap and destroy it for me in the spectacular manner of your choosing?
||Many thanks. Toodle pips!
||Oh bugger. You mean the one we did last
week wasn't yours??? Someone's going to
catch some shit for that.
||Rediculously over the top = [+]