Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Helicopter Crisps

Or chips, if you're of the other-side-of-the-Atlantic persuation.
  (+5, -1)
(+5, -1)
  [vote for,
against]

And no, this isn’t about feeding helichopters (bearded or not) with petroleum-impregnated snacks. Because that would just be silly.

Back in primary school, when I was just a young pup, we had sycamore trees at the bottom of our playground. Every year they’d shed their seeds and send them spinning to the ground, giving us easily-amused kids fistfuls of new toys to play with. I loved those little seeds. For those of you unfamiliar with this particular natural delight; basically, the seed looks a bit like a comma – the seed itself is the dot, and there’s a thin, leaf-like membrane that forms the tail. I’ll post a link with photos if I can find one, but the end result is that the trailing membrane acts as a kind of wing, and the seed spins slowly through the air as it falls to the ground. I don’t think I could count the hours I spent throwing these up in the air and watching them spin to earth, or chucking them out of windows, even tearing little bits off the membrane in order to attain the perfect aerodynamic spin. Simple things please simple minds, as they say.

Anyway - enough nostalgia already. Back to the idea. I’m thinking it wouldn’t be too hard to cut thin slivers of potato into that same sycamore-seed shape. Fry them up and sell them in a Pringles-type container (because they’d probably be too delicate to sell in a bag) and that’s the gist of my idea.

Think of the fun you’d have in munching through these crisps. You throw each one high in the air, and then catch it in your mouth as it slowly spirals back down to you. Your friend is feeling hungry? Toss a crisp his way, and let it waft down into his salivating gob. My cat also has an almost worrying crisp fixation – this would drive him almost insane as he has to wait for the tasty snack to gently drift into the range of his hungry paws.

And the flavours could be fun too. Provided the spinning motion doesn’t centrifrugally fling all the flavouring to all four corners of the room. Stratospheric Salt and Vinegar, anyone? Or perhaps Sikorsky Salt and Vinegar. Bell-Huey Prawn Cocktail Flavour?

I'm going to shut up now.

lostdog, Jun 05 2003

Helicopter Link No.1 http://heronsgate.o...camore/default.html
Gives a nice picture of said spinning seeds. [lostdog, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Helichopter Link No.2 http://waynesword.p...ar.edu/plfeb99c.htm
A tad more exotic... [lostdog, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

[link]






       Loopy, but cute.
DrCurry, Jun 05 2003
  

       <Bob Hope/>Thanks for the memories</Bob Hope>
thumbwax, Jun 05 2003
  

       Those "helicopters" could go pretty far sideways after you throw them in the air. That's the main advantage the seeds get from the wing. Can you see yourself (eyes to the ceiling) across the dance floor at some party to catch one? - Will be real funny, the first time!   

       Perhaps sell it as novelty item in small packages.
kbecker, Jun 06 2003
  

       Nice!   

       Playing with chips .... A good idea!   

       I want to have boat chips to sail over my limonade ... I want to have straw chips to empty my glass ... I want to have chess chips to eat my opponent ... I WANT CHIPS!
breuk1, Jun 06 2003
  

       Ah, plane crisps - dart aerodynamically into your mouth from halfway across the room (if they're aimed well). I was kind of thinking that Helicopter crisps might get caught by an unexpected updraft, and cause the eater to run about frantically trying to catch it in their mouth. Perhaps work off some of the calories from eating the damn thing in actually managing to eat the damned thing.
lostdog, Jun 06 2003
  

       [breuk1] reminds me a lot of [lostdog]'s cat.
k_sra, Jun 06 2003
  

       Me too. But my cat manages to say all that and more with a single persistant cold hard stare. Think Paddington Bear. With claws.
lostdog, Jun 11 2003
  

       Sycamore seeds are markedly heavier at the seed end - disporportionately so - the seed itself is far more dense than the leaf/blade. So, if a true sycamore shape is wanted, the crisp could be fashioned from varying densities of reconstituted potato, though that would complicate the manufacturing process some.
my face your, Jun 11 2003
  

       Perhaps, to complicate the manufacturing process even further, the "seed" end could consist of a little potato bubble filled with concentrated flavouring. Although lead flavoured crisps might not go down to well. Or might go down too well.   

       Or, you could fill the bubble with dip - a tiny package of salsa or sour cream, maybe. Or you could just attach a peanut to a crispy wing, and have two snacks in one easy (if difficult to catch) bite.
lostdog, Jun 11 2003
  

       The chips would have to be incredibly light in order to achieve the desired effect, so much so that eating them would be very unfulfilling!
RoboBust, Jun 12 2003
  

       Probably someone jealous of lostdog's enviable track record. Its only June but I think we know who our "Rookie of the Year" should be. (Well, if we even had such a thing).
krelnik, Jun 12 2003
  

       no, when it comes to conspiracy or cock-up - my money is on the latter.
po, Jun 12 2003
  

       a conspiracy of one?
krelnik, Jun 12 2003
  

       Wonderful idea. The only drawback would be if salt crystals flew into your eye on the way down.   

       Hell, the pain is worth it! I want some! [+]
Klaatu, Mar 16 2004
  

       Just the thing to feed to off-duty penguins. [+]
English Bob, Mar 16 2004
  

       Interesting. Maybe attach a small motor to whirl it around and it could fly.   

       PotatoChip5, your cleared for takeoff.   

       Roger that.
DesertFox, Apr 30 2004
  

       My dogs would fight over them : they love chips and chase flys. + .
finflazo, Apr 30 2004
  
      
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