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

For when idiots talk
  (+141)(+141)(+141)
(+141)
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It happens all the time, someone says something stupid and it all goes silent. Well fill in these awkward gaps with the tumbleweed dispenser! A small container with a button on the top, which when pressed rolls a miniature tumbleweed replica across whatever surface it sits on.
fridge duck, Jan 25 2005

Tumbleweed Dispenser ~bz [bristolz, Feb 21 2005, last modified Jun 28 2005]

maybe this time he'll take the hint [hob, May 16 2009]

schematic [hob, May 16 2009]

Tumbleweed Connection http://www.sa-cd.net/showtitle/2532
[normzone, Jan 25 2005]

Tumbling Tumbleweeds by Bob Nolan http://www.cowboyly...mbleweeds-1899.html
[Mustardface, Jan 27 2005]

(??) Never Eat Soggy Waffles http://www.geocitie...ssault/tumblew.html
Sorry about the poor quality, it scanned all fucked up. [AfroAssault, Feb 26 2005]

Oops, it wasn't tumbleweed that went out of fashion in the 70's http://www.thegrumbleweeds.co.uk/
Never anno after you've just got back from the pub. [AbsintheWithoutLeave, Apr 24 2009]

Hey, look what I just found ! http://www.superpoo...likes-your-band.jpg
[normzone, May 15 2009]

Hooray! http://www.youtube....watch?v=FwZjlg-vExE
Someone made a real-life dispenser [fridge duck, May 15 2009]

Showdown... http://xkcd.com/789/
[normzone, Sep 06 2010]

Lyrics "Attack of the Giant Hogweed" http://windywillow....-giant-hogweed.html
[normzone, Jul 05 2011]

Phobia for awkward gaps of silence http://www.youtube....watch?v=PW5wy7VqmZA
A phobia workshop (1. of yells, 2. Shmulik: of apologies, 3. Rickey: of recurrences, 4. Keren: of awkward gaps of silence. (How long does that silence have to be? That one was on the border. 6. Shmulik - I'm late, sorry. Hears other people's phobias and barks. [pashute, Jul 24 2013]

[link]






       It doesn't even have to be a miniature, it can be stored compressed and pop out of its container and expand.   

       Interesting story: I was recently in the western prairies, although in the northern territories, and I saw a tumbleweed for the first time. I tell you no lie when I say I was nearly doubled over laughing when I saw the first one. And when a passer-by asked what was so funny, they didn't understand.
cuckoointherye, Jan 25 2005
  

       This is better than the sound of crickets chirping for those awkward, you're-such-an-idiot silences. Tumbleweed. Heh.
Machiavelli, Jan 25 2005
  

       Thanks for a good laugh! (WTAGIPBAN)
krelnik, Jan 25 2005
  

       That's good, you should post it on the halfbakery.................   

       ........................ tumble.... tumble.... tumble.....
wagster, Jan 25 2005
  

       This made me remember a time when I lived in Wyoming; during recess, a friend told a joke that no one laughed at. Out of nowhere, a tumbleweed smacked him in the face. Irony was a foreign concept to us then, but I'll be damned if it wasn't hilarious.

Also, I suggest watching an episode of the "Clerks" cartoon series that features a Tumbleweed store going out of business due to the Quicker Mart across the street. Excellent idea.
AfroAssault, Jan 25 2005
  

       shredded cellophane, the cats would go crazy for this.
dentworth, Jan 27 2005
  

       awesome ++++
benfrost, Jan 27 2005
  

       +
energy guy, Jan 27 2005
  

       Could it also play a sound effect of wind rustling over the desolate plain?
wagster, Jan 27 2005
  

       [wags] Better yet, place some of [mach]'s crickets inside, and you'll get both the tumbleweed and cricket chirp, telling the offending party they are an idiot with as many senses as possible.
Hmm... what smells idiotic....
brodie, Jan 27 2005
  

       HA!   

       (... put them in glass cases on walls... "In case of awkward silence, break glass.")
sophocles, Jan 27 2005
  

       Once upon a time, I was going to post the "Bad Joke Cricket" - a device for making the noisy cricket chirp in a room silenced by a bad joke. The aural equivalent, if you like, of a tumbleweed. But such things exist, and this is far better. I should have thought more ambitiously. :)
Detly, Jan 27 2005
  

       Japanese gardeners have special techniques for growing perfect miniature tumbleweeds, so finding a source is no problem. But what of the drifts of miniature tumbleweeds that will soon blow down our city streets, supplanting the native plastic bags from their ecological niche?
robinism, Jan 27 2005
  

       Oops, there goes another tumbleweed...
robinism, Jan 27 2005
  

       (sung:) "Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds." (see link)
Mustardface, Jan 27 2005
  

       //Japanese gardeners have special techniques for growing perfect miniature tumbleweeds//   

       Bonsai tumbleweed? Fantastic!
Machiavelli, Jan 28 2005
  

       Now I'm no [bristolz] or [FarmerJohn], but damn it [UnaBubba], I made one just for you in comic strip form. As soon as I get my hands on a scanner, it's on, bitch.
</chappelle>
Oh, that's why.

*UPDATE*
The pic has been scanned, see link.
AfroAssault, Feb 02 2005
  

       bristolz, I love the illustration!
fridge duck, Feb 07 2005
  

       Could it play the theme music from 'The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly?'
RayfordSteele, Feb 11 2005
  

       Illustrate away! I think playing the sound of chirping crickets will be a useful addition, the theme of the good, the bad, and the ugly is an idea, I shall ponder this...
fridge duck, Feb 20 2005
  

       Good one, Afro!
FarmerJohn, Feb 26 2005
  

       Thank you, thank you. I give full credit to the open container of gasoline in this closet I'm typing in. Why is my hair made of scorpions?
AfroAssault, Feb 27 2005
  

       A well timed *sniff* has the same effect. Pastry for creativity.
Th3Lung, Feb 27 2005
  

       What a truly funny comic strip, Afro. Makes me laugh and especially at the timing which is conveyed so clearly.
bristolz, Mar 21 2005
  

       Afro - Top Marks!
gnomethang, Mar 21 2005
  

       Wonderful work, [AfroAssault]. I had to save it to my halfbaked folder.
normzone, Mar 21 2005
  

       Solid gold, Afro.
Detly, Mar 22 2005
  

       Once again, many thanks. Unfortunately, it cut off the bottom half which features Bob Hope beating the guy in the hat to death with a hammer.

(cue tumbleweed)
AfroAssault, Mar 22 2005
  

       I think your tumbleweed dispenser is a good idea.... but... is there only one tumbleweed provided... If this is the case then problems arise... I for one would not like to chase after this single tumbleweed... and i dont think i would be willing to lose this after paying. There should be a pack of 3 or 5 that come on purchase... maybe refill packs that can be sold seperatly.
StrookDansenKonijn, Apr 17 2005
  

       Though it is not mentioned in the text or shown in the illustration, most everyone on this site site is aware of the fact that at the back of the tumbleweed dispenser is a cartridge of 24 compressed tumbleweeds that installs through the bottom of the dispenser.   

       Within the cartridge, each flattened tumbleweed is layered with a thin tabbed plastic sheet that both separates the tumbleweeds and allows the dispenser to pluck just one (by grabbing a tab) from the cartridge and ready it for rolling.   

       Each tumbleweed is laced with a very fine denier monofilament webbing that allows the dispenser to pull the flattened tumbleweed out into its natural round shape just before release. In a clever bit of engineering, the webbing has just enough elastic twang to propel the tumbleweed a short distance across a flat surface before the wind catches and carries it away in classic tumbleweed fashion.   

       Selling for about $27USD, the OEM tumbleweed cartridges are a bit expensive but third party tumbleweed refill vendors are starting to sell knock-off cartridges at greatly reduced prices.
bristolz, Apr 17 2005
  

       Synthiweeds.
wagster, Apr 17 2005
  

       I Can't Believe It's Not Tumbleweed.
hidden truths, Apr 17 2005
  

       Perfect invention, brilliant drawing and strip, fabbo annos....I can't take any more. I'll have to only allow myself small rations of this idea or I'll implode.
squeak, Aug 10 2005
  

       uhh...tumbleweed and plains are associated with idiocy?
sninctown, Sep 24 2005
  

       Sure, if that's what you want.
bristolz, Sep 24 2005
  

       This is fabulous!!!
Grumbleshark, Jun 29 2007
  

       Wow, that was an old [bristolz] anno tailing on this. I remember those days.
normzone, Jun 29 2007
  

       I had always associated this idea with Bristolz.   

       Maybe because I saw her illustration first before reading this idea. Brings back memories of those days.
neelandan, Nov 07 2008
  

       Wow, this idea has not a single bone. Even Tails for All (my personal favourite) has some. This must be by far the most voted on idea to have such an achievement.
Germanicus, Dec 06 2008
  

       A laser instead of a gun.
daseva, Apr 21 2009
  

       I think a digital version of this idea could be used for email. If you sent an email to someone and she did not reply, you could forward the original message to the recipient again, with the addition of a tumbleweed that slowly rolls across the screen.
bungston, Apr 21 2009
  

       I used to be incredibly excited by the thought of tumbleweed as a child.
nineteenthly, Apr 21 2009
  

       //I used to be incredibly excited by the thought of tumbleweed as a child//
Has it got a less exciting adult phase too then?
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Apr 23 2009
  

       Do they even have tumbleweeds in the UK?
blissmiss, Apr 23 2009
  

       //Do they even have tumbleweeds in the UK?//
We did in the 1970s, but they quickly went out of fashion.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Apr 23 2009
  

       //We did in the 1970s, but they quickly went out of fashion.//   

       Of course, a lot of people had trouble letting go, which resulted in a lot of awkward moments and a brief resurgence in tumbleweed sales.
In the end the recursive annoyance started playing havok with the weather, and we couldn't be having with that - they were outlawed shortly thereafter.
fridge duck, Apr 23 2009
  

       There was that failed attempt at 'new tumbleweed' in the mid-80s, but I think everyone agreed that it just wasn't the same.
hidden truths, Apr 24 2009
  

       No, no tumbleweed over here, which is why i was excited. The thing is, it's effectively a biological wheel and you don't get many of them to the pound.
I can't think of a metaphorical equivalent to the tumbleweed in British parlance.
nineteenthly, Apr 24 2009
  

       I'll sell ya some.
blissmiss, Apr 24 2009
  

       Ha ha ha ha!   

       I think someone had one of those while I as on road trip! We weren't talking until all the tumbleweeds (there were, like, thousands) came bouncing across the road!
BouncyPaw, Apr 24 2009
  

       And then you set your paw upon it?
blissmiss, Apr 24 2009
  

       // think by releasing dome chemical or something//
Do other brassicas communicate with other architectural constructs, I wonder?
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Apr 24 2009
  

       Plants generally signal to each other quite a lot. For instance, apples coordinate their ripening by releasing ethylene.
I've been reading about this, and there is a species of hedge mustard which does the tumbleweed thing, though British hedge mustard doesn't. I can see how it could happen.
nineteenthly, May 15 2009
  

       I can't believe this is on the front page on the same day I happened to stop by. Still awesome.
AfroAssault, May 15 2009
  

       up_on_cloud_nine, I am now curious what constitutes danger to a cabbage, and what the other cabbages are going to do with that information. Useful knowledge for those planning a sneak attack, having the ability to knock out their defenses.
tatterdemalion, May 16 2009
  

       ***Afro***...okay everyone gather round for a group grope...I mean hug!!!   

       HELLLLLOOOOOOOO!!!!
blissmiss, May 16 2009
  

       All this idea needs is the sound of a gentle breeze, and a distant bell tolling.
Dub, May 18 2009
  

       Hi Afro! I've been away too, nice to see familiar names.
hob, May 18 2009
  

       Starts talking rubbish, (something I do quite often anyway) just to get a tumbleweed to come out.
xenzag, May 18 2009
  

       Uh oh I think we may have a hob-fro. (Is afro and hob one in the same? How else could you explain the uncanny coincidence of them both coming back within moments of each other?)   

       Or is it a fhrooba?
blissmiss, May 18 2009
  

       [bliss] - "Hobo Salt"
[Dub] - I thought there was no way to make this idea any better until now.
AfroAssault, May 18 2009
  

       Amazing - great idea [+], but I feel an innate desire to bone this :D
devnull, May 28 2009
  

       Great illo, [hob].
normzone, May 30 2009
  

       I havn't bunned this yet... granted, anybody who boned this idea would probably get run down on the street by half a car anyway [+]
xxobot, Feb 23 2010
  

       You know, this doesn't only work for stupid statements. It also works for faux pas, bizarre statements and statements of such towering genius or wit that no-one can follow them. Unless that would require a different kind of weed.
nineteenthly, Feb 24 2010
  

       // a different kind of weed. //   

       Probably the sort you smoke.
8th of 7, Sep 06 2010
  

       //// a different kind of weed. //   

       Probably the sort you smoke.//   

       []   

       [/   

       [_.........@
spidermother, Jun 03 2011
  

       Baked.
theleopard, Jun 03 2011
  

       [spidermother], nice tumbleweed illustration.   

       I keep thinking of Genesis "Attack of the Giant Hogweed". (link) to lyrics, but it's worth Groovesharking the tune for a listen.
normzone, Jul 05 2011
  

       Added link 'Workshop for silence gap phobia' 8 years later. Still miss bris.
pashute, Jul 24 2013
  

       This has always been my favourite tumbleweed dispenser post.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 26 2013
  

       ^ In the top 3 for sure.
AusCan531, Jul 26 2013
  
      
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