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

For the Advanced Swami
  (+30, -1)(+30, -1)(+30, -1)
(+30, -1)
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Last weekend, I lay on a bed of nails. As I was lying there, I thought about how science had taken the awe out of many feats I found wondrous as a child.

Now I have nothing against science, but I do like wonders. And while modern illusionists put on quite a spectacle, in the end, you know in your heart that what you witnessed wasn't real.

Swamis, shamans and other mystics are being marginalized in the imaginations of an increasingly jaded public. But they may be able to compete with contemporary distractions by updating their ancient acts to include modern technologies.

The most obvious improvement I could think of at the time was the bed of nailguns.

A holy man would lie down on an ordinary sheet of plywood which, in turn, would be secured above a great many nailguns with their muzzles pointed up. On his signal, a disciple would press a button, and all of the nailguns would fire simultaneously.

Having been conditioned by a lifetime of these sorts of stunts, and practicing a bit of mind-over-matter mumbo-jumbo, the holy man would be suddenly lifted off the board as thousands of nails pushed his flesh in perfect synchrony.

It is likely that most swamis would begin performing this new feat with relatively dull concrete masonry nails. As their physical and mental conditioning improves, though, they may transcend the concrete nails and find they can accomplish this feat with 16-penny nails. The holiest of holy men may ultimately be able to do this with finishing nails.

As with any stunt worthy of awe, mistakes will occasionally be made. But cleanup of tragic accidents would be simple and efficient. As few as two disciples could just pick up the plywood board, turn it over, place it on top of a pine box and add a few more nails to keep it shut. Cover with dirt, and you're done.

And on the bright side, if the deceased was a particularly well-known holy man, jewelry depicting a rectangular board could be made and marketed to his followers.

If, by some miracle, this is eventually done with finishing nails, yet the public is unimpressed, I suggest that the entire bed of nails idea be scrapped, and replaced with a bed of power drills.

Guncrazy, Nov 24 2004

Nail found embedded in construction worker's skull http://www.usatoday...16-nail-skull_x.htm
[hippo, Apr 26 2006]


       Maybe I'll get to this some day.
swamilad, Nov 24 2004

       I like.
FarmerJohn, Nov 24 2004

       does it come in a double? [+]
etherman, Nov 24 2004

       I dunno. You can do the math on a bed of nails and show that the distributed force of gravity is no longer enough for the nails to puncture the skin. But here you're adding the force of the collective nail-guns.   

       This would be like dropping some distance, let's say five feet, onto a bed of nails. Sounds a whole lot more risky.   

       Think I'll stick to walking across flaming coals.
DrCurry, Nov 24 2004

       Maybe you can eventually work your way up to bullets.
Worldgineer, Nov 24 2004

       Strangely, this reminds me of a "Bed of Roses"
theircompetitor, Nov 24 2004

       Perhaps our enterprising swami could defray some of the cost of the nailguns by running a rapid allergy testing service on the side. Coat the tip of each nail with a different allergen, lay the subject down, and POOF! Naturally the results would be spoiled for anyone allergic to nails.
egads, Nov 24 2004

       I've seen a toilet seat bed-of-nails for the most devout but cannot find a link. I would ask klaatu for his help but he seems distracted...
po, Nov 24 2004

       Heh, You could work your way up to a Hilti.   

       I've been shot with a nail gun before (as it turns out, those things have hair triggers) and I can attest to just how bad those things hurt.   

       As previously mentioned by [DrCurry] you're adding the force of the nail guns... those things can run in excess of 100psi of pressure, easily putting a 4" rod of steel through any number of materials (all of them much tougher than you)   

       On the other hand, i'm (+)'ing this for the darwinian aspect
photojunkie, Nov 25 2004

       The problem with the dissemination of the wonder of this feat, assuming it is possible, is the credibility knock a phenomenon takes when it appears on television. Better ban cameras of any sort, wherever the Bed of Nailguns is to be performed.
calum, Nov 25 2004

       A super-quick way to ascend into heaven.
wagster, Mar 01 2005

       I would want to be very, very sure that the nail-guns were very, very well synchronized.
Basepair, Mar 01 2005

       Replace the nails with acupuncture needles, and you could charge people $100/hour to do the feat for you. And then there's the Yoko Ono variation, where the nails are replaced with green beans, and you lie on them nude while singing "yes no yes no" non-stop for 12 hours.
luxlucet, Mar 02 2005

       I misread this as 'rail guns'.   

       Still sounds pretty deadly. Like someone mentioned, + for the Darwinian element.
imaginality, Apr 26 2006

       News story linked, to demonstrate that it's possible to be shot in the head with a nailgun and not notice.
hippo, Apr 26 2006

       While you're at it; Lion-taming. It's more fun to watch if the lion was exchanged for a more suitable animal, for example a velociraptor.   

       Something tells me [Guncrazy] has lost faith in the circus.
kuupuuluu, Apr 26 2006

       [hippo], I wonder if he's related to the guy who didn't notice swallowing his toothbrush...
imaginality, Apr 26 2006

       Yoko version ROCKS! No, wait ... SUCKS! My bad - thought it meant Yoko would be beta tester. Big hairy BUN
elhigh, May 09 2006

       We've been assuming that unmodified nail guns will be used. Dial down the air pressure and polish the mechanism, let a good gunsmith work on the trigger, and you could get an impressive release of air with only a few PSI of propulsion.
normzone, May 09 2006


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