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Dysfunctional Hamster Orchestra

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When I was a kid I came across a device at some amusement park that featured a "musical chicken". Naturally, I felt that all my life's experiences to that point had just been a warmup for this, the ultimate entertainment the universe had to offer: a chicken that played the piano.

You put a quarter in and that opened a door that was supposed to allow the bird to walk over to a piano that had some ground corn dropped onto the keys. Naturally, the chicken just stood there as the door opened and looked at me with his beady little eyes as if to say: “Who’s the asshole now?” It didn’t budge, it didn’t “play the piano” and I learned a valuable lesson: Life sucks. Others might have taken some other lesson away from the experience but that was my take on it.

My idea is to expand on this concept for future generations. Instead of one chicken, have 12 hamsters in separate compartments with doors, like the starting gate of a horse race. Upon depositing a quarter, the doors open in a pre- programmed sequence letting them run down a shoot where they pick up some hamster food that’s been automatically deposited on some instrument that's struck when the hamster grabs the food. A piano key, a cymbal, a bellows that blows a flute, that sort of thing. It plays the note of the song at the right time in the sequence and a song is played. Announce on the instructions that it will play “Nearer My God to Thee” or something.

The point is, the kid will put their quarter in, the hamsters will just sit there or run away from the sound of the gates opening and closing in precise sequence, everybody will get a good laugh and the kid will get a valuable lesson in engineering, namely: Just because it looks good on paper, doesn't mean it'll work in the real world.

doctorremulac3, Sep 24 2007


       Having played (and lost!) tic-tc-toe (noughts and crosses) with a pigeon, I think you just got a duff chicken.
DrCurry, Sep 24 2007

       Thanks Doc,   

       Will do. (I'll also check out the dolphin orchestra butI assume that's designed to to work though.)   

       You know, in retrospect, I think the chicken was just full. There were a lot of people there that day.
doctorremulac3, Sep 24 2007

       //in retrospect, I think the chicken was just full.//   

       that is a valuable life lesson, my friend. the chicken was full that day. when things don't go the way you expect them to, "the chicken was full."
k_sra, Sep 24 2007

       Perhaps the outside of a hamster wheel could be constructed like the drum of a musical box mechanism.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Sep 24 2007

       That'd work plus it could power the kettle.
skinflaps, Sep 24 2007

       "the chicken was full." [Marked-for-tagline]
Galbinus_Caeli, Sep 24 2007

       [doctorremulac3] - take notice: only captive raised hamsters should be used for this project. If you should find yourself in possession of wild hamsters, you shall feed them liberally without any obligation on the part of the wild hamsters.
bungston, Sep 24 2007

       [Anathema Device] Sounds like another Monday at the office.
normzone, Sep 24 2007

       //humans live in the world they made//   

       for the most part. there are, of course, exceptions. and i agree with the loss of freedom for pet owners. many's the day i'm thankful i only have plants to water.
k_sra, Sep 24 2007

       A word from the company President: Doctor Remulac 3s Wacky Animals Entertaiment LTD. guarantees that no free range hamsters are ever used for our entertaiment products. Further, DR3s WAE warrants that no hamsters were hurt in the writing of this proposal.   

       We at DR3 believe in not just preserving the freedom of the wild hamster, and the preservation of it's natural habitat, (wherever that is), but in the spirit these proud creatures embody.   

       Because at DR3, we care.   

       Doctor Remulac 3, President, DR3 Incorporated, Father and friend of the hamster.   

       (Janet, send them the "We care" letter and be sure to take my instruction note off this time for God's sake.)
doctorremulac3, Sep 24 2007

       This sounds like a job for the Theramin. You could construct a maze between the hamster and the food in a shape that produced a recognisable tune.   

       Actually, I know what I'd love to see. A bee operated theramin. No, seriously, this is not a "let's stick bees and jam in it" idea, it would be nice the have the sound of the workers returning to the hive amplified and distorted.
marklar, Sep 25 2007

       [sp: theremin.] That would be awesome!
jutta, Sep 25 2007

       does theremin work under water? after watching Blue Planet, try substituting bees for fish.
po, Sep 25 2007

       Hmmm. Great idea. A fish symphony!
doctorremulac3, Sep 26 2007

       If they played Flight of the Bumblebees, would the universe explode?
RayfordSteele, Sep 27 2007


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