Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Extreme Green Lofting

  [vote for,

I am recently returned from the farthest reaches of East Fenglia, where the intercalary twin requested that I meet him at a wind-farm to see a demonstration of the latest sport he had devised.

The wind off the local mountain range was brisk and, standing near the base of a monster wind turbine, I was mesmerized by a regular "whoom....whoom....whoom."

"Turn your bloody iPod off", the intercalary twin yelled at me and, doing so, I could now hear the wind turbine as the massive blades beat the air above us.

From his trusty haversack, the intercalary produced several hundred feet of bungee rope, a harness of dubious construction, a parachute rigged for base-jumping, and a small boy.

In a trice and a stiff breeze, the small boy was strapped into the harness, to which one end of the bungee rope was secured. The intercalary ran the rope through his hands, coiling it on the ground, until he reached the far end, to which was appended a crudely fashioned leather bag with a lead weight sewn into it.

"Just watch this", he said to me. Under the circumstances, this request was unnecessary.

Holding the rope about two feet from the weighted bag, he started to swing it faster and faster, keeping his eyes fixed on the whirling blades.

At the critical moment, he released the rope, and the leather bag arced into the air. He had timed it perfectly, and the bag settled neatly over the end of one of the blades as it travelled upwards.

I waited with anticipation. The intercalary waited with anticipation. The small boy also waited although, being the slower sort of Norfolk lad, he did not anticipate.

As the rope on the ground uncoiled rapidly, the intercalary turned to the boy. "Now remember", he said "when you reach the highest point it's very important to", at which moment the child hurtled skywards with a small twang and a look of resignation.

The child rose, and rose, and continued to rise skywards in a manner which was both trebuchesque and catapulty. By the time the blade had reached the vertical, the child was still ascending, and the weighted leather bag slipped off the end of the blade.

" pull the big metal ring on the parachute harness.", finished the intercalary.

We watched in awe as the child, who by all accounts was not good at remembering instructions, described a perfect parabola before landing conveniently in some bushes several hundred yards distant. We could tell he had survived by his cry of "Oh shi" as the weighted leather bag hit him.

MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 28 2012


       As I still have a valid security ID (a perk of having worked in security), I'm going straight up to the wind farm to try it out. Now all I need are a small boy and an intercalary sibling.   

Alterother, Jun 28 2012

       Enjoy, and please let us know the results or charges.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 28 2012

       Dear [Max],

       I write with the intent of clarifying a small mystery, as it were, and would be most grateful if you could clear up the reason/s for your use of the word "intercalary" to describe your possibly imaginary friend.   

       As I recall it, an "intercalary" is usually something you insert, often into a calendar to align or harmonise it with the solar year, though I am concerned you have devised some dubious definition all your own for the word.   

       If your "intercalary" is something other than one of the February 29ths inserted in 97 of the years elapsing in each four hundred, or a period of 10 mythical days between March 11 and March 21, 1582 in order to bring the liturgical calendar into harmony with the solar calendar, we should be pleased to know.   

       If you are, however, fatuously using the term to somehow denote insertion, could you please specify the bodily orifice (preferably one of your own) and the method of insertion of your "intercalary"? Posting video footage would be most helpful.   

       Kind Regards,
Your (adoring) Public.
UnaBubba, Jun 28 2012

       Dearest [Ubie],   

       The intercalary twin was born between myself and Sturton, the third of the Buchanan triplets. When I say "between", I hasten to explain that I do not mean that his birth was a joint effort between myself and Sturton. Nor do I mean "between" in the physical sense of the word (although, coincidentally, his birthplace lies roughly between the places where Sturton and I were born). He was born between us only in the temporal sense of the word.   

       He does have a first name but, due to bad lighting at the time when our father (who was one and the same for all three of us, an unusual occurrence these days) was filling out the paperwork, his first name is Buchanan. Hence, he is Buchanan Buchanan which, you will agree, could cause confusion*. Hence, we refer to him simply as "the intercalary" for convenience.   

       I trust that this clarifies matters.   

       Yours ever, Maxwell.   

       *This sort of thing seems to happen in our family with depressing regularity. I have a cousin called "27th July 1952 Beardsley", although he doesn't use his middle names.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 29 2012

       Ha - never thought of you as a calary counter Max.
xenzag, Jun 29 2012

       "…a crudely fashioned leather bag…" … "…his cry of "Oh shi" as the weighted leather bag hit him…" - that's not a very nice way to talk about your rather portly retro-fashion-loving female assistant.
hippo, Jun 29 2012

       //never thought of you as a calary counter Max// tshhh boom.   

       //any relation to 8th of July?// It's hard to know, what with the Borg not having surnames. Their family tree must be a bit of a thicket, what with all the assimilations.   

       //his cry of "Oh shi" as the weighted leather bag hit him// The intercalary has reported further developments, specifically the successful deployment of the parachute. Unfortunately, the boy this time deployed the chute far too early, whilst still in the rapid ascent phase of his trajectory. The result, shortly after the parachute attained full inflation, was that the child was brought to a rapid halt in mid air by a harness which had not been designed with due consideration for the male anatomy. Immediately beneath the child was an inflated but upside-down canopy and, many tens of yards below this, a weighted leather bag at the end of a still-taut bungee cord.   

       This situation was kinetically, gravitationally and elastically untenable, of course. By sheer coincidence, the boy hit the parachute canopy from above, at about the same time as the recoiling weighted bag reached it from below, the thud being muffled somewhat by the crumpled ripstop nylon.   

       Experiments are, of course, ongoing.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 29 2012

       Very interesting... 27 July 1952 was the date of a famous UFO sighting in Washington DC, as I recall.   

       <Licks tip of pencil stub. Makes cryptic note in tattered notepad.>
UnaBubba, Jun 30 2012

       //27 July 1952 was the date of a famous UFO sighting in Washington DC//   

       Precisely so. My cousin's mother (who was in Washington at the time) may well have been startled by that very event, precipitating the delivery.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 30 2012


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