Operation Justice Unlimited: Construction Notes

I built some things for this game. This is what comes from reading too much cockeyed.com.

Blinky the Three-Eyed Fish Hat

[Photo by Wesley Chan: Larry fully equipped]
This snippet of Wesley's photo shows me wearing the Blinky hat and the bandoleer. Special bonus off to the side: one of Brian Larson's nimble hands.

For a while, I was on Team Mystic Fish for the Genome game. One of the pre-clues to this game alluded to the Simpsons television show. I thought about Team Mystic Fish uniforms and the Simpsons one day when I saw someone wearing a shirt adorned with the smiling visage of Blinky, the Three-Eyed Fish from the Simpsons. What fish was more mystic than Blinky, whose third eye was obviously open?

When I went to the comic store, they did not have any Blinky t-shirts. They did have one Blinky squeezy-toy, though. I bought it. Somehow I would adapt it.

Then I was relegated to bench-warmer status for the Genome game, but I was still on the team for the Justice Unlimited Game. How to adapt this fish? I could not think of a great way, so I decided to mount it on an old hat.

This squeezy toy had heft to it, however. When I mounted it on the hat brim, I got an unbalanced hat. I put the hat on my head, then turned my neck quickly; the hat slid down over my eyes. I turned the other way; the hat fell off. This would not do. The squeezy toy was made of rubber, but it was filled with water. I decided to puncture it and drain it, hoping that it would hold its shape.

I let the fish-water drain into my toilet. The fish's rubber exterior held its shape. Excellent. I let it dry in the sun. I tried putting an LED inside the translucent rubbery fish to see if it looked good when lit up from within, but it didn't. So I took the LED back out. I sewed the empty fish onto the hat brim, and it was just fine.

I had underestimated the glitter, however. The squeezy toy's water wasn't plain water. It was water plus soap plus glitter. I guess it made the toy more interesting--when you shook it, the glitter moved around the interior of the fish. But the glitter was no longer in the interior of the fish. The glitter was in my toilet.

Some of the glitter flushed away, but most of it stayed. When I used the toilet for something else and flushed, the glitter swirled around with everything else in the toilet bowl. Various substances which were normally drab and uninteresting were now sparkling and magical.

No, I didn't take any photos. It looked about like you'd expect it to look. The glitter endured for a few more days. Every trip to the bathroom during this time was an occasion for wonder and delight.

AA Battery Bandoleer

[Photo: AA Battery Bandoleer]

"Do the bullets come out of this?"

I was at a costume shop on Haight Street. The clerk was showing me a fake plastic ammo belt. I wanted to slip out the bullets, slip in some AA batteries. In its bag, I could not tell if this was possible. "I don't know," said the clerk, "Probably not."

I decided to chance it, bought the belt. There was a little confusion--the clerk was just charging eight bucks, and the belt cost more than that. But I straightened that out in a hurry.

[Photo: AA Battery Bandoleer]
Zooming in on the battery bandoleer

Back home, I opened up the bag. I was able to slip the bullets out of the ammo belt just fine.

I went to the drugstore on the corner. They collected used batteries for eventual placement in the appropriate toxic waste site. I asked the nice lady behind the counter if I could have a bunch of their used AA batteries. She didn't bat an eyelash, just handed me a big bucketful. Now I had plenty of batteries.

At home again, I forced some AA batteries into the belt. The batteries were wider gauge than the bullets, a tight squeeze. The batteries were heavier than the bullets--the battery-laden belt could not support its own weight when picked up from one end. So I got out my sewing kit and backed the whole thing up with curtain fabric I mooched from my mom.

This turned out fine. When none of the team's batteries gave out during the game, I was almost disappointed.


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