It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

The following is an article from Uncle John's Curiously Compelling Bathroom Reader.

Life is constantly presenting us with interesting challenges. These challenges have many possible solutions … some good, some not so good, and some just plain bad. These belong in the third category.

The Keys to Success

Challenge: A tourist at Montana’s Glacier National Park wanted to take a picture of a squirrel that had scurried away to its rocky den.

Bad Idea: Trying to coax the animal out of its lair, the man dangled his only set of car keys in front of the opening.

Outcome: The squirrel darted out, snatched the keys right out of the man’s hand, and disappeared back into the ground. Rangers tried to assist the frantic tourist, but the squirrel (and the keys) were nowhere to be found. The man had to call a locksmith out to the park and pay a hefty sum to get his car back on the road.

Backfiring Booby Trap

Challenge: A 66-year-old Dutchman had some very important “stuff” in his garden shed and was afraid someone would steal it.

Bad Idea: Using some ropes, he devised a booby trap that hung a shotgun inside the door and set it to go off when the door was opened. Then he proudly opened the door to give his friends a demonstration.

Outcome: The man was shot in the stomach by his own gun and needed emergency surgery. After he recovered, he went to jail. (Police discovered the “stuff” he was guarding: 15 full-grown marijuana plants.)

Light One Candle

Challenge: A 29-year-old St. Paul, Minnesota, man, identified only as Robert wanted to clean the grit out of his bathtub.

Bad Idea: He used gasoline to clean the tub, which left the bathroom smelling really bad. To mask the odor, Robert lit aromatic candles.

Outcome: Robert blew up his apartment. He sustained severe burns, but survived. (The apartment did not.)

Drove My Chevy to the Levee

Challenge: In 1993, 24-year-old James Scott lived on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River. His wife worked on the Missouri side. All Scott wanted to do was “party,” but his wife wouldn’t let him.

Bad Idea: Scott removed some sandbags from a nearby levee, hoping the river would wash out the road that his wife used to take home.

Outcome: Not only did Scott wash out the road … he also flooded 14,000 acres, destroying crops as well as dozens of homes and businesses, and causing a local bridge to be closed for more than three months. After bragging about his “success” to his friends, Scott was arrested and sentenced to life in prison (the maximum penalty for “causing a catastrophe”).

In Need of a Lift

Challenge: Somjet Korkeaw, a 42-year-old office worker from Bangkok, Thailand, was leaving work on a Saturday afternoon when he suddenly realized he’d forgotten something and had to return to his office on the 99th floor to get it. Unfortunately, the passenger elevator had already been turned off for the weekend and the stair doors were locked.

Bad Idea: He decided to take a small cargo elevator (designed to carry food and documents). It was small, so he had to crouch into a ball to fit, but it was the only way back to the office.

Outcome: Korkeaw weighed 150 pounds, far too heavy for the lift to carry. Result: It got stuck between floors. He had to wait, bent over and crammed inside the little box, for more than 40 hours until the building reopened on Monday morning.

Shell Shock

Challenge: A 19-year-old man from Spokane, Washington, wanted to make a necklace out of bullets. The only way to string the necklace together was to punch holes in the live ammunition.

Bad Idea: He punched a hole in the live ammunition.

Outcome: He survived the explosion, but will never play piano again.
The article above is reprinted with permission from Uncle John's Curiously Compelling Bathroom Reader, a fantastic book by the Bathroom Readers' Institute.

The 19th book in this fan-favorite series contain such gems like The Greatest Plane that Never Was, Forgotten Robot Milestones, Ancient Beauty Secrets, and more.

Since 1988, the Bathroom Reader Institute had published a series of popular books containing irresistible bits of trivia and obscure yet fascinating facts.

If you like Neatorama, you'll love the Bathroom Reader Institute's books - go ahead and check 'em out!

(Lightbulb hat image credit: New York Costumes)

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Cartridges, not bullets.

Bullets in normal small-arms ammunition are entirely inert. The assembled cartridge is what contains gunpowder and a percussion primer.
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the second last one sounds like BS. There is no 99-floor building in Bankok. The tallest building at the moment is in Taipei with 101 floors, and the next tallest is Petronas in Malaysia with 88.
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Go with the flow! The book you need during those little private moments, 1 page stories, 2 pages stories, even 6 pages stories, depending on the business you have to do ;)
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