As many of you know, I'm a sucker for elaborate yet stupid ideas. Sometimes, you just get on a roll. On the way to Omaha with Lee, Marypat and Jacob over break, we spent much of the trip talking about forming a band whose lyrics were all subliminal messages encouraging people to buy life insurance. Protect your loved ones!
All you need is a spark. Then, it was me telling them about John going to a job interview to sell life insurance for New York Life. Today, it was a girl about my age in line at the grocery store; she and her boyfriend were buying supplies for a dinner party and she asked me if I thought it would be a good way to kill time before dinner to have guests build structures out of marshmallows and toothpicks. I said I'd love it, but most people who aren't me would think it was stupid. Still, she seemed like the kind of girl who'd have friends that would take to it, so I advised here to go ahead. This lead to an extended conversation between Will and myself about the manner and limitations of such a structure. I won't bore you with the details, but I realized you'd need toothpicks with a length of the square root of 2 to act as diagonal supports inside your toothpick cubes.
We had nothing else to do in the Market Basket line, which raises an important point about the rottenness of adulthood: The portion of your brain that needs to be free in order to mull over dumb ideas is occupied by worry about the logistical details of your life. That is, unless you're one of the truly blessed people who can set aside worrying to think about marshmallow replicas.
Back to the title of the post. Here are two recent stupid ideas:
1) Down the block from me, at the corner of Mass Ave and Albany, there's an old bar called the Paradise that appears to have been closed for some time now. It's right across the street from the plain white hemispherical concrete bunker that houses MIT's nuclear reactor. The Institute does not, as a pointed rule, advertise the existence of the nuclear reactor. But it's there. Don't worry, it's safe.
Anyway, if I had money to throw away, I'd buy the Paradise and convert it into a nuclear-themed tavern. It would be called The Splitting Atom, so that hard-working scientists could say things like "Hey, you want to get a pitcher at the Atom later?" I think it sounds good.
With enough success, the Atom would become a brewhouse and make our own blends. We might have a wheat beer called Uranium-235 or a Half-Life Stout. I'll invent some kind of noxious cocktail that makes you surly and called it the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
There's already a bar further down the street called the MIracle of Science, which has the fission logo on it, but we'd put them under.
2) I would like to create a video game that's a hybrid of Dance Dance Revolution and Rock Band, where instead of playing plastic instruments together to recorded rock songs, you and your friends form a boy band and must learn to dance together. On the screen is a character who's your choreographer, who bitches you out if you're not all together. There are bonus levels wherein you must learn to navigate through a crowd of screaming teenage girls and how to lip-synch properly. When you break off as a solo artist and start cutting tracks with Timbaland, you win the game.
Ok, which is stupider?