Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Got a problem? Mullet over.

There's a backstory to why I got this book for Christmas, but all we really need to know is that when I was still living with Dad, I was frequently called upon to save the day by my aunt. Her pump would crap out on her, or the lawnmower wouldn't start, or (on more than one occasion, believe it or not) one of her cats would get lost in the heating ducts and I'd go over there and solve the problem. So she thought it might be useful fo rme to have a book like

What Would MacGyver Do?
Brendan Vaughan

Vaughan set up a website and posted ads in several magazines asking people for real-life "MacGyverisms," where they had improvised their way to a unique and creative solution to whatever problem they had been facing. Cool idea, and there are some great stories, but as even Vaughan notes, there are some great MacGyverisms in bad stories, and some lame MacGyverisms in great stories. Though he claims to have weeded out a lot of both of these, as well as some lame MacGyverisms in bad stories, it seems like a lot still slipped through the cracks on him.

Not that the book isn't entertaining--I even laughed out loud a couple times, and for somebody who was reading a good portion of this over the weekend while curled into a ball and tensing up to ward off the cold frosting the inside of his apartment, that's a pretty strong statement. But there were entire chapters where the MacGyvering of a situation (I'm going to try to use that name in as many parts of speech as possible by the end of this review) was nothing more than saying something clever at the right time. And a couple stories involved people who were obviously doing WAY too much work in their "clever solution," like the guys who tag-teamed sucking water through a garden hose to siphon it out of a pool. Guys, listen--the hose just needs to be full of water, ok? Throw it in the damn pool!! Get all the air out under water, bend one end of it to hold the water in, then move that end downhill. It might--might--be a more elegant solution than trading spit on the end of a strange garden hose you found laying in the dirt at this rented house. I'm just sayin'. And with all the stories posted by pseudonyms, you'd think the guys smuggling cannabis in from Amsterdam would be among them, but no--proving that being clever is not a permanent state.

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posted by reyn at 7:27 AM

2 Comments:

Blogger Elizabeth said...

If the definition of a "MacGuyverism" includes using everyday objects as weapons, I think I may have a few...

1/02/2007 2:10 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

Gee, Elizabeth making weapons out of everyday objects? I didn't see that one coming.

I personally think the tag-team pool water sucking is a metaphor. Or something.

1/02/2007 4:56 PM  

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