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This is a question The B3TA Detective Agency

Universalpsykopath tugs our coat and says: Tell us about your feats of deduction and the little mysteries you've solved. Alternatively, tell us about the simple, everyday things that mystified you for far too long.

(, Thu 13 Oct 2011, 12:52)
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Not really a mystery, but a solution to a problem of which I am inordinately proud.
I am not remotely scientifically minded: I tend to count on my fingers, am baffled by technology, wave broken things in the direction of people I think might be able to fix them, that sort of thing. So despite whatever successes I’ve had in other areas of my life, when I had to write on a form recently about my proudest moment, I went with this. You may snigger but I am not ashamed.

I was alone in my flat when the smoke alarm started doing that beeping it does when you have to replace the battery. One beep every thirty seconds, beyond annoying (but then that would be the point). So I got a chair, climbed up, gripped the cover and attempted to open it. It turned out it didn’t have a nice easy hinged pull-down cover, it had a twist-to-unscrew cover that was a) unfeasibly tight and b) painted shut (there’s health and safety for you).

It would not budge. And I’m not that much of a wimp, I can fairly reliably open jars of pickled onions that have eluded others, but this mofo would not give. So having slightly injured both hands in futile aggression, I sat down for a minute when suddenly this tiny voice in my head came up with the word “leverage”. I somehow had the vague notion that it would be easier if I could wangle my efforts on the smoke alarm from a greater distance. Five minutes later I had fashioned a bespoke smoke-alarm-opener from some barbecue tongs with coasters parcel-taped to the grippy bits and inside-out parcel-tape wrapped round for extra friction (leverage AND friction! I was in the zone by this point). I scaled the wobbly chair once more, applied the smoke-alarm-opener and within twenty seconds I had the cover off.

The joy at having applied some dormant knowledge acquired in a stuffy classroom twenty years before was overwhelming and only vaguely equalled a few months later when I fixed the droopy showerhead with the simple application of a spoon. But that, as they say, is another story.
(, Mon 17 Oct 2011, 16:05, 1 reply)
Well done. Patent time.

(, Mon 17 Oct 2011, 22:40, closed)

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