Let’s play a game…

No, not Global Thermonuclear War, but a more intellectual (and less destructive) game.
It’s commonly said that, “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” — while such a sentiment tends to be viewed as somewhat macabre, I think it’s right on the money: if a person is committed to violence, they will find a way to make it happen regardless of the availability of a specific type of weapon.
Evidently the British don’t seem to understand this, and have even gone so far as to make and market an “anti-stab” knife. While the rounded tip might foil ((Hah.)) thrusting attacks, it’s still quite effective for slashing. Will they take the edge off next?
Anyway, I digress. I was talking about a game. The game is as follows: find an ordinary household object that is not generally considered a weapon and make (or describe, if you don’t wish to actually modify it) it into a weapon (practical or not) using, if required, only ordinary household items in a reasonable amount of time. Let’s assume the weapon is for use against a single opponent, and will not present undue risk to bystanders (that almost certain rules out things like gasoline).
Obviously someone with some metal and a CNC mill could make just about anything, but let’s assume that CNC mills aren’t commonly available but, say, basic hand tools (file, saw, etc.) are. Same thing with time: someone with years of time can craft just about anything. Let’s be reasonable.
Bonus points to the most absurd-yet-practical examples (e.g. anything involving rubber chickens), objects made into weapons in a brief time (say less than two minutes), and those using unexpected-yet-common household objects (e.g. popcorn kernels, cooking oil, etc.). Extra bonus points for those who provide photographs.
Here’s a few that I could think of off the top of my head:

  • The antennas on my wireless router would be rather effective at poking someone’s eyes.
  • An aluminum soda can torn in half makes a somewhat effective knife.
  • Electrical cords to my computer could make a decent garrotte, rope, or shocking weapon.
  • The flash mechanism in a Kodak (or other brand) one-time-use film camera can be employed as a makeshift shocking weapon ((I’ve done this before. It’s quite entertaining.)).
  • While perhaps a bit obvious, my Maglite flashlight could serve as a bludgeoning weapon.
  • Same thing with a padlock in a sock.
  • Spray-on whiteboard cleaner, being mostly alcohol, would make an excellent incapacitating weapon if sprayed in someone’s face.
  • CD/DVD disks, when broken, are quite sharp and could be used as knives.
  • As chocolate is slightly abrasive, one could use a chocolate candy bar to polish the concave surface on the bottom of a soda can to a mirror-like finish, then use it to focus the rays of the sun onto someone, thus dazzling and/or burning them. ((This is also a reasonably effective method of starting a fire if all one has is a soda can and a candy bar. Try it sometime!))

What can you think of? Since not all of us can be armed all the time ((I, for one, am frequently in the laboratory on campus, where weapons are prohibited.)), this game actually has a practical purpose in that the use of improvised weapons could be lifesaving.
Update: Corrected some incorrect grammar/spelling/word use. I’m an idiot.

9 thoughts on “Let’s play a game…”

  1. A quick trip from the garage to the kitchen:
    An electric drill, the broom. Box of nails. Electrical tape. The oven, cups, plates, forks. Ice tea. Pecan pie.
    Here we go. Set the pie and tea out for an unsuspecting brit to bend over and attempt to pick up. Our over the pond friend is unable to do so because the pie is nailed to the ground.
    Meanwhile, drill holes in the forks. run nails through them and bend the forks so the nails won’t come out. Tape them all together in one giant wad of doom. Take a dozen or so 4 foot strips of tape, and tape them to the broom handle like a mace. Sharpen the broom handle on the concrete while you are at it.
    While the Queen struggles with the pie, smack her over the head with the fork-nail mace. If the mace does not come apart, repeat. If it does fall apart, poke her with the stick.
    Shove her in the oven for the win.

  2. Although I can’t claim credit for it, what would go to Homer Simpson, but you have the cinder block in a chain.
    As for the rubber chicken, you could cut up the rubber and make a nice little sling shot out of it and send various sharp objects at people.

  3. Computer Parts Only:
    Hard drives are good for bashing and any bare PCB is good for slashing.
    If you’ve got a computer case without rolled edges just hacksaw of a chunk of it and you’ve got yourself a pretty good knife (though I have a feeling the hacksaw would be a good enough weapon without dismembering a computer case).
    Power strips of decent size could be used as a makeshift flail.
    Ethernet cable could serve well as a whip if tied onto the end of some sort of stick.

  4. Take the junk mail flyers from your mail box today, roll them up in a slightly cone shaped manner, hold the thick end firmly, and the pointy end becomes an adequate stabbing weapon – not as sharp as a knife, but very durable and rigid enough to put dents in dry wall. It may or may not be able to penetrate someone’s torso, but it concentrates a lot of force in a small area and a jab to the mid section would be extremely painful.

  5. Well, you can sharpen one edge of a credit card simply by dragging it along a concrete wall. This can be used to cut an opponent’s throat.

  6. Take the tube of a standing lamp and pull the cord out. Take a piece of paper and roll it into a cone shape that just fits the tube. Put a nail into the cone until it comes out the small end and tape it into place. There you have it, a blow gun.

  7. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never felt disarmed while being in a campus laboratory. Physics labs may be different, but around chemistry labs (which are the ones that I am most familiar with) there are plenty of things that can be used as weapons. Lots of concentrated acids/bases, glassware, acids/bases in glassware, flamables, tools, etc. That’s part of why chemistry is so fun, you get to play with lots of potentially nasty stuff and are able to do it in a way that you can live to tell about it.

  8. Aaron: Alas, physics labs tend to have large, heavy (e.g. immovable) instruments. Unless we can force the bad guys into the accelerator beamline there’s not much we can do to them in the lab.
    Maybe hit them with a wrench or something?

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