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wundayatta's avatar

Did it seem like a good idea at the time?

Asked by wundayatta (58709points) April 10th, 2009

Maybe it was a prank, or maybe just youthful exuberance, or maybe you didn’t really think it through. In any case, at the time, it seemed like a good idea, but in retrospect, it looks pretty dumb.

Has anything like that ever happened to you? Please set the scene for us.

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27 Answers

hug_of_war's avatar

Story of my life.

live_rose's avatar

Me and my friends were in a subway parking lot we had gotten sidewalk chalk at walmart. We hoped out of the car. . .the alarm went of and we couldn’t turn it off but that didnt deter us. My friend laid on the ground and I traced her body on the asphalt behind the car.. . Like a police chalking . . .crime scene thing. We got back in the car alarm still going off.Laughing our heads off getting looks from other people in the subway parking lot since we still couldnt shut the alarm off. We thought it was funny . . .honestly . . .not all THAT funny.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

My brother and I started a fire in our bedroom inside what we assumed was a impervious-to-fire dump truck.. we were wrong.

buster's avatar

When I was a little kid like 5 years old my younger sister and I decided to play “barbershop.” My sis had long blond curly hair. I sat her in a chair and made her a cape out of a garbage bag. I chopped her bangs off to her scalp with some scissors I got out of my moms sewing stuff. I took the hair and hid it under some papers in the bathroom garbage can. My mom found the hair and confronted me with it. I lied through my teeth and said I didn’t do it. Of course mom knew I was lying. Both parents yelled at me then I got whipped with my moms very skinny 80’s style leather belt. I never played barbershop again.

Lupin's avatar

Many years ago (way past the statute of limitations date) My brother and I decided we needed to see what was inside the water runnoff drains built into the curbs in our neighborhood. We could just barely see past the heavy grillwork since it was so dark inside. Instead of a flashlight we took some leaves and tied them onto a long string, lit them and gently lowered the light inside.
It worked and we could see the other world beyond the grill… until our leaves burned the string and droppoed onto the leaves and other junk at the bottom. The fire got very bright and stated to shoot out of the grill into the street like a rocket engine.
The event didn’t last long but it sure scared the crap out us and cured us of the desire to play with matches.

mattbrowne's avatar

As a student before going to the US in 1988, I met a few other German students who had done this and had already come back. One guy told me that it’s a good idea to take a lot of souvenirs with you. You will get invited by American families and it’s really nice to bring something from your country. Actually, tourist shops are a great source, he explained. I lived in Nuremberg at the time, a city swarming with tourists from dozens of countries around the world.

Of course when you live there it seems a little awkward to visit the souvenir shop filled with Japanese people, but I took the advice seriously. It sounded like a very good idea. So I bought little items with motifs related to my country or city, like short glasses for schnapps or key rings. I had also heard that hard liquor is frowned upon in many areas of the US, so to be on the safe side I also considered buying beer glasses. Problem though, when you pack stuff for more than a year that’s a lot of luggage. And larger glasses can easily break. So I was looking for smaller items related to beer. I found a few bottle openers with nice motifs on them. And off I went.

The predictions had been totally correct. I got invited a lot. The people in Kansas were so kind and gracious and I was feeling really overwhelmed. The souvenirs proved to be highly useful as gifts. Depending on the impression of my hosts when we first met, I selected little booklets or key ring, even the occasional schnapps glass. My supply was dwindling quickly. When I used the bottle opener a third time or so, it created curious interest. Only later did I realize that those items were totally useless (except for the motif of Nuremberg perhaps). American beer bottles can be opened with your hand. A simple twist. That’s it. I was shocked.

So buying the bottle openers really seemed like a good idea at the time. But in retrospect, it looked pretty dumb. Ignorant. And the first times when people accepted the bottle openers as a present they didn’t even tell me. They just politely accepted them with a “oh, how wonderful”. I guess they didn’t want to embarrass me. So schnapps glasses for all might have been a better choice after all.

By the way, even in the year 2009 all beer bottles in Germany have to be opened with bottle openers. If not available people also use lighters. Some can do it with a knife or a spoon. The real experts use a windowsill, but I’ve never mastered the craft. I’ve seen people with bloody hands doing it the wrong way.

MissAusten's avatar

@mattbrowne Not totally useless! There are many brands of beer in America that don’t have twist-off caps. We have a bottle opener on a magnet stuck to the fridge, because most of the beer we buy can’t be opened by twisting the cap off. So don’t feel ignorant!

Lupin's avatar

@mattbrowne Your comment about bringing something from your home country certainly matched my experience. I traveled between the US and Japan quite frequently and always brought gifts. I used to give out real P-38 can openers as gifts for my engineer friends. Not the cheap Chinese knock-offs but real MIL spec hardware. The hardened steel and strong hinge made them useful tools for all sorts of jobs. The guys loved them and years later many still had them on their key rings. (I got them from a military surplus store.)

mattbrowne's avatar

@MissAusten – Interesting, but do you mean imported beer? I was a student at the time and couldn’t afford to any of those. I had Bud, Coors, Michelob and a few others, and they all had the twist-off caps. Or are there maybe regional differences? Is Kansas different from where you live?

@Lupin – Yes, bringing gifts can be a wonderful experience. The P-38 looks awesome on the picture. I guess it’s not allowed in your hand luggage anymore…

MissAusten's avatar

@mattbrowne Some imported, some not. Sam Adams beer doesn’t have twist off caps, and that’s an American beer. Actually, it’s the only beer I like—maybe it’s the only one that needs a bottle opener. I’ll have to ask my husband, he has more beer knowledge than I do! I tend to stick with martinis.

Lupin's avatar

@mattbrowne . I used to carry one in my wallet but stopped after security was beefed up at the airport. Why risk it?
They are very handy. Since they are both hard and tough you can pry and cut with them. You can cut the roof of a car open by opening up the P-38, putting the blade side down and hitting it with a hammer or rock to puncture the roof. Then you just hit from the back side and move it along in the direction you want.
I use one to protect a surface if I have to pound something free. I’ve used it as a screwdriver and a small pry bar. If you decide to buy some make sure they are the real ones. Usually around $1 to $1.50 for used ones at a military surplus store or gun show.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Lupin – We used to carry a Swiss army knife, see

which also has a can opener, but it got confiscated at the Frankfurt airport, when my wife forgot to put it into the checked baggage. There are a few advanced versions of the knife which seem a bit ridiculous to me, see this picture:

Why not bring an entire toolbox instead ;-)

hearkat's avatar

@mattbrowne: it costs $1400.00 and weighs 2 pounds—what’s gold go for these days? Hmmm- “out of stock”

Sloane2024's avatar

I’m about to completely and utterly embarrass myself, but here goes:

My SO and I were trying to kill some time shopping around in Belk as we waited for our table at a local steak house. As we browse through the men’s section, he comes up with this “brilliant” idea for us to make out in the dressing room. Initially, my mouth drops and I refuse to entertain the idea, that type of display of affection is sooooo not my style but for the next twenty minutes or so, he incessantly pesters me about it until I reluctantly agree. We plan the entire rendezvous out: he grabs a couple of pairs of khakis, goes to try them on, I wait outside for a few minutes then discreetly walk in. Everything runs smoothly and it’s getting pretty intense very silently, however until a lady knocks on the door saying, “Sir, is there a young lady in that dressing room with you?” He immediately replies, “No ma’am.” We wait a few minutes for her to walk away, and I start freaking out.

We formulate another plan. This time, he will leave the dressing room, find the lady, and inquire about seersucker suits while I make a break for the purse section. Once he begins to ask her about them, she diverts him to another salesperson. Just as I’m about to escape, I hear another knock on the door

“Young lady.”
“Yes ma’am?”
“I’m going to need you to step out. This is a MEN’S ONLY dressing room.”
all of this she is saying very angrily, and my voice is shakier than a 7 Richter Scale earthquake

I come out, refusing to look at her, and walk directly to the purses where my boyfriend meets me 5 minutes later…

Needless to say, I’ll never be participating in any of his “really awesome” ideas ever again.

mattbrowne's avatar

@hearkat – Agreed. This particular Swiss knife is ridiculous. Ours was a lot smaller and only cost €15 or so.

Jack_Haas's avatar

@mattbrowne funny story, thanks for sharing !

Blondesjon's avatar

I self medicate because if I didn’t, it would mean that I wasn’t drinking beer. Not drinking beer is unacceptable, irresponsible, and unthinkable. I do believe it is actually listed as a mortal sin in Leviticus. No sinner am I.

Zen's avatar

You guys are nuts. Hotel California is open.

hearkat's avatar

@Zen and @mattbrowne: I have this one in my car, and I keep a small one on my keychain. It’s practically a requirement, being Swiss. :-D

Zen's avatar

@hearkat (Off topic: swiss army knives) – I like the “fisherman SA knife” you own, but it is impractical for me. I have the “desert farmer.”

frdelrosario's avatar

It always seems like a good idea at the time.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Jack_Haas – Welcome to Fluther, Jack!

mattbrowne's avatar

@MissAusten – Since you mentioned Sam Adams, here’s a general question for American beer experts: does beer from bottles without twist-off caps taste better in a sense that the somewhat looser caps don’t preserve the taste as well? Is there a brand that comes with and without and empirical data from blind taste tests conclusively show there’s a difference? Why after all are there no twist-off caps in Europe? I think they are convenient.

MissAusten's avatar

<——-Not a beer expert! All I know is that beer in bottles tastes better than beer in cans. Maybe it’s like having a cork in a bottle of wine—traditionally, corked wine is seen as “superior” to wine with a screw-on cap. With beer, maybe a twist-off cap is seen as “cheaper.” totally making this up as I go

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