Monday, 15 July 2013

Genius Wanted For Nefarious Scheme: Enquire Within

Are you genius? Good. Evil genius? Even better! I need your help…

I’m in the market for that superior type of mental custard that was always found on ‘The Great Egg Race’, the fabulous BBC2 show of my youth where you genius types made egg chariots with household objects and rubber bands.

Here’s your challenge. It’s a 20 foot swimming pool in blue rubber, approximately 20 feet from my bedroom window and not much further away from where I do my work. During the day, it’s occupied by one psychologically flawed child who will scream until she gets her own way. Since she also has some deep seated paranoia that will probably help her in her future career as a tyrant in a third world banana republic or an ex-Soviet caucus, she spends her day screaming and shouting and making demands and ordering the occasional putsch.

The key fact here is: without the pool, the child wouldn’t come around to her grandparents and she’d be somewhere else, out of my earshot. With the pool, I’m developing a twitch at the sound of splashing water.

Now, listen up. We are now five days from the school holidays and this problem is becoming a clear and present danger to my mental health. A hole needs to appear in one or more walls of the pool and keep reappearing until the neighbours stop inflating the bloody thing.

At night, the pool is left unsupervised. I can provide schematics if needed. I was thinking a powerful hand laser might make a hole but that would be expensive unless anybody out there (preferably the US military) can lend me one for the next six weeks. Alternatively, I thought I could use a long rod with a nail attached but I might get caught. A remote control vehicle with a pin stuck to the front would be great except the pool is behind a locked gate. Could I buy an air rifle? Would I need a license and would ‘making holes in children’s swimming pools’ be an acceptable reason for wanting to own one? What about some clever arrangement of mirrors redirecting the sun? No, you fool! This operation has to be carried out under the cloak of darkness, possibly involving a stealth helicopter and Seal Team Six…

Is there some waterborne fungus that eats rubber? Some sonic ray I could aim to puncture the pool? I’m just throwing ideas out there…. What about loud noises, electromagnetic coils and the lost writings of Nikola Tesla? Perhaps some kind of snake drill that could go under the fence and puncture the pool from below?

Darts crafted in ice! Ooh, I like that idea. Make a mould of some regulation pub darts, fill with water, freeze, and throw the buggers over the fence as midnight strikes… The evidence would disappear with the first sun of the day.

Or is that too Edgar Allen Poe?

Could I train a bat to attack?

Are the Mythbusters available?

What about a hedgehog thrown over the fence? Nobody would suspect a thing and, if they did, we could blame it on freak atmospherics…


  1. [Heinz Wolff] Have you thought of chemical warfare? Some fungal agent that could be thrown in the pool in order to turn it green by the morning. Old, milk, etc. [/Heinz Wolff]

  2. [Johnny Ball]I can't use chemical warfare on a children's swimming pool! What kind of sick twisted individual do you think I am! Of course, if the chemical wasn't too poisonous...[/Johnny Ball]

  3. My swimming pool can turn green overnight if I'm not careful... :(

    I'm sure if you bred your own algae in a milk bottle full of water and left out in the sun it would be perfectly harmless... ;)

    Indeed, it would be organic!

  4. That's actually a good point. I thought you were supposed to put stuff in pools to stop them turning the same colour as the water in our bird bath -- that green with septic tinges. Having observed this pool, it's definitely a funny colour, though that doesn't seem to bother the kids. Perhaps this problem will solve itself in a gloriously gastric way...

  5. You need to chlorinate it at least twice a week and ideally every day when it is warm... which reminds me!

    And the kids are probably doing all sorts in it too... I reckon it will look like pea soup before the holidays... ;)

  6. Nearly choking with laughter here... That never occurred to me! Christ, of course they'd be doing that in the water... I think the novelty of this pool will wear off very quickly if it needs regular maintenance.

  7. Indeed...

    The water will stay clear forever in the winter.... but in the summer you can't turn your back on it...

    Wouldn't hurt to start breeding your own algae just in case tho - and buy a Super Soaker... ;)

  8. That is actually a brilliant idea. You really are the evil genius I was looking for... ;)

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