Twenty years ago, Winnetka, Illinois hero Kevin McCallister saved his home from the greedy paws of the Wet Bandits, two burglars of vastly altered heights and intelligence levels who wanted nothing more than to steal his family’s heirlooms and flood the basement on their way out. Rather than fight the two head on, the eight-year-old used wily schemes to accomplish his goals and outfitted his entire residence with booby traps. That’s right, booby traps. Like some scientifically blessed prodigy with an unquenchable desire to cause pain and embarrassment, he hooked up Rube Goldberg machines all over his three story mansion and watched his foes unwittingly trip them one after another.
As a child, I remember thinking each was an Einstein-level brain victory. I remember thinking all of them were evidence of a genius at work, but upon further review, I may have given Kevin a little too much credit. Some of the booby traps are brilliant, sure, but some of the other ones are cumbersome, ill-advised or dangerous double-edged swords. So, since it’s Hump Day and I’ve got nothing better to do, I’ve decided to order every single one of the booby traps from the worst to the best idea, complete with far more analysis than necessary.
So, grab the Pepsi out Fuller’s hands (he pisses the bed) and get ready to ward off a few Uncle Frank insults ("you little jerk"), it’s time to dig deep into Kevin McCallister's bag of tricks.
#14) Feathers To The FaceThe Idea: Pour a sticky substance onto a long sheet of plastic wrap. Tape the plastic wrap face high across a room’s entryway. Place a mountain of feathers in front of a fan and jam a pencil inside the fan to prevent it from spinning. Connect the pencil to a piece of string on the floor; so, when the string is tripped the fan will propel the feathers forward and stick to the poor bastard with sticky stuff on his face.
Best Case Scenario: All of the moving parts will flow perfectly, and the victim will wind up with feathers all over his or her face. As feathers are rather goofy when attached to a human being, this forced fashion choice will cause moderate embarrassment and lead other burglars to inquire why the victim is dressed like a chicken. This could, hypothetically, leave the feather-covered victim feeling demoralized and without the emotional willpower to continue stealing things.
Worst Case Scenario: Any of the moving parts fail to function as advertised and the contraption misfires, or the feathers only serve to enrage the victim, giving him an extra ten percent strength on account of the seething anger.
Analysis: I appreciate this booby trap in the same way I do taunting or a good end zone celebration, but it has almost no practical use.