The only evidence of me with a Potato Gun that exists...and even min its not even, its a friends in New Zealand
I dont rememeber if i ever told you about my potato gun story, so i am going to give you the very brief and abbreviated version of all three "incidents" that i had with them. It all started in 10th grade with my chemistry teacher taking us out to the local park and showing us his potato gun. Dude was like "PV = nrT" right? you rememeber that shit? hilarious. So anyways he thought that shooting a potato at 300 miles per hour out of a huge chunk of PVC was not going to overly persuade any of his impressionable students to design and build their own guns with the intentions of NOT studying PVnrT but instead with the intentions of deliberate and premeditated destruction of anything a potato could destroy:
OK so i just remembered that i actually have 4 potato gun incidents:
1. 1st potato gun i ever owned. I had no idea about the specifics of the glue you have to use, I didn't know that PVC glue actually melts and rebonds the pieces together, effectively making it one giant piece with no glue line - didn't seem overly important to me at the time and i figured that some nasty-strong 2 ton epoxy would be a good glue to use. Dammmmm i was wrong. So the gun did actually function for a while and i did the general "destroy anything i can" with it and had lots of fun. Then i hung it up for a whle and didn't actually use it for a few months. These would be the months of Fall - when the world of NH starts to get cold. So i go outside sometime around christmas and see the gun sitting in the garage and i'm like - OH YA! i forgot about you my little beauty - let's go play! And so i took her out, loaded her up and stood in my driveway ready to take out some trees or something. What i failed to realize is that while the gun sat in the garage and went through all the cold and warm cycles of nights and days the epoxy had become brittle and was more or less useless. So - in my ignorant ways - i loaded loaded her up, aimed and FIRED! BAAAAAAAAABOOOOOOOM. OF COURSE - the style in which i held the gun was completely rediculous and i was actually cradling the back of the gun in my arms. This ended up being a nasty nasty idea. So the entire back cap of the gun (not just the screw part but the screw part AND the part the screw part screws into) came flying off backwards (potato still in the barrel cause the explosion went backwards and not forwards) and blew into my forearm (what i was cradling he gun with) tore open my arm, the fire ball that engulfed me burned my shirt, singed most of my eyebrows off and the sonic boom caused me to go temporarily deaf for 20 minutes or so. I ran inside cupping my hands over my ears, blood pouring down my arm and dripping off my elbow and started screaming at my parents (screaming only cause i had to yell to hear myself not cause i was in any panic or anything) needless to say the potato gunning was stopped for a long long time. OK phew that was incident numeral uno
SOOOOO the next summer i was bored and decided to build a second one: Long story short i used the correct glue and had tons and tons of fun...but again this time i left the pot-gun to sit in the garage waiting to be used again, and their it sat for the entire winter: My theory for this one is that the warm cold cycle of the days, along with the chemicals in the hair spray we used as propellant, started to eat away at the plastic. so when i pulled it out the next summer and shot it the damn thing blew up in my arms again. this time it shattered though and shrapnel went everywhere - i got seriously lucky and didn't actually get hit by anything, but again, another lesson learned
OK OK ...i just took a 6 hour break from writing this e-mail. Time to get back to the goods cause this is where the story picks up!!!
I'll be quick with the 3rd incident. Basically we built the most massive, powerful, ridiculously crazy potato gun you could imagine in college.
We calculated ratios for the barrel to chamber volumes to maximize power. We purchased, from the internet, a PVC barrel that was rifled (the length of the inside of the barrel has spire groves it in that spin the potato so it shoots straighter and faster!!! We also installed two ignition points so that more gas was combusted at the same time when the trigger was pulled, again maximizing power...so if you get the picture so far we had the most bad ass potato gun in the world.
First incident with it was somewhat harmless...i took it home with me for christmas and went out shooting with 8 or 10 other buddies at the end of my driveway (an old new england dead end road) and we were hitting a street sign and denting and bending the crap out of it. Neighbors called the cops. cops came and i had thrown the PG in the woods and no one knew how to talk our way out of this one. The cops came out firing questions at us and i simply stepped up, told them we were lighting fireworks off and just having some fun and they let us off Scott Free!!!! Epic! I dont know how we got away with it but it has happened with this group before too.
side story... We got pulled over on New Years eve with 10 christmas trees tied to the top of a friends mini-van and 8 more trees tied in a bundle behind it that were getting dragged by a length of rope tied to the bumper . The trooper walked up very calmly, asked us what in the hell we were doing and and we just told him we were gathering them for a massive bonfire at a buddies house and the cop was like...SWEET - have fun! and we were like .HOLY SHIT - they let us go scott free. So ya, thats a story and a half for another time.
The 4th potato gun incident occured at Virginia tech with that very same gun. After Christmas i brought it back down there and we had our ski team semi-formals one night. I was living in a typical college student apartment complex and we had the apartment on the top floor which had a deck that looked out onto another exactly identical apartment building about 60 feet away (lovely place i swear). So anyways, me and 2 of my roommates were all on the ski team and were getting ready ( getting dressed up a bit and doing some pre-gaming) I was dressed - slacks, shoes (maybe) and a nice shirt and tie and i was just waiting for everyone else when all of a sudden BAM, the lilght bulb came on and i was like...hmmm i'll play with the potato gun while i wait.
SOOOOO...i get the potato gun out of the broom closet, find the hairspray, get the potatoes and raming rod and load the gun up...i go out onto the porch and its about 10pm so its dark and i just shoot it into the woods/suburbia - not overly responsible since i was "pretty sure" the potatoes cleared all the houses and landed in the woods - but i never did actually verify that! But anyways, after 2 or 3 shots into the darkness i grew board of it...there's a big boom when the gun fires but then such a let down as the potato disappears and you dont get the satisfaction of it hitting anything...so i loaded it up again and looked for something obvious to hit...
AHHHHH HAH! found it! Sure enough the wall facing me on the next apartment building over was without windows...so it was this giant 3 story tall 40 ft wide dark target!, Perfect right? no windows to accidentally break, no way to miss it - just like hitting the broad side of a barn, so all in all it was perfect!
So there i go, loaded gun aimed at the wall and i pull the trigger!! in the famous words of my good friend shaun McCracken "KABLAMOO"
it doesn't take long to realize something has gone significantly wrong...error signs seem to be popping up everywhere "Abort mission" seems to be a common thought running through my head.
In complete and utter disbelief i stared at the no longer windowless wall only to realize that i had just shot a potato through the exterior wall of this apartment building into someones bedroom, and their bedroom light was on, and it was shining a giant spotlight out of the bowling ball sized hole i just created.......FUUUUUUUUUCK! but Fuck in a holyshit this is bad but holy shit thats rediculously amazing kind of way.
I ran inside, pulled the blinds, hid the potato gun, ran back to the blinds, peeked out and realized that my neighbors were standing on their porch, looking at the hole in the side of their house and then looking back at me peeking through the blinds...I watched as one of the guys walked back in his place, down the stairs, across the courtyard, into my building, up to my door and knocked...
Right...McGyver time...No problem, i'm on my way over to fix it, i tell him. So i go over - clean his walls of potato, Vinyl siding, insulation and sheet rock, cut a piece of siding out of MY building from behind a bit of landscaping then Insert it through the wall from the inside of the kids bedroom and patch the outside hole in the vinyl. Then I get some mud and tape and plaster the inside hole in the sheet rock and pray the owners of the apartment complex never find out.
They dont of course (since i did such a damn amazing job at fixing the hole) but my neighbors enact revenge one day and shoot our sliding glass deck door with a BB gun and shatter it and then have their house searched by the owners of the complex and get fined $150 for having the BB gun!!!!! epic...hilarious!!!! and the luckiest part about the whole thing is that 2 of the people that lived there we're in the same program as me so we knew eachother so the entire time it was just a hilarious set of events (Once i threw a 3 pound cow liver onto the low angle roof right above their deck...it sat there for weeks and rotted and dripped bits onto their deck each time it rained...they threw expired sour yogurt containers back at us....hahahaha)
ahhh the good memories...
Ah Hah! i just remembered a 5th incident with a potato gun. In New York at a friends uncles house back when i was in high school i donned my baseball glove and ran 2 or 3 hundred feet out into a field and asked the uncle to shoot the potato gun at me...not a pop fly...right at me...i was ready...I WAS NOT READY !!!!!- the potato went by the side of my head before my eyes could pick it up and before i could even lift my glove....FLAG IT! BAD IDEA! Again, i got lucky...but i did ask for some pop ups and chasing down a potato from 4 or 5 hundred feet in the air is awesome!
We also once tried to shoot our friend on his scooter and that was funny cause that was the actual game "see if you can make it down the driveway with out getting hit" ONCE AGAIN NOT BRILLIANT
And one other time we just decided to shoot the gun straight up into the night sky and everyone got 3 seconds to run like hell then had to hold still and wait silently until the potato fell somewhere - those were some tense seconds wondering if you were gonna get french-fried!