Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Omnipotent Paper Wad

The Chinese is credited for having invented paper, which had revolutionised the use of written and printed language.

Gone are the days of landlords chasing tenants all around the town for payment - we now have lawyers' letters for that.

Gone are the days when we still had to carve our answers onto pebbles and throw them across the examination hall to our mentally-challenged friend - we now have paper aeroplanes for that.

However - while you idly scrunch up paper to place under your chair to stop it from rocking - has anyone ever sat down and wondered who had invented the paper wad?

Paper wads are to paper like Facebook is to (your ugly) face. It's all the awesomeness of paper processed, combined and compacted into one small package.

Disbelievers, you had better bow down to the drippingly-wonderful powerfulness of the paper wad.

I have used it successfully to fit short pen refills into long pens. Yes, those unreasonably short pen refills extracted from unreasonably short pens with unreasonably short lifespans.

Even as a kid, I was happily shooting paper wads at my classmates. Using various forms of propulsion including rubber bands, metal rulers and plastic straws.

I have used it to prop objects up for photography. Don't ask.

I have used it to fix a Boeing 747. Here's a pic of it, before I had embarked on Real Ultimate Macgyverism:

Ok, I admit it. I exaggerate. It's the window of a 747. The inner window. The one with no structural function whatsoever. It was rattling. I silenced it with a tiny wad of paper.

I have heard that in certain African countries, paper wads are a low-cost delicacy in the barren summer months. In certain more developed countries of excesses and waste, people would rather play with their food.

And today, I had found a new use for this omnipotent paper wad - as a hi-fi mod.

I had dismantled the woofers off my main JBL speakers so that my mom can help me bring them to the shop for repairs. Here's how the viscera of those expensive speakers look like:

So I had to use my tiny Altec Lansing speakers, which were so anaemic in bass, even playing manly music like Eye Of The Tiger made me feel like a prepubescent crossdresser.

And after modifying it with paper wads, I can now listen to Dancing Queen and still manage to beat off 10 men. The deep thumping bass makes me feel like Hulk Hogan in his pre-andropausal days!

I used a structural - yes, structural - wad to wedge the flimsy stand that was robbing the speakers of all the bassy goodness. Here's a structural wad alongside a conventional wad that underpaid Japanese salaryman chuck into rubbish bins to entertain themselves:

I then used some awesome Blutack (my friends tell me that the original Bostick Blutak is almost twice as awesome as the unbranded stuff) to mount them firmly on my desk. Big bassy things need even bigger, bassier, support to keep them still. Now, those speaker cones move against a support so rigid that Mrs Wacoal and Ms Triumph would be envious of.

The improvement was so phenomenal, I had never expected the bass to thump me that hard and I wet my pants a little bit. I wasn't wearing any underwear so that was particularly embarrassing.

But the music was lovely. And it made me a man again.

Yet another success for the paper wad!

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