Raising a Generation of Terrible Scientists | Mental Poo

Monday, February 21, 2011

Raising a Generation of Terrible Scientists

So my kids got a 'SCIENCE KIT' for Christmas and when I say "Science Kit" I mean "not remotely a science kit AT ALL" because - I'm sorry - if our country's best and brightest minds are trying to figure out how to make sugar candy out of sugar and, you know, FOOD COLORING and unless that asteroid that is hurtling towards us can be stopped with rainbow-colored sweeteners or - even better - super absorbent crystals then we are already dead, people.

Already dead.

tasty science
When I was a giant fat shit of a kid I would have RELISHED a "science kit" that allowed me to make junk food but instead what I got before there were apparently "laws" and "child safety concerns" and "concerned parents" was something like this:

old fashioned science kit

Hell yes. The "Tri Lab Pak" science kit.

Got a small, inquisitive child?

Then this kit with small containers of random caustic chemicals AND a sharp metal hammer is just the thing they need!

danger danger
Next to my house was a "barrel shed" for our trash which my dad built because he used to be a construction worker and building shit is what construction workers do when they're not passed out from drinking twelve packs of Schlitz (read: ALWAYS).

construction workers suck
So my buddy Ed and I who are apparently gluttons for punishment decided it would be a great idea to scoop up all these containers of chemicals from my Tri Lab Pak and go out to the barrel shed and then, you know, do what little kids do:

Make a bomb.

This seemed like an amazingly good idea at the time because, since we were about 8 years old, that made us experts at mixing random chemicals like 'sulfur' and 'lithium' and 'mercury' (ah, the 70's!) together so this would be a no-brainer.

Key words there: NO. BRAINER.

bad idea repellent
The kit had a bunch of glass test tubes and, for some reason, some other kind of glass container with a wick sticking out of it.

We figured that bottle was a pretty good place to dump all the chemicals into and then light it using a book of matches that was just lying around my house next to a pack of cigarettes just above the liquor cabinet and holy shit way to be great parents, mom and dad. wtf.

bad toy chest
To verify the historical accuracy of this post, I sent it to Ed to review to make sure I hadn't missed anything, at which point he replied with this:

Ah, yes.

Because what dirty bomb of questionable molecular stability would be complete without a shitload of GUNPOWDER.

With all the chemicals in place, we closed the double shed doors behind us and I picked up a barrel lid to shield us from whatever was going to happen next because, hey, safety first.

bad parenting
Ed lit the match and held it to the wick as we both ducked behind the barrel cover...

..and waited.

Match goes out.

Ed lit the match again and held it to the wick as we ducked again..


Ed: "It's not lighting."

Me: "I wish this made sugar candy."

fat kid
Frustrated, we laid the barrel lid across one of the barrels, then Ed popped the top off the glass bottle and dumped some of the contents out and laid the bottle on it's side, like Wile E. Coyote making a fuse out of gunpowder and right at that analogy you pretty much know this is going to end badly.

Without anything shielding us now, and the doors closed tight, Ed held the match to the dumped out chemical cocktail.


Ed: "Damn. It's still not ligh.."

The next thing I remember is this gigantic BOOOOOOOOOOM and a flash of light and the doors to the shed blowing wide open and OH MY GOD SO. MUCH. SMOKE and by the time I regained semi-consciousness I was two blocks away running as fast as I could (not fast at all) with Ed in the lead because, you know, we just BLEW UP MY FUCKING SHED HOLY FUCKING SHIT WE MUST RUN UNTIL EVERYONE AROUND US SPEAKS CHINESE AND WE WILL BEG FOR ASYLUM.

I don't remember much other than kind of hiding out in an alley somewhere waiting for the fire engines to fly by but they never did. DISAPPOINTING.

what i did on my summer vacation
Eventually, I wandered back to my house and somehow the shed was not actually on fire but the doors were pretty fucked up and there wasn't a single shard of glass or anything anywhere so I'm going to guess that they either completely vaporized or they're embedded in my skull which, honestly, would explain a lot.


Maybe the "Tasty Science" shit isn't that bad after all.


Vodka Logic said...

Funny how our 8 year old memory changes over the years.. I vote for the glass embedded in your skull theory. As you said, explains a lot

the mrs said...

By the time my "science kit" years came around the only kits left on the market were rock candy and make mold grow on potato kits. Basically, all these kits required was 5 minutes if work and a whole lot of walking away. (Which pretty much explains my work ethic as an adult.)

And after reading this post, I have to assume this is because some Ebola-infected motherf-er had already ruined it for the rest of us by actually blowing up his parents home and/or leveling the neighborhood lawn ornaments. I guess I could be upset that those who went before me robbed me of the chance to play with live chemicals and fire. But since I still have my eyebrows, I'll go ahead and call it even.

Also, this post was hilarious.

Dumpster Diva said...


My brother had one of those chemical kits too. Minus the hammer.

Really, if you think about it, WHAT THE FUCK WERE THEY THINKING???

My brother never bothered with it. All the chemicals leaked out onto one another and it sort of imploded on it's own.

Hey, check Facebook. Maybe Renee Moury is on it!

Anonymous said...

I liked the running part.

Anonymous said...

My kid got that kit too, along with the other 2 that manufacturer makes. He hasn't even opened this one yet, he liked the Disgusting Science one though. You get to swab things from aroundt he house, put it in a petri dish and see what grows. He swabbed the inside of our dogs mouth and her butthole. We were so proud.

laughingmom said...

My brother was the lucky one who had both the chemical science lab kit and the Electronic kit - he actually blew out the power in his elementary school with that one!

Vinny C said...

Toy makers need to catch up. Everybody knows the greatest technological advancements are coming from the porn industry.

Kimber Leszczuk. said...

My kids have the science kits to make ice cream, goo, and polish rocks. I think two of the above are kinda cool. LOL

I am in college level chemistry right now - I would have loved the kit you had as a kid!!!!

By the way - have loved your last few posts too. 17 credit hours and massive amounts of homework are killing me. BUT I HAVE heard some great dialogue amongst the college crowd I am dying to work into a post when I get time.

YOUR TWEETS keep me going through it all with a smile!

Keep them coming! Your humor will carry me all the way to my doctorate degree! :) I am a huge fan!

Al Penwasser said...

Laugh out loud funny! Too good and too true.
We only set our neighbor's tent on fire.
The bad thing was...our neighbors were the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus.
Well, that's not exactly true.
Our neighbors were George and Marge Spinelli.
But, the circus angle sounds so much cooler.

Dorn said...

Who needs science when Allah teaches you how to build a human powered bomb?

Moooooog35 said...

Vodka: I can't hear you over all the ringing in my head.

Mrs: This reminds me of those stupid rock spinner things. Because nothing says 'fun' like rocks hurtling around at 40 mph.

Irene: no hammer?! gyp.

Doug: Not me. I was plump.

Dark: Sounds like you have quite the ebola making factory going on there.

laughing: HE IS MY NEW HERO

Vinny: You're thinking of a different type of 'test tube'

Kimber: I'm here for you.

*points at crotch

Al: All tents should be set on fire.

Camping. Seriously?

Don: I don't think Al Qaida would be as fearsome with rock candy necklaces, to be honest.

Going Like Sixty said...

Tip of the propeller beanie:

You actually fact check your blog posts!

I burned down an old chicken coop once because my brother locked me inside.

We might be related.

Ed said...

You haven't lived until you've blown up a shed. Or 3.

ThePeachy1 said...

DUDE !!! I had the tri- kit. but only because the year before I got an easy bake oven and I melted crayons to make candles and set my moms bedroom on fire with these matches that were by the LIQUOR cabinet. Since my mom was passed out I was afraid to wake her when I caught her bedroom drapes on fire. So I went out to the garage and told my brothers. The next yr I got the science kit and I 'accidentally" used it with some other things my family had laying around. which in turn burned a pile of wood in my grandads shed.

If I Were God... said...

So it's YOUR fault everything you buy has a safety cap on it, and 3/4 of the label is devoted to warnings like "do not injest, spray in eyes or put on taint"

I'll be keeping an eye out for your upcoming "the day I burnt my taint" post. I'll bet it involves Nair and paint thinner, right?

Anonymous said...

My parents bought something similar to the Tri-Pak for my brother. No hammer, but definitely chemicals, test tubes, and a microscope. The one thing I remember about that kit: One of those chemicals, when spilled, will turn dark, forest green carpet orange.

Unknown said...

OMG! I can't remember when I've laughed so hard!!!! What an awesome and funny post. Thanks for making my day!

SarcasmInAction said...

THAT...is hilarious! I think I'm gonna stick to rock candy and cupcakes and safety and limbs intact kinds of experiments for my kids...

terri c said...

Aaaaahhhh, the memories.... Had friends in high school who were into model rockets. They didn't always behave quite as intended...

BadLarry said...

Never had a chemical kit growing up, and didn't blow up my shed, but I did once burn off my best friend's eyebrows.

Word to the wise, if you have any flash-paper keep it away from dumb kids who also have access to flammable liquids.

Anonymous said...

ahahaha. I didn't blow up sheds but I did have a science kit that I loved. I put everything under that microscope. The kids I nanny for had a candy "science" kit and I just laughed...that's not science...that's junk. I bought them a science kit, the build an electric circuit kit, and another thing with magnets and they looked at me like I was crazy but they ended up loving them.

CDG said...

I totally got a crazy ass science kit like that.

I wasn't a particularly fearful child, but that thing scared the shit out of me! Chemicals! Fumes!


That didn't stop me from cooking crystals, which, in retrospect, may have actually been methamphetamine.

There was a wasted financial opportunity.

A Vapid Blonde said...

I love that the one your kids got has a choking hazard warning. Just in case, you know, you get tired of your kids.


my first visit her...that was hilarious I'll be back :)

Anonymous said...

I distinctly remember breaking many, many thermometers so I could compile mercury to play with.

In my bare hand.

Which these days, NO LIE, will result in a school evacuation complete with men in biohazard suits.

I like to live dangerously. ~CrisLawson

J.J. in L.A. said...

Ahh, the good ol' days. Kids these days don't know what fun is.

StephanieC said...

Shit man, THIS should be your match.com profile.

Talk about excitement - chemicals, explosions, flame, exercise (running), testosterone, curiosity...

and Schlitz!!


nick said...

Today's science kits are put together by company lawyers

Pat said...

Another great story of your childhood. How you ever survived it is beyond me. I DO remember those science/chemistry sets, though. It's a wonder any kids survived!

Maundering mutterer said...

Try that today and you'd have SWOT teams descending on you - happened to us as kids in SA. Nothing like a few terrorism fears to get the authorities and neighbors excited about exploding sheds.

Pearl said...

I had one of those science kits too, only it killed me. Damn chemicals!


p.s. Man you are EVERYWHERE on the internet these days!! Came here through Digg just for fun. Good job!

Moooooog35 said...

Going: You burned it while you were inside it?

No. I don't think we're related.

Ed: My point EXACTLY.

Peachy: Because nothing says 'fun childhood' like pyromania.

if I were God: WHOA WHOA. WHAT am I not supposed to be putting on my taint?!

Joshua: But no fire?! Lame.

Jack: Let me guess: You live in the South?

Eva: You're welcome, my lady.

Sarcasm: wuss.

Terri: If I actually had a model rocket that worked, I can't even imagine the devastation.

BadLarry: Ah, hindsight. Such a bitch.

Jewels: Scar Jo and Reynolds nude will get you every time.

CDG: Are you saying that you're the inadvertent creator of Ecstasy?

Vapid: NICE.

IWASNT: Welcome! Enjoy the show!

Anonymous: I suppose that explains your telekinesis.


Stephanie: My dad's preference was actually "Black Label" but I think that's way too obscure.

Nick: assholes.

Pat: I am truly lucky to be alive.

I think.

Maundering: ..and this story is written where?!

Pearl: YOU'RE A GHOST!?!

Kinda creepy.

MrsBlogAlot said...

Damn this was funny!!!!!

I only experimented with drugs as a kid.

Look at all the fun I missed!

Anonymous said...

i like to think the vast majority of us are more intelligent than the south but still we have our share of those who cant seem to stop blowing themselves up

its the midwest....nothing good to do but cruise the 4h babes, throw stuff off the bridge, cow tip and apparently build meth labs

i find rum passes the time quite well

sheila said...

This generation of kids are screwed. All they know how to do is virtual. Too many lawsuits and whining parents have taken the fun out of childhood.

Chelle said...

I had lawn darts and almost that EXACT science kit. I remember the little bottles of chemicals like Phenolphthalein solution which I generously eye-dropped into everything, including the milk to see if it would turn pink. The kit didn't have a hammer, but that's okay because my Dad never ever locked up his guns.

Toe said...

My brothers friend lived next door to Fort Ord in Salinas, CA. They thought it was a good idea one day to collect all the shells and empty them into a can then light the can on fire. It took a long time for my brother's eyebrows to grow back.

Good times, good times.

Lauren said...

So what does it say about me that I totally want that science kit?

PBJdreamer said...

YOU rock

seriously my fav new blog

If you had not blown up the damn shed you could be keeping a miniature horse and a dog in there

right now as we speak...

(Kage) got distracted again

that is all

Alexandra said...

Oh, moooog.

"More Schlitz, please.

Mooooog, there are no words for you.

Anonymous said...

Stick with the kit....

Cake Betch said...

Hahahaha and I thought lighting a shitload of newspaper on fire in the front yard of our neighborhood during a strong wind was stupid.

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