What is your best, “Holy crap that actually worked.” moment?

  1. A buddy and I, after a long night of underage drinking, were pissing in the back alley on the same block where I worked. Suddenly, police spotlight.

    Cops asked what were we doing.

    “Oh, just trying to get into my shop here to get some things before going home!”

    Slip the key into the keyhole. CLICK Door opens, hop inside.

    Cheap ass landlord used the same key for the whole block.

  2. Wrapping my Xbox 360 in towels and letting it overheat to fix the red rings of death.

  3. I was at a friend’s house maybe 25 years ago. He knew I knew electronics, so he asked me to fix his TV. I said “look – designing computers is not the same thing as fixing TVs” He insisted, so I took the TV apart. I notice a big transistor off color. I wrote down the number, went home and looked up the number and discovered it was an NPN transistor. So I searched my scrap pile for a similar transistor (well, an NPN transistor with the same footprint), went back to his house, replaced the funny looking transistor with the one I had and the damned TV worked. I was amazed I had fixed it.

  4. It was mid August and I was in a park near Sudbury around Killarney National Park. He had to do some clear cutting in a horrible bramble bush area infested with horse flies. Close to where we worked there was a tool shed we were warned often had THOUSANDS of flies inside. There was no way we could get our tools out of there.

    We brought some gasoline with us and I found a glass bottle. So I filled it up with gas, put a gas-soaked rag in it, and had someone run up to the tool shed to pull the door open and run away. I lit the molotov cocktail and hurled it inside.

    This is what I was counting on. I had actually seen Molotov cocktails go off before and they usually burn themselves out pretty quickly. The gas just sits on the surface of where ever it lands and burns down to nothing. Most of it is consumed right away in a big fireball.

    And that’s exactly what happened. We had a huge ass fireball and instantly killed several thousand flies. The tool shed, although run down and filthy, was perfectly intact and so were the tools. And the lingering smoke actually helped clear the whole area of flies.

  5. I picked a desk lock with a small flat-head screwdriver and a paper clip.

  6. I’ve definitely just smacked my electronics and had them work.

  7. About 15 years ago a buddy and I had to be rescued from a mountain, but the search and rescue team were having trouble locating us. They wouldn’t attempt the rescue until they saw us due to the weather conditions and avalanche risk. I had the random idea to take pictures of the snow at our feet with the disposable camera I had on me. That did the trick. Apparently the flash reflecting off the snow could be seen all the way at the base of the mountain. That thought may have saved my life that night.

  8. When I was a kid there was an opossum family in our neighborhood. I know because within a few days there were 4-5 young dead opossums on the road. I told my mom I would catch one and keep it from being killed. I made a trap out of spare wood and junk. Mom saw it and said “if that works I’ll let you keep whatever you catch”. Named my opossum “princess” and her favorite food was peaches. Mom regretted that bet.

    Edit: here is an old picture of princess. I used to let her ride on my shoulder and mom would almost faint every time she saw it.

  9. I was in the Navy and stationed in Japan. When we flew home we did not need a passport, just our military id. Well, I was flying home and had somehow lost my military id in transit to the airport. I managed to get through check-in and security with my US drivers license and my leave papers. When I reached Canada I was pulled into a tiny room by US customs though; they couldn’t believe I got on the flight either. This was after 9/11.

  10. Cop here. During my first week on the job I witnessed a strong-armed robbery during a local music festival. The robber punched a woman in the face, grabbed her purse and ran away. Me and my partner immediately gave chase, but the robber was a fast little fucker and there was no way we were going to catch him. My partner flung his baton Frisbee – style at his legs which became entangled, causing him to fall. The robber actually gave us props when he was in the back of our car. Horrible tactics from a safety standpoint…but it worked. (Edit: ambiguous pronoun)

  11. My PhD

  12. Used a Yale key that was for my back gate on a Yale lock in Botanic Gardens in Belfast so I could take a short cut. Worked, saved myself 20 mins on a commute.

  13. Moved to Indianapolis without a job lined up. Decided to just rent a mailbox and put it on my job applications that I blanket applied for in my car while sitting in a Mcdonalds parking lot.

    Had 8 interviews lined up by the end of the day.

  14. I was medium fucked up at some fancy club in SF and without really realizing where I was going, walked into some VIP section where there were drinks on the table, women were prettier, I may have seen some drugs, etc. I immediately sit at one of the tables and start making myself a drink. A bouncer comes over shortly after and asked who I was and if I was on the list. Feeling bold I turned and in my best entitled bored voice said “does it look like I’m on the fucking list?”
    He walked away, and shortly later a group of girls sit down and start drinking with me. never expected that to work.

  15. I gave cpr to a microwave, was asked to fix it by my sister and decided to be a smart ass, it started to work again.