Do you use your powers for good, or for AWESOME?

Since the Ultimate Water Gun was BoingBoing‘ed in June, I’ve been getting requests from Dutch photo editors for high-res pictures of the gun.

Now, I’m a sucker for European press. I was called “New York Ideas Man Johnny” in the bilinglual Dutch/English magazine Pulp after doing this photo shoot with Consuelo and Oraia; how can even outrageous vanity aspire to more? Well, it can, I guess: I wanted to do something so great, so fantastic, so blow-the-clogs-off that every photo editor wearing socks with their sandals will run the results every month for a year.

The ingredients

  • The Ultimate Water Gun, with its shiny silver jacket.
  • The fabulous World Famous Pontani Sisters. The last time the Pontani Sisters’ paths crossed mine was when they graciously judged the results of Mustaches for Kids NYC in 2002.
  • My 1977 BMW R100/7 and Checkoslovakian Velorex 562E sidecar outfit.
  • Kate’s mom’s 1960s Austin Healey 3000 Mark II convertible.
  • Maybe a Bell 47 bubble-canopy two-seat helicopter, if Rob from Lancaster Helicopters consents to fly out to the runway where we’ll be shooting.
  • A new Ultimate Water Gun helmet made from a new-old-stock Shoei Rebel stars-and-stripes Eval Knieval-style metalflake helmet.
  • Various imitations of 1970s action-adventure toys, like the Fisher-Price Adventure People “Daredevil stunt plane” pictured — that’s by way of a stylistic anchor.
  • Photographers Julie and Viva.
  • Helpers driving down from NYC, for which I am everlastingly grateful.

I’m driving all around West Chester today, trying to gather parts and get stuff lined up in time for the shoot tomorrow. I’ve already managed to locate some back boards at Dudas’ Diving Duds in West Chester; I’ve got a long list of other stuff to round up, too!

Update: It’s now 2:52 PM, and so far I’ve met a woman who runs a fire safety company and a macaw rescue foundation (one macaw, after three years in a small cage — responded to a year of TLC and revealed the ability to sing the Mexican Hat Dance) and local fire-safety destination The Fire Store, where I found some AWESOME rescue supplies. The Fire Store sells cool-looking vinyl alphabetic stickers for your vehicle, but only in the letters “A C E L R N T” and “S”. I’m sure there’s a good reason, but I haven’t a clue what it is; it’s not a store for newbies. Though if you want radio holsters, hatchet holsters, gun holsters, barrack pants(?), locker organizers, or brightly-colored hundred-dollar flashlights, it’s the place for you. Now I’m off to see about those scuba back boards, and get lots of garden hose supplies.

Update Two: 6:25 PM. This has been a magical day. After gathering lots of clear tubing, hose nozzles, crimping ferrules, and pop rivets at Maxwell’s Hardware, I pointed the GPS at Dudas Diving Duds, a familiar brand name in West Chester, but a place I’d never been to before.

The trip to Dudas Diving was… incredibly awesome. it’s located in a suburban development, but you roll up the driveway past a thick screen of trees, and it turns out to be the original house that used to go with the land. The shop is on three levels in an old, sprawling barn, and it’s filled with friendly, sunburned dive instructors. I used to walk past Dudas’ driveway several times a month in boarding school, and I never suspected that it was actually a HUGE HIVE OF COOLNESS. I mean, seriously: you think high school is boring, and there’s this whole cluster of, like, salty wreck divers and their specialized equipment just steps from the path where you used to mope back and forth to the strip mall. What’s the lesson there?

A high point so far, while gathering various backplates and webbing from the parts bin in the repair shop in back: “So, what are you going to do with this stuff?”
“Oh, you know, three dancing girls and maybe a helicopter.”

Update Three: 8:20 PM, and we’ve gotten the baby to sleep. Now I’ll go out and start working on the blocks that hold the hoses and hardware on the helmet.

Update Four: 11:49PM, and garage contains two shiny new ULtimate Water Guns. Better. Faster. Stronger. First thing in morning, must get up, load van with changing-room tent, other odds and ends, drive to Helicopter Museum. Great tiredness stealing definite articles. More to come tomorrow.

One response to “Do you use your powers for good, or for AWESOME?”

  1. OMG you must tell Dave where you are doing this. I know he’ll want to witness it in person and hey – my daughter will get to meet a Pontani!


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