Date: Mon, 6 Dec 93 22:44:35 PST
Subject: Grape Racing
This is really something for a rainy day, so long as you're equipped with
the essentials. What you need is a microwave oven, some grapes, a small
measure of sunflower oil and some friends with which to compete.
The idea is thus. Firstly, if the microwave is of the type that has one of
those silly rotating dish-like things, which rotates your food to make sure
it gets cooked evenly, then TAKE IT OUT and THROW IT AWAY.
You won't need it for this game and, if you get addicted enough, you
probably won't use your microwave for anything else, so you won't need that
dish thing ever again. OK, next, lightly cover the floor of the oven with
a SMALL amount of sunflower oil. Just generally spread it about, to make
a thin, lubricating layer, on which a grape may skate about. Try it with
a practice grape to make sure you've got it right. Then, line up a number
of grapes at one side of the oven, with one grape corresponding to each
player. Important tip here - MAKE SURE THAT THE END WITH THE HOLE IN IT IS
POINTING AT THE WALL. This is really quite fundementally important. Next,
lay bets - or whatever - on your grape, that it will win/lose/finish in a
particular position or state/whatever. Then, set the microwave to full
power, and switch on. What happens is that the inside of the grape heats
up, liquifies, and acts as a jet propellant to push the grape along the
lubricated floor of the microwave as it shoots out the hole at the back.
Thus, each grape travels with varying degrees of speed and/or success across
the floor. The first to reach the other side of the oven is judged to be
the winner, or, failing this, the one to travel the furthest. Some grapes
don't make it even this far, and either shrivel up or explode messily on
the starting line, but this just adds to the fun. Remember to switch off
the microwave and remove the competitors before replacing them for the next
The game can be varied according to players and their individual tastes,
like "Strip Grape Races" for example, or "Stunt Grapes" where the grape must
perform a task like jumping over other grapes, etc. These, and other
variations, should keep you and your friends amused for hours.
© 1993 Peter Langston