, 24 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
With the sad news that the great @thinkgeek is closing down, I'll share a story about their greatest product, the Annoy-A-Tron, and how we once used it to drive a NIN tour manager to the brink of madness. 1/
For those unaware, the Annoy-A-Tron was an absolutely insidious office prank device - a very tiny contraption with an adhesive back designed to be hidden or stuck in difficult-to-find places. It looked like this. 2/
When activated, the Annoy-A-Tron would emit a loud high-pitched electronic beep, not unlike the horrible beep smoke detectors make when low on batteries. The beep had an incredible way of piercing an entire room, but here's the genius part, the part that made it truly evil... 3/
The beeps would emit at RANDOM INTERVALS. Not only is there something deeply psychologically irritating about a sound that has no understandable pattern, it also made the source of the device incredibly difficult to locate, because you couldn't easily hone in on it. 4/
The Annoy-A-Tron's beep seemed to come from everywhere, it had just the right frequency and brevity to give absolutely no indication of where it was hidden, if you picked a good spot for it. The best method was to stick it on the underside of a desk. And so we did... 5/
For quite a few of my tours with NIN, we had a great tour manager, let's call him "J." J was a great guy and a great tour manager, always going out of his way for everyone. He was part of the NIN family. Which means, like everyone, he got pranked a lot. 6/
Tour managing is really hard. There's so much you have to do, all day every day, and you're more likely to get blamed when things go wrong than thanked when things go smoothly. And as much as J was the nicest guy, he was also a big man from Texas who didn't take any shit. 7/
So, you had to be a little careful with pranking J, really only the boss could get away with it without incurring serious wrath. The tour manager holds the keys to your comfort on the road: Hotels, guest lists, rider requests. He has serious retribution options. And yet... 8/
When I got the Annoy-A-Tron, specifically designed as an *office* prank device and best deployed under a desk, we were in production rehearsals, and there was only one person who had an office with a desk: The tour manager. We just... couldn't resist. 9/
It was a team operation. We had the boss call him out of his office for some made-up problem, and I quickly snuck in, stuck the Annoy-A-Tron on the underside of J's desk, activated it, and got out. I signaled to the boss he could wrap up his fake conversation with J. 10/
And then, well, @thinkgeek, your little torture device worked TOO well. We'd find reasons to go into J's office to check in on him. At first it was funny: "Do you hear that? Something keeps fucking beeping! What IS that?" I know, this is all very immature. But it WAS funny. 11/
Well, it was funny until J started going so crazy from the horrible sound that he began unplugging every device in the room, trying to narrow down the source: Printers, phones, computers, smoke detectors, etc. Everything was unplugged yet the beep persisted. He was SCREAMING. 12/
As J grew more furious and obsessed, we started to get concerned. This had gone too far. But we couldn't get into his office to turn the device off without revealing our prank, which at this point would be a very dangerous thing to admit to. So we watched, nervously, as... 13/
J proceeded to physically remove EVERYTHING from the office. Unplugging wasn't good enough, he had to completely clear the office out to eliminate possible culprits of the terrible noise. He removed everything... except his desk. We were biting our nails watching this unfold. 14/
It was a big desk, too big to move easily, and anyway, why would a desk be beeping? He'd already cleared out all the drawers. At this point he's screaming and swearing, pacing around furiously, because the room is completely empty, yet the beeping persists. And then... 15/
Sweating and filled with rage, J stands on the desk and starts ramming the ceiling tiles with a broom handle, knocking them down one by one, convinced there must be something in the ceiling. He's a man possessed, and the joke has gone way too far at this point. 16/
Panicked, we finally intervened by having the boss call him out for another fake problem, and I quickly rushed in to retrieve the Annoy-A-Tron from under J's desk. When he returned the beeping had stopped. He was relieved, but also befuddled. He cautiously rebuilt his office. 17/
We made a pact to never tell J the truth about the beeping that vexed him so. It was too risky. It went too far and his rage was too terrifying. To this day he has no idea that he was brought to madness just for some cheap laughs by his co-workers. I hope he's not on Twitter. 18/
And don't worry, J pulled many pranks of his own. And normally we'd have told him, and reveled in how hard we "got" him. But I've never seen someone driven so mad by a sound than I saw J on that day. There was fire in his eyes. He was ready to kill. We didn't dare tell him. 19/
So thank you, @thinkgeek, for a tour prank so great that it had to remain a secret for all these years. Your weird and wonderful products will be missed. //
Hello @FBI can I have a witness protection
Well, this got out of hand. I don't have a SoundCloud so I'll just say: Healthcare is a right not a privilege. Trans rights are human rights. Voting for any Republican anywhere ever is a vote for racism, oligarchy, and a burning planet. Michael Keaton was the best Batman. Peace.
I got this text from @TheAaronRubin today so I guess the NIN ship is full of RATS jfc
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