What can you do with 11 toy sharks and 11 keychain laser pointers?
The internets know – SHARKLASER!
Allow me to explain.
Several parts of the web application I’ve been working on since last June generates emails to the user. As a result, testing that application requires lots and lots of email accounts. To make things simpler, we’ve been using a couple of sites that allow us to create real, but completely public, email addresses – https://Mailinator.com and https://GuerrillaMail.com. Both are easy to use, but my preferred service is the latter (mostly because I found it first years ago, and have a shortcut to it).
What I love most about GuerrillaMail is the default domain – sharklasers.com. As we started getting more heavily into testing, the term "sharklaser" started getting thrown around the office as the answer to everything. "What’s the password?" Answer: sharklaser. "What’s the status of that task?" Answer: sharklaser. "What should we name the production database?" Answer: sharklaser.
This even spilled over onto a call with the client, who upon hearing this joke remarked "Cue the Austin Powers music!"
This past weekend, CJ and I were joking about this and very quickly came to the conclusion that we could buy toy sharks and small laser pointers, and actually make "sharklasers" for everyone on the team. The idea was too good to pass up. CJ did the shopping, and came home with a matching set of 11 sharks and lasers. Now it was up to me to make them work.
I started by unpackaging everything, and putting the batteries into the lasers. Out of the 11 we purchased, I found 1 where the laser pointer didn’t work, but the LED flashlight still did. I decided that would be mine, and I would hand out the good ones to the rest of the team. I then removed the keychains from the lasers with my pliers:
Now we could get down to business. How DO you mount a laser on a shark?
I first tried a black rubber band, thinking it might look like a harness:
It looked all right, but it flopped around a bit, and generally looked a little cheap, so I moved on to superglue.
That looked a lot better, and after letting it dry for a few minutes seemed to be holding fairly well. I glued the other 10 together, and propped them up to dry overnight.
The next evening I checked on them, and all of the lasers were solid.
And they looked awesome.
CJ loved how they turned out, but then remarked, "They still need something."
"What do you want me to do, wrap them in bacon?!"
Though glib, I did recognize that just dropping these magnificent pieces of functional art off on everyone’s desk actually may not be enough. Some people would probably get the joke, but it might just confuse others. I decided to add a label to the side which read "Official Mascot of _____" (filling in the name of our project), just to give them some context of why they were getting these. I even had one left over, so we decided that we’ll present it to the client at the end of the project.
They went over very well; smiles all around.
‘Cause who doesn’t want their very own sharklaser, honestly?