The Steampunk World

Being the continued explorations of a living steampunk.

The steampunk world is all around us, lying just out of sight, in a continuous thread of steampunk builders and culture that extends from the Victorian era to the present. You'll find no science fiction here: This is real life steampunk.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

I'm a hundredaire!

I found $180 twice this week.

The first time was when I was flipping through my neighbor's bookshelf, and there on page 127 was a bookmark improvised from his girlfriend's paycheck, dated 10/29/05. It was still good. Found money!

The second was from cracking a payphone. I got it out of an old bar. It had sat dead on the wall so long that it was chock full, from years of drunks going up to it and inserting a quarter before they realized that the phone was so dead it couldn't even return change.

We got it off the wall by putting a railroad spike behind it and pounding it with a sledgehammer.

After that it took me about 2 months to get in. Probably 6-8 hours of work overall, but that's only because of the peculiarities of this particular payphone...

You see, payphones have a lock on the front, but that's really a decoy. Picking it or drilling it will get you nowhere. The real lock is on the side, there's a little t-bar that goes in and turns a knob and that unlocks the six huge flanges that keep the front of the phone locked on- and basically make the payphone sledgehammer-proof.

So I fashioned a little t-bar and turned the knob, then drilled out the lock and got the top section off. But as for the coin box, someone had tried to break in with a crowbar and had bent the shit out of the flanges. So the t-bar wouldn't turn (and of course the idiots were unsuccessful, as they were pounding away at the dummy lock).

After grinding out the area around the t-bar knob, I was able to find a chisel that fit right in there. But when I turned it with a wrench, it would slide up and out of the groove. Thus I needed some way to apply downward pressure to something that spins.

I asked Gareth, a master of sneakery, what to do, and he came up with this solution: Drill a hole in a board to seat the chisel. Clamp down with two c-clamps. Then turn the chisel with a wrench.

As we were trying to set this up, the payphone fell on the floor, and $180 in quarters spilled out. The little slide that put the quarters in the box had come off and out the money came.

The final total was $181.08. I'm trying to figure out some way to spread this wealth with those who lived in said abandoned bar, unaware that there was almost $200 hanging on their wall. The best I can come up with is a novelty giant bottle of whiskey, seeing as I don't know where to get any absinthe. I want to have one of those parties where you all take a drink/drug/wear leis/etc etc. Any suggestions on how to blow about $50-75 (I need to pay rent too) on some ridiculous waste for a party??


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