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Puppet Kaos - where Kelvin Kao plays with puppets and tell random stories

Channeling MacGyver

The other day, I smelled something weird after I drove. I opened up the hood, but it wasn’t from there. I walked and sniffed around the car (my Chinese zodiac sign is the dog, btw). The smell was stronger towards the back of the car, and I couldn’t tell whether it was on the left side or right side, so I got a flashlight and looked under the car. Yep, just as I suspected, something plastic-y was stuck to my exhaust pipe.

Since it was too far from the sides for me to reach in, I needed a tool. Since I didn’t really have a tool for this purpose, it was time to MacGyver it. For you people that didn’t watch American TV, MacGyver was this fictional (or was he?) secret agent that didn’t like using guns. Instead, he used his knowledge in physics to set up traps and distractions for enemies, and used his knowledge in chemistry to create or disarm bombs. He always improvised using whatever that was near him.

So, here was the tool that I put together!

Ok, fine. It was just a tripod. But hey, I felt kinda clever.

It was long and adjustable. The end of the legs had these rings that worked as grips. I was able to grab onto this white piece of packaging material and tear most of it down. So here’s the culprit:

And the final result:

Some of it was already melted onto the pipe but I was able to remove most of it (and most of the smell). The rest would probably melt away on its own.

Oh, and here’s an anecdote about MacGyver. Once my sister was taking a test and she noticed that some classmates were peeking at her answers. So she changed her answer to one of the questions to MacGyver. And obviously her classmates were too young (or too “cool”) to know who MacGyver was, so they just copied it down. Of course, she changed it back to the correct answer before turning in the test, but this still left the teacher wondering why so many people randomly put down “MacGyver” on a quiz.

Oh, also, I cracked up when I saw this, but when my sister watched the movie in class (you know, after AP tests), she was the only one laughing. Nobody else got the joke. Tsk tsk. Kids nowadays… They don’t know the classics.


  1. Na
    November 22nd, 2010 | 6:24 am

    LOL! I love the ‘Ok, fine. It was just a tripod. But hey, I felt kinda clever.’ I think Macgyver would have made for a good puppeteer. Always coming up with weird ideas using weird materials!

    Your sister is pretty smart. I wouldn’t have thought about using an answer like Macgyver, but then, he’s more of an American icon than an Aussie one. (Maybe writing about Paul Hogan would work… if you don’t know who he is, look up “Crocodile Dundee”)

  2. November 22nd, 2010 | 10:34 am

    Hi Kelvin,

    Oh yes! I used to watch MacGyver when I was young. I enjoyed the “cleverness” although never knew if it was possible (chemistry wasn’t my strength), so it was more like sci fi to me.

    Hey! McGyver would be happy to know one of his followers was able to stop the danger of a plastic material burning in an exaust pipe using his teachings in resourcefulness :) Great job!

    Hawaii 50! Another TV series I used to watch when I was a kid. The images of girls in bikini at the beginning, with that music, it was like porn for me! (I must have been like 6?) :)


    Alien Ghost’s last blog post..About Chewing Gum

  3. November 22nd, 2010 | 6:21 pm

    @Naomi: Nope, not familiar with Paul Hogan. I also use my tripod as a puppet stand when I am fixing something sometimes.

    @Raul: I am sure some of that was probably a little exaggerated. The sheer amount of things lying around wherever he is is definitely exaggerated. 😀 Well, it was not inside the pipe, but outside the pipe. It poses no immediate risk (beyond potentially toxic fume) but it was better not to have it there anyway. They have a new Hawaii Five-O series now so maybe the joke will become a little more relevant to young people again.

  4. November 23rd, 2010 | 12:19 pm

    I liked this post. MacGyver was one of the favorite shows of my younger daughter. We used to watch it together. I always enjoyed how MacGyver managed to save the day! Looks like you did the same for your car. I imagine it wasn’t too happy smelly like burning plastic. Clever, Clever…Kelvine MacGyver:~)

    Sara’s last blog post..Story Photo: Looking Up

  5. November 23rd, 2010 | 7:33 pm

    When I first saw it, it was dubbed in Chinese and was one of the most popular American import show. Following the success, the TV stations imported more TV series but none never matched the popularity of MacGyver.

  6. Na
    November 24th, 2010 | 1:57 pm

    Paul Hogan is an actor who played what’s considered to be the ‘typical Australian male’ character in a series of movies, beginning with Crocodile Dundee. Basically the Aussie version of American-trash male, I suppose. Except with crocodiles and knives, and prawns on BBQs. Or something.

    Anyway, it’s pretty well known for most of us who grew up in the era when the movies were on, but I doubt any younger knows about it. (Well, unless you count the fact that the actor has recently been in hiding for tax evasion and been in the news quite a bit)

    Tripod = puppet stand. I never thought of that before, but it’s a good idea.

  7. November 24th, 2010 | 4:18 pm

    A MacGyver man, eh? I’m impressed! Actually, Cass is huge on MacGyver too. I think I was more into the Smurfs. Weird, I know. 😛

    Next time I have a problem that needs a little improvisation to solve, I’ll come to you, good sir. :)

    Tony Single’s last blog post..Clogger

  8. November 24th, 2010 | 7:11 pm

    @Naomi: When I think of “Australian” and “crocodile”, I think of Steve Irwin, of course.

    @Tony: Oh… they are making a new Smurfs movie. Have you heard about that?

  9. Na
    November 24th, 2010 | 11:22 pm

    Ah yes – the guy everyone rolled their eyes at in Australia, until he died and then became immortalised as somehow a person we were proud of. … But yes, the Paul Hogan movies are pretty much an 80s version of Steve Irwin.

  10. November 25th, 2010 | 4:36 am

    You can’t be immortalized when you are mortal.

  11. Na
    November 25th, 2010 | 5:40 am

    Well sure, if you want to be picky 😉

    Ugh, but really, the whole Steve Irwin thing bugs me. I don’t know of anyone who liked him before he died, or thought what he did on TV was at all representative of Australians (maybe 20-30 years ago). Plus, literally the day after he died, his daughter practically used it as an excuse to launch an entertainment career. (Technically the mum, since she was like 10 at the time) I’m sure they do a lot for the wildlife, but the way she was catapulted into the spotlight… well, it was just tasteless.

    … Er, anyway, don’t mind me. Just venting :)

  12. November 25th, 2010 | 7:14 am

    Ha, love the story about your sister’s test. I used to do the same thing in high school and college, although I never thought of anything so clever!

  13. November 27th, 2010 | 2:05 am

    @Naomi: Will not mind. 😀

    @Michelle: Hah, really? Do that many people cheat that way? I don’t think I have peripheral vision that good to be a cheater!

  14. November 29th, 2010 | 4:10 am

    This post reminds me of this comic:

    I never would have noticed the smell, let alone been clever enough to Macguyver something to get the baggy off. I’m totes oblivious.

    Katrina’s last blog post..Why You Should Never Mess With The Wreckers

  15. November 29th, 2010 | 1:27 pm

    What? MacGyver? With a gun? *faints*

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