Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Thing 161 Look for a Needle in a Haystack

The next time someone says to me: "That'll be like looking for a needle in a haystack", I'm going to reply; "Meh. Should take about two and a half hours. Your arms will get all scratched though, so you should probably wear gloves". Today, I didn't wear gloves. Why? Because I'm stupid and easily led. Token Northy started the mocking when I said I was going to get some gloves, so then I got all indignant (and apparently indignation goes hand in hand with massive stupidity), and decided not to bother with the gloves. Mistake. Arms from wrist to elbow are fairly thoroughly mauled. Worth it? Yep.
I've already washed my mouth out with soap. And I've walked a mile in someone else's shoes'. I think I kind of love these metaphor extensions. They're just not what people are expecting, and they're the kind of thing that people relate to for some reason. This one came in as a suggestion from a listener to Ray Darcy. If I'd spent the next year of the Project trying to think of more of these extensions, I'd probably never have thought of it... as we've already covered: I'm a bit slow from time to time.
Oh, before I go into a triumphant rant about how the rest of this Thing went...

How cool does Grainne the Irish Wolfhound look. She's just chilling there while I make a start on the stack. Her other half is Fionn, and even bigger Irish Wolfhound. Then there's cockerils, guinea fowl, a massive castle, old huts, weaving, threshing... it's class. Harvest Festival is this Sunday. If you're anywhere near Bunratty Folk Park... get there. It's awesomeness. You'll enjoy it. If you do go, check out the hay stacks before they're threshed into thatching. (Cue triumphalism) Marvel at the massiveness of the task before me. Be astounded at the sheer ridiculousness of Project tasks that required me to dive, shoulder deep into these things...
So I've a bad habit of over-thinking things. At the word go I just kind of rushed headlong into the thing (and I don't mean that literally). I started ripping into the stack, looking for any gap in the sheafs. Basically, the hay is stacked in seperate sheafs which are bundled individually. I figured it's next to impossible to wedge a needle anywhere into a sheaf, so it would have to be between them. That's handy to know when there's literally hundreds of sheafs.

After a few minutes of randomly ripping into individual sheafs, I decided to analyse... Aodhagan Behan is the General Manager. He's about my height. He hid the needle. Presuming he didn't stretch, it should be shoulder height. So I aimed at that area for the bones of an hour. Then Aodhagan arrived back and asked where the step-ladder went... He could have been messing with my head. God knows I'd have messed with someone else who's stupid enough to searching for a two inch needle in a haystack that size.

Still... Worth a shot.

After about two hours of searching I basically just starting tearing entire chunks out of the stack. Frustration is apparently a great ally when you're trying to be stupid for entertainment sake.

Half an hour later... shiny... and wee... with a little string on the end of it. YAHOO!! Except... everyone's bored of watching me get my arm scratched. So there's no one there to celebrate. Curses. So I sat like a tool staring at a needle with a massive cheesy grin.
What's the point in ripping apart a haystack if there's no one to celebrate with?? Thankfully it didn't take the ladies who work at the folk park long to get down to congratulate me. Speaking of which; if you're reading this folks: Thank you! You were all thoroughly awesome.

So they key to success here was Aodhagan looking guiltily at a spot which made me suspicious, and the stepladder thing... that was a ruse!! Well, that and being frustrated enough to rip something apart.

Still... A win's a win right?


  1. indeed..a win is a win :) hurray!

  2. Hi Dan , well done and I thought it was my inspirational talk just before you found the needle that made the difference!
    No recognition after driving from Dublin to Shannon and purposely stopping on my way to encourage you.
    My challenge for you is to meditate for 1 day in the Buddish retreat centre in Adrigole
    Beara, Co. Cork.
    Jimmy Kinahan Jimmy@iei.ie

  3. I genuinely swear on my life, that dog is named after me. Ask the staff there. It doesn't make me proud. They named it after me cause of the work I did on my thesis there. It makes me sad. And dirt. Call the dog LAME for a while why don't you.

  4. Sorry to put a downer on it, but looks more like a stack of straw rather than hay.