"Some sort of rough fabric with lots of... wavey bumps? Ridges? They feel brittle, and seem to diminish as they melt under the oils of my hands. The fabric must be very thin, as the gentle pressure of my fingertip keeps punching holes clear through the whole thing.
Is it one of those break-away banners that are used for finish lines?"
The Mystery Item Is: The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh
"This is rounded, but oblong. The surface is sort of leathery. Probably synthetic. It's been filled nearly to the point of bursting with air. Oh, here we go. It's being cradled tightly in the arm of a steroid-riddled athlete. His grip is fierce, and the object will not come loose.
It has to be a football."
The Mystery Item Is: Tila Tequila's head
"Ow. That's sort of hot!
Okay, I feel a uniform blob of goop. It's thick and heavy, but it parts easily enough as I cup my hands together and scoop it up. When I rub it between my fingers I get a sort of grainy sensation.
This one's easy. A bowl of oatmeal."
The Mystery Item Is: The surface of the sun
"Feels like circuitry. I'm not up to date on this stuff, but I believe this is a CJ-180 board and that these wires here lead to a thermite coupler. On the underside is a... what is that? Is that an N8 voltage switch? Feels a little loose, but yeah, I think it is.
The main interface is some sort of haptic device, maybe the new Novint Falcon. Solid state hard drives, multiple backup power sources. A holographic projector.
Is it a custom rig for forensics analysis?"
The Mystery Item Is: A pad of Post-It notes
"Okay, here's a human face. Definite male features. Rugged, strong jawline. Dimpled chin. Mustache.
Wow, is this Brad Pitt? I'm a big fan of your work!"
The Mystery Item Is: Teddy Roosevelt's visage on Mount Rushmore
"A rectangular depression in the ground, lined with concrete. Inside is a liquid kept at a nice, cool temperature of 25°C.
Now that I've jumped in, I estimate that the dept of the hole is around 2 meters, if not a little more. The width spans 25 meters, and swimming from one end to the other puts the length at precisely 50 meters.
Judging by the dimensions, I'd say this is without a doubt an Olympic swimming pool."
The Mystery Item Is: An Olympic Vomitorium
"This part right here is a snorkel. There's some rope wound around the bit that bends, binding it to a... bass guitar? No, sorry. One of those bass guitars with two necks and two sets of strings.
The bass is welded to the lap of a large animatronic figure with a layer of fake fur draped over it. Its head is dog-like. The figure is sitting on a rocking chair, and at its feet rests a plaque with a set list engraved in it. The songs are:
Walk The Dinosaur
Walk The Dinosaur (Reprise)
Thank God I'm a Country Boy
Walk The Dinosaur (Extended Jam)
I'm pretty sure this is one of the Pizza Time Players from Chuck E. Cheese. Jasper T. Jowls?"
The Mystery Item Is: Me
Are you concerned that you may be a character trapped in a Tom Waits song? Be smart and learn the warning signs before it's too late. Also, it's too late. It has always been too late.
I'm haunted by a recurring vision of a skeleton flipping me off. To avoid seeing this terrifying image in bumper sticker form, I pay someone with a blank bumper to drive in front of me at all times.
The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.