The setup was a thing of beauty: It was a Saturday afternoon, I was bored, and I was hungry for condiments. Unlike the average idiot, who would satiate his cravings by raiding the fridge, however, I turned it into a game. The Google Patents Guessing Game, to be precise. By asking the Something Awful Forums to test my amazing deductive powers, not only would I get to show how smart I was, I would also get to cram my face with all the condiments I'd want.
The rules were simple. A poster would submit an image from a patent. I would try to guess what the thing was. If I was right, I got to drink a can of Mello Yello. If I was wrong, I would have to imbibe a condiment of the poster's choosing. A perfect scheme, right? All the soda and condiments my stomach could hold. Little did I know the horrible truth.
Welcome to the Google Patents Guessing Game. Welcome to Hell.
Submitted by: reflir
What it is: A pacifier designed to make your child look like he is also your nephew.
My guess: "These are some sort of wax lips for people who don't think they look enough like Amy Sedaris. If you want to look like Amy Sedaris you put them on and then stumble around from failed project to failed project until your brother namedrops you enough in his books that you get a movie deal. Then that fails too and people remember you as that ugly chick who looks like a duck."
Prize/Punishment: One can of Mello Yello, since I was correct. It was the first of the day so it tasted really good, especially since I try not to eat too much sugar. Hours later, years removed from an econ class, I'd come to truly understand the term "diminishing returns".
Score: Pantsfish 1, Forums 0
Submitted by: abacussin'
What it is: A diving suit with a bunch of spikes coming out of it.
My guess: "This is a scuba suit that protects you from underwater predators. Essentially it makes you look like a big gay sea urchin. The other animals in the sea see you when you're wearing this and decide not to eat you for fear they'll be convicted of a hate crime. The problem with it is that it works so well other gay sea urchins try to mate with you while you're wearing it. It's pretty frustrating trying to shove those little dudes off, since they don't speak English and really only care about eating and mating with urchins of the same sex (see: Spanish Harlem)."
Prize/Punishment: Again I was right and again I had a Mello Yello to celebrate. This one wasn't bad, either, and I drank it pretty quick. I don't know if you've ever felt your kidneys shudder but it's quite the experience.
Score: Pantsfish 2, Forums 0
Submitted by: Bloke
What it is: A "Poultry Semen Collecting Apparatus". I'm not entirely sure why one would need to collect poultry semen, or how an apparatus to collect it would work, but that picture's a confusing bunch of bullshit.
My guess: "This is some sort of combination restraint/drug dispenser for ghost bears at the Crazy Home for Ghost Bears. If a Ghost Bear at the Crazy Home for Ghost Bears starts talking about seeing Jesus or having bugs crawl out of his nostrils, you strap him to this and drug him up until he becomes complacent."
Prize/Punishment: My first miss. Bloke decided that, as punishment, I should eat a spoonful of Miracle Whip. While that in and of itself is a disgusting prospect, the fact that my "friends" purposefully scooped the yellow, chunky Miracle Whip from the grooves in the jar made it that much worse. For the record, non-salsa condiments should never be chunky or crunchy.
Score: Pantsfish 2, Forums 1
Submitted by: Icequeen
What it is: A bear-shaped cozy designed for baby bottles.
My guess: "This is a baby bottle cozy shaped like a bear. I really don't know what's up with all you people posting bear things, but this one's especially sick because you're essentially encouraging your children to make out with one. I'm no outdoorsman, but I'm fairly sure that shit's really unsafe. There are probably other things babies should be kissing besides bears."
Prize/Punishment: Another Mello Yello. This being my third in less than an hour I started to worry about the possibility of falling into a diabetic coma. On the plus side the soda did wash a large chunk of hardened Miracle Whip from the back of my throat, allowing me to breathe without the air tasting like the inside of Louie Anderson's mouth.
Score: Pantsfish 3, Forums 1
Submitted by: Foggy
What it is: A pneumatic boxing glove, apparently designed to punch the user to safety should he accidentally lose the key to the screen door on his submarine.
My guess: "I think this is a night light shaped like a snail's shell. Children take great comfort in snails because they're slow and they don't bite or anything, so one that dispenses light is, like, double-reassuring. This is probably a better alternative to a radioactive snail, because it glows but it doesn't give curious children oozing sores all over their grubby little hands and faces."
Prize/Punishment: My second strike in five turns. Foggy told me to drink steak sauce as punishment. For the record: That shit sucked. It tasted like a salt block drank a quart of barbecue sauce and pissed in my mouth. To top all that off I bent over to pet my dog a few seconds later and he jumped up and licked the inside of my mouth before I could stop him. Then one of my friends cracked an oh-so-original "you haven't even taken him to dinner yet" joke so I raised my hand to flip him off and cut it on a nail sticking out of the wall. Goddamn stupid steak sauce.
Score: Pantsfish 3, Forums 2
Submitted by: General Anesthesia and Swami
My guess: "Now that we've moved from bears to snails I'll venture that this is a Very Happy Snail Flotation Device. It has the dual purpose of saving your child from drowning and scaring the shit out of him. If they really wanted to make it work they would implement some waterproof speakers into the device, so as the child was floating along "Flight of the Bumblebee" would play and terrify the other children as well. I don't know about you, but if I was in a pool and I saw that thing coming at me and "duh-duh-duh-duh-duh-DUH" was blaring, I'd probably pee in the pool more than I normally did. Then I'd dunk my brother's head in it because I was kind of a jerk back then."
Prize/Punishment: A spoonful of ranch taco sauce. I don't care if you found out you had terminal brain cancer on the same day your entire family died in a plane crash, if you've never eaten ranch taco sauce you're still lucky. It has the consistency of thick Jello and it tastes like distilled body odor. If your sweetheart ever comes home and her breath smells like a Linux convention, she's not cheating on you. She's just got terrible taste in food.
Score: Pantsfish 3, Forums 3
Submitted by: Jambob
What it is: A vulva clamp. Read that again: A vulva clamp. Not a paper clamp or a motor clamp, a vulva clamp. The thing on your left, the one with all the mean, pointy things sticking out of it, is a clamp designed to shut a vulva. I don't even have a vulva and looking at that thing makes mine hurt. And it was invented by a man named Lester Treat. Believe me when I say there is no treat involved with this instrument.
My guess: "This is some sort of clamp. At first I was going to guess 'compass' or some other design tool, but I saw the screw. I'm not sure what you'd clamp shut with that monstrosity, since you'd pretty much ruin whatever you used it on. My other guess is that it's a Patricia Arquette teeth simulator, but I don't think that's very marketable so I'm sticking with 'mean clamp'."
Prize/Punishment: Yet another Mello Yello, my fourth of the day. At that point it had started to taste like sugar water and the smell alone was enough to send my stomach reeling. I persevered and drank it all, though, like the champion I am. My stomach felt like a hairy wine skin the rest of the day.
Score: Pantsfish 4, Forums 3
Submitted by: Microwave
What it is: A hovering car.
My guess: "This is a combination hovercar/washboard. In the future cars can fly but washing machines are illegal, so it's perfectly normal to see a dude cruising the strip on Saturday night while his wife washes his spacesuit on the hood of his car. If you see your friends out on the street you can cruise over them and hit them in the face with a pair of wet underwear, then say something along the lines of "gotcha" or "how do you like my wet underwear in your face, you big spacegoob". Then you all meet up and go to the space bar and do anti gravity shots until you pass out on the ceiling of your neighbor's garage."
Prize/Punishment: My fifth Mello Yello. I finished the can much the same way an alcoholic finishes his drinks, quickly, with a feeling of self-loathing, and steeled myself for the end of the challenge. I would not succumb to the horrors of the Google Patents Guessing game.
Score: Pantsfish 5, Forums 3
Submitted by: airdoo0
What it is: The world's stupidest cat toy.
My guess: "This is a novelty self-cleaning doormat that shocks the piss out of you when you use it and touch a doorknob. You wipe your feet off and grab the knob, and the next thing you know your junk is about six inches up in your stomach, you're bald, and you can't stop speaking in a French accent. While your family is rushing you to the hospital the mat quickly springs upward and expels the dirt from your shoes and the bloody urine from your damaged kidneys."
Prize/Punishment: A shot of Catalina dressing taken without using my hands. While I'm usually pretty good at the handless shot, salad dressing is far thicker than most alcohol. That meant that, instead of simply downing the shot and putting the glass down, I had to let the entire contents slide into my mouth over a ten-second period, then attempt to swallow it all with a shot glass in my mouth. I got Catalina dressing all over my face, my clothes, and the couch. My living room still smells like Strawberry Shortcake's snatch.
Score: Pantsfish 5, Forums 4
Submitted by: Ferrule
What it is: A monkey doll clothed in a spacesuit.
My guess: "This is a toy monkey in a spacesuit, quite possibly used as a prop in a Kevin Smith movie. In the movie the monkey walks onscreen, smokes a joint, and talks for several minutes about who would win in a fight between Optiumus Prime and Han Solo. After that Jay and Silent Bob enter the frame and reference Kevin Smith's old work, at which point Smith himself is admitted to the hospital for friction-welding his own hand to his genitals."
Prize/Punishment: My sixth, and final, Mello Yello. I had drank half a 12-pack of the stuff in under three hours, and I was ready to crawl into a dark room and die. For the rest of the day my urine was neon green. I could feel my kidneys forming urethra-shredding death stones. I didn't care, though, because I was victorious. I had beaten a number of Internet strangers at a guessing game. My legacy was complete. A humble victor, I typed a parting message to my worthy combatants: "Thank you all very much for your help, I couldn't have done this without you." What help, you ask? Help eating a bunch of condiments and drinking a fluid pound or more of sugar water. It takes a village to raise a child, but it takes an online community to propel one man to superstardom.
Score: Pantsfish 6, Forums 4
Of course, there were more travails I did not share in this article. I chugged hot sauce and got smacked across the face with a handful of sour cream in my quest for Internet glory, but it was worth it. If I had to go back and do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing. A mouthful of ranch taco sauce is fleeting; victory is forever.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to return to my victor's duty of laying in the bathroom floor and listening to my guts dissolve in a lake of soda and condiments. My breath might be removing the grout from the tile in there, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I am a champion, and no bathroom can hold my indomitable spirit.
Sleeping with AC is at this point a basic human right. But if you're one of the doomed souls forced to deal with global warming on a nightly basis, here's an hourly breakdown on how to get the most out of your inferno hellscape of a bedroom.
Some of the Internet's most veteran anatomy experts convened to discuss the stolen nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence and other beautiful celebrities.
We're spelunking through the movie catacombs this week. Join us, won't you?
The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.