Coffee Hazard Site!
August 17, 2011 6:29 PM   Subscribe

Kindly advise me on setting up a hazmat site in my neighbor's cubicle!

My good friend and next-cube-neigbor went to India for an extended stay. Unfortunately he neglected to empty and rinse his coffee cup, which is now quite a science project. A few people put up small signs around it such as 'Science Project - Do Not Touch', and a biohazard symbol.
I bought a minature fire truck and helicopter and placed them at the scene.
But- well, there's comething missing. You can't buy Hazmat action figures as you could those injection-molded green soldiers, which I would have put about the scene. Or zombies crawling out of the cup, or whatnot.
I'm a bit lazy regarding cubicle dressing of this kind. Any suggestions on how to make this a hilarious biohazard containment site?
posted by nj_subgenius to Grab Bag (24 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
posted by Max Power at 6:32 PM on August 17, 2011 [3 favorites]

Playmobil HazMat Team, if you've got money to spend.
posted by not that girl at 6:32 PM on August 17, 2011

Max Power beat me to the punch by half a second, but I spelled Playmobil right.
posted by not that girl at 6:33 PM on August 17, 2011 [7 favorites]

Yeah, ouch, the Playmobil set is dearly priced. Any artsy-craftsy suggestions?
posted by nj_subgenius at 6:33 PM on August 17, 2011

Cut a long strip of yellow electrical tape. Fold it in half (hot dog style, so it's long and thin and not sticky). Use a sharpie to create miniature caution tape. Create a barrier around the cup. Use chalk (don't worry, it'll wipe right off the desk) to make tiny homicide outlines in the area.

More "crime scene" than hazmat, but with the fire truck and helicopter, it might be a better fit anyway.
posted by phunniemee at 6:39 PM on August 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Archie McPhee has sets of both zombies and horrified B-movie victims, either of which could work in this situation. They also have zombie finger puppets, if that's more in your price range.
posted by corey flood at 6:42 PM on August 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

There's also a Lego Hazmat minifig.

Personally, I'd just cover some green army guys in foil or scotch tape on some material cut from a one-use yellow rain poncho (~$2, any sportings good store) with the clear plastic cover of a sports top water bottle over their heads (scavenge).
posted by jamaro at 6:48 PM on August 17, 2011 [6 favorites]

Print out photos of hazmat team people and make old-skool standups?
posted by Joh at 6:49 PM on August 17, 2011 [3 favorites]

Since he's in India...and if you're extremely crafty...

You could create a tiny, poo-covered Jamal (from Slumdog Millionaire) rising triumphantly out of the mug clutching a teensy picture of Amitabh Bachchan.
posted by phunniemee at 6:54 PM on August 17, 2011 [5 favorites]

A shoebox full of dirt, manicured into the HazMat team's graveyard, might be a more effective comment. After all, he left on an extended stay, and first responders take the brunt of casualties...
posted by paulsc at 6:55 PM on August 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Buy yourself some of those cheap bags of little plastic animal toys. Maybe stick some extra limbs or heads on some of them, due to radiation poisoning from the tainted mug.

Livestock are precious, yet fragile. :(
posted by TheRedArmy at 7:14 PM on August 17, 2011 [2 favorites]

I think you could make a creditable hazmat decontam tent using white and yellow plastic grocery or trash bags and toothpicks (and glue). Hazmat space suits could be made from more yellow plastic bags and a piece from a clear plastic cup for the face plate (and more glue).
posted by anaelith at 7:17 PM on August 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'd get some of those green army men, cut off the weapons and spray paint them silver.

You could also get some of that plastic fake vomit for the scene, as if coworkers found the hazard and were sick.

Maybe little footprints coming out of the mug. Like something live crawled out and headed for the exit? Could be done with a rubber stamp. I've been told you can make moss paint by mixing moss with buttermilk in a blender then painting it where you want it and misting it with water every day. Could you make prints that go across the desk and up the side of the cubicle?
posted by TooFewShoes at 7:25 PM on August 17, 2011

All the do-it-yourselfers (sic) on here are 100% right. I think I can make anything with a color printer, some glue/tape, construction paper and foamcore board. Doesn't have to be expensive at all; he'll be pleased you went to all that trouble, not "wow, what a cheapskate."
posted by it must be bunnies at 7:26 PM on August 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Seconding the lego hazmat guy. I mean, look at that facial expression!
posted by davejay at 7:35 PM on August 17, 2011 [2 favorites]

I've actually had a little bit of hazmat training (which was a total hoot, by the way). You need some barriers around the hazard to keep rubberneckers away, like yellow "do not cross" tape, blaze orange traffic cones, etc, in the cubicle entrance. Around the coffee cup, to contain any spills, you need absorbent spill socks (easy to fake with some real socks and styrofoam peanuts). A berm around the entire desk would be a nice finishing touch (requires some cardboard and ingenuity).

I think full-scale props would be funnier than minifigs, but you'd probably want to install them right before he returns so you don't make life harder for your cleaning people.

If that's too much work, you can get a package of real biohazard disposal bags on Amazon for about $11 with shipping and festoon the cubicle with them.
posted by Quietgal at 8:18 PM on August 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you can wait until October: War of the Dead Hazmat Agent Figure
posted by DoctorBananas at 8:20 PM on August 17, 2011

I think the Child Detection Agency from Monsters Inc need to make an appearance!
Here they are on sale [cheap!] on amazon.
posted by calgirl at 11:34 PM on August 17, 2011 [3 favorites]

You need green slime oozing off the desk too. I would also get a figurine of the Toxic Avenger.

You guys are awesome. We would get termination notices if we did something like that.
posted by stormpooper at 9:30 AM on August 18, 2011

Thank you everyone! If I have some decent photos I will share them B-)
(calgirl, I might follow that suggestion - the Child Protection Agency figures look great!)
posted by nj_subgenius at 4:34 PM on August 18, 2011

Hi - Photos of the result. Thanks!
posted by nj_subgenius at 10:05 PM on August 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

The result.
Thank you all!
posted by nj_subgenius at 3:59 PM on August 21, 2011

Uh. Yeah. Poor post review.
posted by nj_subgenius at 4:00 PM on August 21, 2011

That is so funny!
posted by TooFewShoes at 10:50 AM on September 14, 2011

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