There's a joke in this negative space, I just know it...
March 3, 2008 10:02 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for fun things to do with a soda machine sized nook. Our office had, until recently, a soda vending machine (the wide, squattyish kind). The machine is now gone, and I've heard that we'll be getting a new one (switching from a good-ol'-boy-friend-of-a-friend deal to a real Coke distributor). Until then, there's a "hole" in the side of the hallway that my whole workplace walks past every day. It's probably 5 feet wide, maybe 6 or 7 deep.

I've made a few wisecracks since the machine left ("I heard the next new hire has to use this as his office") but I'm looking for weird stuff to do with/put in this space. I'm willing to put in a fair amount of elbow grease into a worthy project.

I've thought of hanging a random human skeleton model (like jr high science class had) behind some cardboard "bars" to make the whole thing look like a jail cell with a sign on it ("The last one who griped about the AC"). Too bad we're so far from halloween.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions!
posted by mysterious1der to Work & Money (22 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Puppet theater. Just get a tension rod and hang curtains from it.

Photobooth. Same tension rod, same curtains, with a seat inside, and a flashing strobe light. You could have a working camera in there if you're ambitious enough.
posted by iconomy at 10:12 AM on March 3, 2008

Make a Lucy Booth:

Psychiatric Help: Five Cents
The Doctor is IN/OUT (depending on whether you are there or not).
posted by Shepherd at 10:12 AM on March 3, 2008

"Police line, do not cross" tape and a chalk outline of an elf.
posted by bondcliff at 10:14 AM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]

Do you work in the kind of office that has stuff or products that you can put on display? Sounds like a great place for a display, or a diorama! I would be worried that others would be creeped out by a skeleton, but that depends on your co-workers I guess.
posted by runtina at 10:14 AM on March 3, 2008

Pull-up bar. Competition for most pull-ups by division/office/age.
posted by tiburon at 10:19 AM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]

I went to a school where something like this was in one of the hallways. A group of students ended up putting a door on the front of it, stuck a shrub on a table+tablecloth inside. They hid a motion activated camera in the plant, and then labelled it something pseudo-official like "The (founder's name) Grand Shrubbery" in an official looking label on the door.

Too bad I dont have any pictures of it, but it was certainly had a lot of people scratching their heads.
posted by mrw at 10:21 AM on March 3, 2008

Best answer: I really like the idea of making it a small office. Cram in a small desk, computer, file storage, and some hanging light fixtures or something.

THEN you can put a skeleton sitting at the desk, maybe bent over the keyboard after expiring, with cobwebs. It would be funny if the computer had windows 95 running, as if no one has noticed for 10+ years that someone passed away in there.
posted by SpacemanStix at 10:25 AM on March 3, 2008

Art gallery.
posted by aramaic at 10:29 AM on March 3, 2008

Best answer: Print a life-sized coke machine using Rasterbator, assemble, and hang it until the new machine comes.
posted by grateful at 10:36 AM on March 3, 2008 [5 favorites]

Get a bunch of large sheets of paper suitable to completely cover the nook. Paint or draw bricks on them. If you can find wallpaper or wrapping paper that simulates bricks, then that'll save you a lot of coloring.

Hang the paper up over the nook. Tape a "Under Construction" sign to it, or maybe a "hard hat area".

Then once everyone has become used to the 'bricked' area, come in early one morning and sneak inside the nook, being careful to seal the paper back up behind you.

Then, as people come in that morning, wait until you hear a large-ish group approaching, then leap out through the paper, replete in your Kool-Aid Man outfit. Shout 'Oh Yeah!' at the top of your lungs.

Be sure to offer your coworkers something refreshing to drink after they stop laughing.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:40 AM on March 3, 2008 [13 favorites]

And of course, whatever you end up doing, remember to come back with photos!!
posted by ClarissaWAM at 10:45 AM on March 3, 2008

Fishing booth, like at a school carnival.

Drape a sheet/shower curtain over the opening, attach paperclips to treats, fishing poles w/ magnets on the end of the line.
posted by jamaro at 10:48 AM on March 3, 2008

Get a big refrigerator box and crudely draw or paint it up to look like a vending machine. Place a box on the other side of the change & bill slots and label it something like "Sucker Money!"
posted by wfrgms at 10:51 AM on March 3, 2008

Or, drape a sheet (or better yet a bead curtain) across the spot and place a sign (the more formal looking the better) entitled, "Conjugal Visit Booth."
posted by wfrgms at 10:53 AM on March 3, 2008

posted by Miko at 11:00 AM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]

I thought of something else, with the skeleton theme.

You could have a skeleton sitting there with a sign that says, "help me, I'm trapped behind a vending machine with no way to get out," dated 1997.
posted by SpacemanStix at 11:34 AM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]

Can you fit something like this in there?
posted by cardboard at 12:22 PM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]

A life sized standup of a person would fit nicely in a space like that. Plenty of celebrity ones out there, or you can have your own made pretty easily these days. Pick the right person/character, and you wouldn't even need extra props or signage to get the point across.
posted by st looney up the cream bun and jam at 12:26 PM on March 3, 2008

I'd wall the gap up and paint it so that it is invisible and see how long someone else notices - then remove the wall later that day.
posted by dantodd at 12:38 PM on March 3, 2008

Suit of Armor.
posted by media_itoku at 1:12 PM on March 3, 2008

this is Prank-filter and I wish we had more of it.

I do like the life-sized vending machine idea though.
posted by indiebass at 1:36 PM on March 3, 2008

Response by poster: Many thanks to all. All the ideas are tremendous, but I've marked the ones that seem most conducive to my particular workplace.
posted by mysterious1der at 6:41 PM on March 4, 2008

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