This past weekend I went to Home Depot with a tape measure, some written measurements, and the intention of getting shelves for my closet. But as usual, I ended up wasting a lot more time than I should in the plumbing section. Literally four hours went by as I played with various PVC connectors like five-year-old at Toys R Us. I decided to take a break from setting up my new room and what better way to do this than to build a life-size stick figure out of PVC pipe to ride on the back of my tandem bicycle?
I walked around the aisle, measuring my arms, legs, and torso, drawing pictures, and laying pipes out on the floor in a roughly humanoid form.
"Do you need help?" one employee asked, choosing his words diplomatically.
"Yes", I said. "Do you have cross-joint for one-inch by half-inch by one-inch by two-inch PVC?"
"I doubt it, considering the way water flows. We don't carry every piece so it's hard to find things that aren't used for typical plumbing setups." He looked down at my head on a stick "And that is clearly not plumbing related."
I adjusted my plans accordingly, swapping out pieces in my drawings for the ones they actually carried in the store. Since I didn't know how big he'd need to be to fit properly on the bike I just modeled his sizes after my own. This is why his biceps are a half of an inch in diameter.
Later I went home to saw and cement together my new friend. After much deliberation with my roommate, Amy, we decided to call him Pascal Vanderbilt Chesterfield. I think it's a pretty fitting and dignified name.
Having a tandem copilot automaton around has a lot of benefits that you might not realize. I can finally ride in the carpool lane when I'm biking to work on i93. If none of my friends are around to go for a ride on the weekends I can still go without looking completely ridiculous. It's a lot less awkward if I meet a girl at a bar and she has a friend made of PVC. And best of all, he can wear the backpack instead of me. Now I just need to teach him how to signal.