Sometimes a fake is all you need

Secret agent man?

Secret agent man?

Yesterday I realized two potentially uses for a bad fake prop. 1 Since I have a MakerBot and easy access to TinkerCAD, I just went ahead and mocked it up.  To put together the four cylinders and cube together in the rough approximation of a bluetooth headset only took about 2 or 3 minutes.  So, here’s my realization – even a really quickly designed bluetooth headset actually serves some useful functions.

I talk out loud, with no one around, rather frequently.  I suppose people might consider this me talking to myself.  Whether this is an odd personality quirk or some mild form of mental illness, I do find it helpful to verbalize my thoughts when working through a problem.  However, people tend to give me funny looks and even interrupt my thoughts to check if I was talking to them when I do this.  Now all I have to do is use this bluetooth replica and voila! instant acceptance of my personality quirk/mental illness!2

Sometimes when I leave the office and walk to the nearby deli I am approached by people who want me to sign up for something or sign a petition.  With a bluetooth headset in and a meaningless line of chatter, I could easily walk right past them without having to inconvenience either one of us.

And, of course, at about $0.05 worth of plastic, this mock-up is considerably cheaper than the real thing.

Now, if you could do this with a fake bluetooth headset, just think what you could do with a fake earbud, an old spirally phone cord, and a black suit!

  1. Photo courtesy of kansasphoto []
  2. Amusing anecdote:  A few years ago I was staying at a hotel with a big lobby and a really really enormous lounge.  I checked out the lounge and saw there was a woman who was sitting on the ground in front of a coffee table surrounded by some of the pillows from the sofa behind her.  She had on sunglasses and a bluetooth headset and was talking non-stop as she flipped through magazines.  After going up to my hotel room and coming back several hours later – I saw her in the same exact place doing the same exact thing.  This time I realized she had a bedroll tucked under a number of those pillows.  I won’t ever know for sure – but now I think what I saw was a clever person using sunglasses, a bluetooth headset, and her extreme preoccupation with her conversation and magazine to create a complete psychological barrier all around her – preventing anyone from rousting her from her nest of pillows. []