My Panic Button Halloween! Good “of the Day” #20

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So we had some fun! To be fair, be warned: it’s a complicated story…

It turns out I have a panic button lying around the house.


My wife Jen and I visited the MIT Museum last summer, and there it was in the gift shop  – an actual panic button! It called to me: “Greg, you need me, you really need me!” So there it’s been for months on a shelf at home waiting for me to find the pesky WHY that it so clearly lacked. Yes, yes, I understand that it’s traditional to have a WHY first, but this was an honest to goodness panic button!

Eventually, I came up with a why, though: not the only one, mind you, but the first so far.  Now we have to travel back in time again to explain the WHY. Complicated story, remember? Jen, Lily, and I spent last Labor Day weekend in the Burlington, Vermont area with my brothers’ family. It was great except for one little thing: I blew out a head gasket on my car. The only rental we could find was a black Camaro, which I drove for the next two weeks:



To this day, I’m still surprised I made it two entire weeks without getting pulled over: my inner scientist and thrill seeker both badly wanted to push the envelope with this experience. All the blackness of it got me thinking too: it felt sort of like the Batmobile to me, certainly more so than my Impreza ever will. Which triggered my Halloween idea: a Bat Signal!

I couldn’t actually dress up as Batman: too much trouble and expense, and I’d scare the heck out some of the kids. Then I’d have to deal with their helicopter parents while dressed up like Batman: not fun. I went with a Batman tee shirt instead and focused on that Bat Signal.

Enter the Panic Button! I rigged it up on a workbench on my front porch, connected to a lamp. Each smack on the Panic Button turned it on (or off), lighting up the signal, which looked like a blank oval until lit up. Watching TV, I knew the kids were ready whenever the signal lit up: I could see it from behind. The whole set up looked like this:





It wasn’t much of a show, of course, but more than anyone else in the area offered, and it got rave reviews. Candy remained the main draw…

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