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  Dominoes in the Kitchen

It's a Set Up!

Large, flat surfaces seem to be at a premium these days. The only available place in which we could set up this course was my kitchen. This required removing appliances and dinnerware while planning a few days worth of meals that didn't require cooking.

We tried to make this temporary inconvenience worth our while by spending the next two nights planning some new and elaborate stunts from the very start.

The course begins with a zipline that seems to float all the way across the room and into a cabinet. A pair of ramps lead onto the refrigerator and back into the cabinet. A Slinky serves as a flexible chute that directs a ping-pong ball into more dominoes on the countertop.

Dominoes continue to branch out in every direction, passing over the sink and across the stove. A spiral is triggered on the round kitchen table along the way.

The action moves to a windowsill and a platform supported by a keyboard stand. The trail goes back and forth several times before returning to the counter so a golf ball can roll down a long carpet tube and begin the floor show.

Upon hitting the ground running, the familiar toilet paper trick once again makes an appearance. Next is a battery of batteries that roll across the (same color as the dominoes, thereby making them hard to see in these photos) floor.

The domino course becomes more than just a visual experience when the sounds of crashing cymbals fills your ears. A perplexing maze of bridges follows, with dominoes looping over and under every step.

Things wind down with a winding path that zigzags around much larger dominoes. The jumbo versions fall over the small ones after they have fallen. The finale consists of a four pound hammer launching a ball several feet into the air.

What Goes Up...

There's our finished domino course, or at least as much as will fit in the photo. We realized after we had finished and still had about half of the dominoes we made still in the box that we may have been a little overambitious. Still, we set up roughly 2,500 dominoes, which I think is a pretty good amount. We were only limited by the amount of free space available.

As usual, something went wrong when the course was set off. This time, it was the toilet paper, which didn't unroll for some reason. I set up that part, so I'll accept the blame. You can never be too trusting when it comes to dominoes. A simple path leading around the stunt would've kept things moving no matter what.

We videotaped the domino course for you folks to enjoy.

In closing, here's a word of warning for all the kids out there: Domino toppling is serious business! Failure to exercise proper precautions can result in injury, as you can see with my brother Steve.*

So always remember, safety first!

* Actually, Steve cut his hand when a glass he was washing shattered. Dominoes had nothing to do with it. I just said that to make my hobby seem more macho. Well, just macho...