Cardboard Stonehenge model making, butt-sweat absorption and other uses for empty Election Day pizza boxes

Posted: 10/23/2013 in FLOO-G Goofs Off
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

pizzaboxIn newsrooms everywhere, it’s considered tradition for the crew to order a ton of pizzas during an election day—whether the delivery guy gets a generous tip for (likely) bringing the order on a dolly, I guess depends on the newspaper or broadcaster’s respective size and/or budget.

But when the long night is over amid a flurry of quoting winners and losers at their respective HQs and talking with voters, the newsroom will have one more issue to deal with aside from running out of caffeine for the page layout crew in the morning’s small hours: What to do with all those empty boxes?

The sensible thing to do would be to just go and chuck them in the recycling bin but it’s important for journalists to have a sense of humour (cheaper therapy for coping with the job stress than seeing a shrink), so why not be creative? A lot can be done with all that cardboard.

Here’s a list of silly, albeit (mostly) practical uses for all of those empty, grease-stained pizza boxes.

Makeshift umbrellas: It just doesn’t feel respectful wearing the newspaper you work for over your noggin during a soggy day. As for digital editions, iPads not only don’t cover much of your head but also will probably break after taking so many raindrops or wet snowflakes. So what’s the next best thing? It would be a pizza box, of course. You’ll look ridiculous but it should work. Bonus is, unlike a traditional umbrella, you don’t have to use one hand to hold it if you position both ends on your shoulders just right, in the event you have to write something while standing up.

Office ceiling protection: If you’re one of those of people who sharpens pencils and throw them up into the ceiling tiles waiting for a callback or an important email to arrive, holding a few boxes up with some strips of scotch or duct tape at the spot above your desk is the perfect opportunity to eliminate your boredom- or procrastination-induced vandalism.

Build a cardboard Stonehenge model: In between sitting and hitting F5 on the keyboard for up-to-the-second poll results, take some glue and piece together a model of Stonehenge. Maybe it won’t be big enough to be a life-size model but should be enough to build one in equal size as seen in the classic rock ‘n’ roll mockumentary, This Is Spinal Tap.

Give away to that one longtime columnist who’s also in a pub band that plays classic rock covers as an inside joke. Who knows, he might use it onstage when his trope plays at the company Christmas party.

Tower demolition by office chair: Unleash your inner Bam Margera from Jackass. Tower up the boxes and push your co-worker sitting in the chair as fast as possible towards them and see how much of a mess you make. Make sure the office chair has wheels or this won’t work. I bear no responsibility if you choose to do this while the incumbent mayoral candidate’s in the newsroom talking to the editorial board; hopefully s/he’ll understand that newsrooms aren’t exactly formal workplaces.

Desk height adjustment for your laptop: Desk too low for your typing comfort? No more outdated phone books to go around? Pile up a pizza box or two.

Sweat absorption: Cut into pieces according to your needs. Place a small oval-sized piece into grandpa’s old fedora for your 1950s-era reporter Halloween costume to absorb any forehead sweat, or if you’ve had a long shift and are starting to suffer from an embarrassing case of swass (sweaty ass) that may soak past your pants, place underneath your chair.

Quick-and-easy desk-clutter storage: Accountants sometimes deal with clients who store their receipts, income slips and other tax-related items into what they call the chaotically-disorganized “shoe-box method.” Why not adapt the “pizza-box method” for your newsroom desk? Any old notebooks or council agendas around that might be worth keeping, just in case of a new development or libel chill? Stuff all that paper in there.

Keep them: Nail one up on the part of your wall meant for your old lanyards, if you have one. Not only will you have that lingering smell of that special shift with you forever, but, if you’re lucky, you’ll have the pizza joint’s phone number right there in case you want to order another one of those delicious pies again.

In the rare event you find yourself having to interview the owner for your story on the establishment’s failed government food-safety inspection, then you’ll have no need to Google the phone number first. What can I say? Seconds count when breaking a story.


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