War is serious business. Life-and-death stuff. Brutal, bloody and unrelenting. But who says it can't also be fun?! Whether it's fryin' up some bacon, going sledding, or just taking the gang out for ice cream, here are six ingenious uses of combat equipment that prove a little war is no excuse to go without a party.
#6. Using Fighter Planes to Make Ice Cream
Nothing has been more responsible for machine gun noises made with the mouth than toy World War II-era fighter planes. It's easy to see why kids love them: The real ones were some of the most badass machines ever built. They dealt death to ground, sea and air alike. And when you were done using them to tear apart your enemies in a hail of bullets, you could also make yourself some refreshing ice cream!
"Remember, John: If you have to bail, take the soft serve with you.
Yep: You can make ice cream with a plane. To quote: "To stave off boredom the ground crews rigged 19-liter (five U.S. gallons) cans with a wind-driven spinner connected to a mixing rotor, and hooked up one under each wing of an F4U. A pilot would take the aircraft up to high altitude for a given period of time and then come back to base with the ice cream." And it wasn't just an isolated incident pulled off by the World War II equivalent of Bill Murray in Stripes, either -- the practice was pretty common. In some cases, the soldiers even asked the pilot to do loops and barrel rolls to stir the ice cream, not even going to the trouble of fitting a mixer like they did with the F4U. Thankfully, modern planes are no longer used for such trivial matters. Helicopters on the other hand...
#5. Tea Heated by Machine Gun
If you need an introduction to the concept of machine guns, our good friend Rambo would like to undertake that courtesy on our behalf. We'll just tell you that older machine guns often ran so hot they had to be handled with oven gloves while the barrels were changed. So obviously, when they weren't dealing hot metallic death to whatever ethnic group it was cool to kill that day, they did double duty ... as teakettles.
Not pictured: Chamomile.
Those older machine guns often had large bags attached to the side, filled with glycerin, water or, if all else failed, even the soldier's own urine. Regardless of the liquid, whatever was in the bag became boiling hot after the gun was fired. Never ones to waste resources, those wily Brits often used the preheated bags to make cups of tea with the excess water. Hopefully, they didn't get the pee-bags mixed up. On a few occasions, soldiers were even observed firing off bursts for no reason other than to simply heat the water, because the guns could bring water to boil in less than a minute -- way faster than any other heating method they had access to. That's right: The very first commercial microwave ... was a Vickers machine gun.
There's nothing like a hot cup of herbal tea to go with your mass murder.
#4. Lighting Camp Fires with Plastic Explosives
Combining all the fun of Silly Putty with all the danger of a live bomb, plastic explosives have changed the face of modern warfare. The stuff is just slightly more powerful than TNT, and a single pound of it is enough to turn you and everyone within eight feet of you into an airborne meat Slurpee. Or to fry up a nice frittata!
You can totally cook with C4. In fact, there are a lot of stories talking about soldiers doing it. The thing is, despite being a gigantic, murderous explosion distilled into putty form, C4 is almost completely safe: You can cut, burn and even shoot it without detonating it. And when burned, it will give off enough heat to light even the wettest wood, so stories about soldiers sitting around campfires made out of plastic explosives are actually not that uncommon. But before you run out to Unstable Ted's Black Market Explosives and Hotwings, remember that we said "almost completely safe" up there. And here comes that bastard Almost: C4 gives off deadly fumes when it's burned. We'll leave it up to you to weigh the pros and cons of the situation. On the one hand: inhaling airborne toxins. On the other: a barbecue that will please your friends almost as much as it terrifies your enemies.
"Do you prefer your meat well-done, or carbonized?"