The 6 Most Ingenious Misuses of Military Hardware

#3. Riot Shields Make Good Sleds

Ah, the humble riot shield: Whether it's bashing in the faces of hippies, liberals, college students, or hippie liberal college students, the riot shield is the premier emblem of police brutality and oppression by the man worldwide. And now, also for sledding!

No, that isn't really a euphemism for something terrible.

Wait, what?

It's strong plastic, perfectly smooth and even a little concave -- just like all the best ad-hoc sleds. But man, who on Earth would be hard enough to steal a fucking riot shield just to go sledding? Even if you got past all the security, broke the locks on the supply lockers and somehow evaded the dogs, you'd still have to wait until the police were done sledding first.

"Wee! This is so much fun! Plus it really scrapes all that scalp matter off!"

That's right: When they're not busting unions and skulls in equal measure, riot police have been spotted gleefully sliding down hillsides like children after the first snowfall. Cops are just people, after all, and a little snow can transform all of us right back into eight-year-olds. But it's kind of a bad thing for the police force's street rep when pictures of them wussing out on Dead Man's Hill get leaked to the press.

"Guys, no! No, I ... I think I hear my mom calling. For realsies!"

These officers were reprimanded for misuse of police equipment after the video first leaked, because riot gear is astoundingly expensive: That's precisely engineered, bulletproof material that the cops are doing their bitchin' jumps off of. But wait a minute -- they're worried that a little snow will damage their expensive riot equipment, but they're fine bringing it into actual conflicts? We always knew sledding was awesome, but we never thought it was more hardcore than a riot.

#2. Mail via Cruise Missile

The Cold War was all about the cruise missile: It was the great transcontinental dick-waving yardstick. It looked like a dick, it was fired out of a nuclear submarine (which was just another, larger dick) and then it blew up anybody bold enough to question the size of your dick. It was a spinning phallus of explosive death, is what we're saying here -- and when you saw one coming, you knew the end was near. Well, either "the end," or a postcard from Grandma.

FedEx ain't shit.

Wait, what?

Cruise missiles were once used to deliver the mail. It was Postmaster General Arthur E. Summerfield who proposed the most logical solution to America's apparently cripplingly slow mail problem in the late 1950s. He was the first man who dared to ask: "Trains? Wait, why don't we just rocket that shit?"

Taking time out from its busy schedule of threatening communism and looking like a big metal dong, the Regulus missile was drafted by Summerfield to deliver the post ... from a submarine in the middle of the ocean. Wait -- why a submarine, and not just a boat? It's like they're just adding shit at this point because it sounds cool.

"And the missile will have swords instead of fins, and the submarine will transform into a Camaro after!"

The United States Postal Service, in what was certainly its first and possibly its last dabble in explosive awesomeness, saw no significant problem with the plan. It took the USS Barbero out into the Atlantic and fired a cruise missile straight at a major population center -- all in order to deliver about 3,000 letters.

"You fired a missile at us just to send us a postcard commemorating you firing a missile at us?"

The whole operation was inexplicably declared a success. They delivered the water bill with a rocket, and everybody agreed that was exactly what needed to happen. Summerfield himself was quoted as saying this was "of historic significance to the peoples of the entire world" and that "before man reaches the moon, mail will be delivered within hours from New York to California, to England, to India or to Australia by guided missiles." And in a way, he was right: We did find a way to deliver mail with improbable speed; we just did it with 1s and 0s instead of flaming, hurtling cruise missiles.

Nobody's saying we chose wisely, here.

#1. Lighting a Cigarette with a Nuclear Bomb

Nuclear bombs have been used only a handful of times in all of history. They're simply too risky, too frightening and far, far too dangerous to be deployed lightly. You drop a nuclear bomb only when the stakes are overwhelming, when there is absolutely no other recourse, or when you left your lighter at home and you really, really need a smoke.

"Shit. The wind killed it. Let's try one more time."

Wait, what?

That's right: Ted Taylor, a man whose balls probably need a little hand truck to carry them from place to place, once used a nuclear bomb to light a cigarette. And if you're thinking he just lit a match off of one or something (an act which would already qualify him as a badass in the minds of all but the most jaded of elite mercenary forces), that's not the case: He used a parabolic mirror to reflect and focus the radiation from a 14-kiloton nuclear explosion in the Nevada desert, THEN STUCK HIS FACE INTO IT AND LIT HIS CIGARETTE. One more time, for those of you who were just temporarily blinded halfway through the insanity of that last sentence: A man once harvested the energy from a nuclear explosion ... just to light his cigarette. He survived just fine, but there's no word on whether he gained smoke-based superpowers afterward, so we're forced to assume he did.

"Well, if you can come up with a more efficient replacement for a dry lighter, I'd like to hear it."

Be sure to pick up our book, which can also be used as pants.

For more baffling misuses, check out The 9 Most Inappropriate Soundtrack Choices of All Time. Or learn about more badass weapons in 6 New Weapons That You Literally Cannot Hide From .

And stop by Linkstorm to see how DOB uses his .500 Magnum as a turn signal.

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