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I'm not going to ask why you need to lift a car with only child power, although statistics tell me that it's likely for one of the following reasons:

- You own an undercapitalized towing company.

- You're trying to teach these children a trade.

- You wanted to see what was under there.

First some definitions and clarifications. I'm going to define "lift" as anything that gets more than two of the car's wheels off the ground and high enough that a child could walk underneath it and fetch some keys perhaps. If that sounds challenging for a child to accomplish, believe it or not, it really is! It's almost impossible!

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And yet pics, therefore it must have happened.

Indeed, here right now I will show you how it can be done. Note that to complete this guide you're going to need several children at your disposal, where by "several" I mean about 50 or so, and by "disposal" I mean exactly what that word conventionally means.

5
Get the Strongest Children

Cars are 2,000 to 4,000 pounds, which is going to be difficult for any amount of children to lift. Even if we limit this to the slightly easier task of lifting two of a car's tires off the ground, conventional children will still struggle mightily with this.

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I blame our schools, Dungeons & Dragons, and you, the reader, in that order.

Therefore, before we get started, you're going to need to get the strongest possible children. Which is difficult. Children don't respond that well to conventional strength training, and few have the appetite for the 15 daily chicken breasts and creatine shakes necessary for such training. Anabolic steroids are another option I'm going to recommend strongly against, due to the health risks they pose, and of course their illegality.

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"I'm pleasantly surprised to see this is one of your responsible columns, Mr. Bucholz."

Also their cost.

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"I'm glad to see this is one of your mostly responsible columns, Mr. Bucholz."

The same goes for exposing them to gamma ray blasts, radioactive spiders, or basically anything from Issue #1 of any Marvel Comics brand. No, instead I'm going to recommend that you use actual science, in this case natural selection.

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Leave your children unsupervised in an enclosed space for an hour or two, then come back to find which ones are physically dominating the others. They'll be the ones carrying a conch or some other totem, or simply the ones physically on top of the others. Those are the children you'll need.

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"Who would have thought a simple column about child endangerment could go so wrong?"

4
Go at It from the Side

The heaviest parts of a car are the engine and transmission, hundreds of pounds each, difficult for any number of children to dead lift. But if you coach your children to lift the car from the side, those heavier elements will be in the middle of the car, giving the children a mechanical advantage.

Image Source/Photodisc/Getty Images
Which, like all advantages, will go unappreciated by the spoiled little shits.

Strongmen use this technique all the time, and this guy seems to think a person could take a Honda Civic off its side wheels if he could half-squat 500 pounds. Now that's still quite a bit, and I don't mean to brag, but I cannot do that.

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So many people say "I don't mean to brag" but then accidentally brag, it's weird.

And I suspect a 500-pound lift will prove out of reach for even the burly children we've selected. It will still probably take 20 of them working together to lift that much, by which point they'll have run out of handholds. So while we're on the right track, some further thinking is required.

Continue Reading Below

3
A Simple Machine

Let's tweak the rules a bit and give the children access to some simple tools. Nothing electric or hydraulic, just simple machines, which, despite their simplicity, can still dramatically increase the lifting ability of even very strong children.

Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images
"Do you even lift?"

We've already been essentially using a lever by lifting the car from its side. A longer lever could work, but there will be issues finding one strong enough and complications with the fact that the far end of the lever will have to move a great deal and children are so troublingly short.

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A subject that really deserves its own article.

So what else is there? Well, there's the inclined plane. That's easy enough to construct (children love playing in dirt), but as anyone who's tried pushing a car up even the gentlest of inclines will know, this isn't at all easy. Also, it doesn't really count as lifting, does it?

Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images
"That's enough back talk about elevation above mean sea level, children. I have enough stored potential energy
in me to rain thunder upon you."

Really, of all the simple machines, a pulley seems to be the most promising, particularly if used in a block and tackle configuration. Unfortunately, I think a block and tackle can only be purchased in salty maritime environments, and if a grown-up with 30 to 50 children and a bunch of rope is seen in such a place, the sea authorities tend to look pretty closely at what's going on.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News
"This don't look too savory, it don't, yarrrrr."

So what else is there?

2
A Car Jack

Well, there's always a regular car jack. This isn't much more than a simple machine itself, typically using a simple screw with a gear that turns a rotational force into a lifting force.

Brand X Pictures/Stockbyte/Getty Images
No, that's not quite ... actually, whatever. Sure. Mechanical engineers of tomorrow: This is how jacks work.

Obviously a regular jack can only lift a car a half foot or so, which doesn't really meet one of our guidelines. To lift a car completely over a child's head, you'll need to instruct the children to brace the car at intermediate heights while they remove and then raise the jack.

Note that this is incredibly dangerous, so make sure you do it where no one can see you.

George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images
"Dispatch, I've got some suspicious activity here at 15th and Elm, yarrrrr."

Continue Reading Below

1
All the Small Things

OK, so your poorly designed jack stand (just more children bound together) collapsed, and you're getting a lot of suspicious looks from the people passing by your day care/garage. Still, we're getting close, so let's combine everything we've learned, add a couple more small things, and see if we don't finally reach a tipping point, as it were.

Photodisc/Getty Images
No that's trip- ... close enough.

First let's lighten the load as much as possible. Toss out every part of the car not necessary to retain its "carness." Seats, spare tire, upholstery, everything. Ideally it should be just a big lump of bare metal at the end. After that, let's, why not, fill the thing with hydrogen gas. Hydrogen gas adds about 1.2 grams of lift per liter, which means filling an entire car with it will make it ... like ... 6 or 7 pounds lighter. Huh. Well, I guess it couldn't hurt.

Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
Unless it could.

Secondly, we'll use the principal of aerodynamic lift by buying an aftermarket spoiler and installing it upside down.

Wikimedia Commons

Actually, fuck it. Get three or four spoilers on there.

Wikimedia Commons
It, fucked.

Any forward momentum should cause the car to be fractionally lighter. But how do we get that forward momentum with only child power? Simple! We take our inclined plane, put the car at the top of it, and then get the children to give it a push.

Wikimedia Commons
The snorkels are for the kids steering inside. Don't, uh, don't put your best kids in there for that part.

Meanwhile, 10 of our most physically powerful children will be trying to lift the car as it rolls down the ramp. (They'll need to be on skateboards for this.) And, why not, put a couple more kids on skateboards with the jack. Couldn't hurt.

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Unless it could.

At this point I should caution that there's a chance that this still won't work, and that for a variety of reasons ...

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... you probably won't get another chance.

So, just to be absolutely sure you get the car up in the air, have the children put another inclined plane at the bottom of the first one.

Wikimedia Commons

Congratulations! You have lifted a car in the air using only child labor! And although you're really going to want to see what happens when it lands, you're probably also going to want to be somewhere else pretty quickly, too.

George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images
"Dispatch, he did it, and it was awesome, I repeat, awesome. Requesting permission to not try very hard to catch this guy."


Chris Bucholz is a Cracked columnist and the owner of several failed businesses. Join him on Facebook or Twitter.

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