4 Things To Consider When Painting A Tunnel On A Wall
So it's finally come to it. You're going to paint a tunnel on a wall. I'm not going to ask why you're doing this, what strange road your life has taken to get you to this point. I don't want to know. As I understand the law (I do not understand the law at all), any advice I give you is nice and legal if I don't know how you intend to use it.
I don't understand "advice" that well either, actually, so heads up.
Still, I can guess. There are only so many reasons you might be painting a tunnel on a wall, after all. You might be trying to:
- Kill a troublesome bird.
- Cut corners at your failing contracting business.
- Impress a woman.
- Impress a troublesome bird.
- Escape the authorities.
- Get up to some mischief.
- Make just one beautiful thing in my life, so stop criticizing me, Karen.
Here's how to get that done.
Painting a tunnel on a wall requires a lot more than just paint and a treacherous heart. You're trying to portray a three-dimensional scene on a two-dimensional surface. To even have a chance of doing that, you need to totally understand the concept of perspective.
No, that's prospecting.
The details are a little complicated to get into here. I suggest you practice drawing for five to ten years to get the basics down. Basically, it involves all the parallel lines in the three-dimensional scene converging to a vanishing point in the distance. Railroad tracks are an excellent and simple example, and it's no coincidence that so many fake tunnel practitioners make use of them in their craft.
Looks like a tunnel, right? Wrong. If you move a little to the side, you'll see it's actually an image on your computer screen.
But as you experiment with drawing fake tunnels around your house and such, you'll quickly come across a problem. Perspective only works when the viewer is standing in a single specific location. From any other point -- closer, further away, or to the side -- the illusion slips, and your target will realize that they're not about to escape you, but instead have a head-on collision with comedy.
Which means you'll also need ...
You already have a few tools for getting around the perspective problem. Tunnels are naturally dark, which helps disguise the problem from far away. And people typically approach tunnels using a road or other predictable path, which minimizes any chances of them seeing your fake tunnel from the side. But the illusion will always break down as they get closer to the painting.
"Hang on a second. This doesn't look like the tunnel to Albuquerque."
The only way around this is to use some form of distraction. Once your target gets within a certain distance of the fake tunnel, you'll need to divert their attention from it somehow so that they look away in the moments before their hilarious death. Distraction can come in any number of forms, and will vary depending on the terrain and who you're trying to fool. Fireworks, brightly flashing lights, or an attractive girl bird are traditional options, but remember: You still have a bucket of paint. You can do a lot of things.
Distracting and comforting.
Keep in mind that you don't want to distract yourself. A tunnel painted on the wall is just as much of a danger to you as anyone else.
They'd be more heavily regulated if it wasn't for the powerful fake tunnel lobby.
How would you make this mistake? Well, if you're in an environment where tunnels are even plausible, then there are quite likely other, realer tunnels about. You might confuse the two. Some kind of label on your fake tunnel should reduce the chance of you hilariously killing yourself. But you'll want something subtle; you don't want a label which gives away the game to your target.
That should do it.
But on the subject of safety, there's an even bigger problem, which is ever-present in this enterprise ...
Fake Tunnel Realification
Our nation's top word scientists are still checking to see if "realification" exists, but if it does, then it would essentially mean the process of something fake being made real, or nonunreal.
"Hang on, one at a time."
The available literature suggests that this is a big problem with fake tunnels. An unsuspecting target, presented with a fake tunnel, is very often capable of sprinting right through it instead of hilariously dying as one might hope and expect. Another major problem involves a real train emerging from a fake tunnel, running over the bewildered fellow who painted it. Both these cases would seem to be impossible -- though still thankfully hilarious -- which suggests that something else is going on here. And that thing is this:
If you actually paint a fake tunnel on a wall, you're an idiot that lives in a cartoon.
In fact, we all might be idiots who live in cartoons. This is essentially a variation of the Anthropic Principle, which suggests that the Universe is capable of supporting life because we -- life -- exist in it. Our adaptation of this theory, which I'm calling the Funthrophic Principle, suggests that if we live in a universe where beings are capable of understanding physical comedy to the degree that we'd even consider drawing tunnels on a wall, then some of those beings are necessarily doomed to be killed by the very same tunnels they just painted.
Which would suggest the universe has a whoopee-cushion-shaped topography.
It's inescapable, and the only reason we doubt it is that we just don't try to paint that many tunnels on walls. A safeguard which you're now apparently ignoring.
The actual scientific principle behind how the tunnel gets realified ...
"Yeah, we're checking the math here, and it's not looking good on that one either."
... is hard to determine. Maybe it's a belief that the tunnel is real which does it. Maybe it's quantum something. Or ... fucking nanobots. Whatever. The point is that by reading to the end of this column, you have admitted yourself into a universe guided by the Funthropic Principle, meaning you are now more or less guaranteed to be murdered by an anvil.
Sorry about that.
Chris Bucholz is a Cracked columnist and always carries an umbrella, just in case of anvils. The author of the science fiction novel Severance, his next novel, Freeze/Thaw, is available right now! Holy shit! Join him on Facebook or Twitter.
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