So You've Been Shrunken to a Fraction of Your Size

What am I doing in a weapons lab?
So You've Been Shrunken to a Fraction of Your Size

Whoa! What just happened?

You've been shrunk down to a tiny fraction of your size.

Holy shit! How?

It might have something to do with the weapons laboratory you're currently located in.

What am I doing in a weapons lab?

Sweeping up at night.

So You've Been Shrunken to a Fraction of Your Size
Jupiterimages/ Images

A task that was, somehow, over your head.

That does sound like me.

Oh, it will sound even more like you in a second. You see, while taking an unearned break from doing your job, you decided to use an important-looking computer to tell Facebook how you weren't doing your job. During this you somehow triggered a shrinking device attached to said computer.

Ahh. This is all sounding familiar now. They did tell me not to touch certain things during training.

A training session you spent mainly trying to remember the lyrics to the DuckTales theme song.

I only got the "Oooh-OOOH-ooh" part.

It is the best part.

This weapons lab is pretty disgusting. I can see why they'd need a janitor.

It already has one, and technically, you're just a "Probational Janitor's Assistant." Also, this isn't the laboratory you're standing in.

It's not?

No. This is the inside of the keyboard you were using, which is where the shrink ray was evidently focused. Keyboards aren't known for being hygienic at the best of times, and this one looks like it was primarily used by someone with some kind of skin condition.

So You've Been Shrunken to a Fraction of Your Size
Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images

Also maybe a Cheeto condition.

And this forest of curly hairs? Is that a condition, too?

Loneliness is technically a condition, yes. So is a lack of self-control.

Squick. OK, how do I get out of this?

Well, let's find out a little bit more about what happened. So you're now like a quarter-inch tall. Is your weight proportionally less, or do you still somehow weigh hundreds of pounds?

I never weighed hundreds of pounds before.

Look, I'm just trying to get an idea of the orders of magnitudes we're dealing with here. Whether you weighed 100 or 500 pounds before doesn't really matter at this step. This isn't a personal attack.


So, then. If you weighed 500 pounds before, how much do you weigh now?

Fuck you. I'm lighter; I'm not crushing things with every step, if that's what you're asking.

Were you crushing things with every step before?

Just from clumsiness.

Got it. OK, this tells us something. This shrink ray doesn't just reduce the space between your atoms. The Honey I Shrunk The Kids methodology.

So You've Been Shrunken to a Fraction of Your Size

At 80-150 pounds, with a surface area of 1 square millimeter, every single one of these children would have disappeared into that soft mud and suffocated. Not the kind of crowd-pleasing ending we expect from Disney movies, unless it was playing to a crowd of scientists, who of course hate children.

So if you weigh less, that would imply you're composed of less matter now.

So what does that mean?

Well it must mean you feel super strong then. Way stronger than before. Can you jump really high?

Let me see. -labored grunting sound- About a foot.

Holy shit!

Wait. No. Scale. Right. Uh. Knee height, I guess. Maybe a millimeter.

Huh. That doesn't make any sense.

Why not? That was about proportionally what I could jump before.

It's called the square-cube law. By shrinking, your volume has decreased much faster than your surface area. And because your weight is proportional to your volume, and your bone and muscle strength are proportional to their cross-sectional area, you should be super strong now. And yet here you are, more pencil-necked then before.

What a rip-off!

That's not everything. Your eyes should barely work. You should feel like you're freezing. You should basically be permanently hungry. All of your organs and systems evolved to exist at a certain size, taking advantage of a certain volume/surface area ratio.

I should barely be functioning right now.

Were you ever really functioning properly though? I mean, most mammals can hold down a job, or, you know, clean themselves properly.

Fuck you. So if I'm tiny, but still functioning properly, what does that mean?

Well this is just sloppy writing, then.

So You've Been Shrunken to a Fraction of Your Size
Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images

"This guy knows even less about bio-mechanics than that Dr. Seuss idiot."


Believe me, no one's more disappointed than I.

What if ... what if it was magic?

-long, heavy sigh- Yeah, I guess that'll have to be it. OK, so while working in a magical weapons laboratory, you've somehow shrunk yourself.

Great! Good! We're making progress! So what do I do now?

Kill the wizard I guess? Break the spell?


I don't fucking care any more. This magic thing is bullshit.

Come on man! Cheer up! I need your help here! You've helped me out of dumber things than this.

Yeah, but this could have been so sciencey. I wanted to do a real sciencey one.

You still can! Look! Over there! A spider's here. You can help me with that!

Is it a magic spider?

Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty

I think this is just a regular spider. It's also running at me really, really quickly. I could use some advice in a hurry.

Well yeah, of course. You see, biomechanically speaking, a spider is well suited for being this size. Ask him to explain that to you.

He's biting me!

See how powerful his jaws are?


Fine. Find a weapon or something.

A weapon? You want me to fight off the spider with a Cheeto fragment or a pubic hair?

See if you can find a fingernail clipping or something.

There are actually several of those here. Gross.

>Take the fingernail clipping.

Got it.

>Use fingernail clipping on spider.

What? Why are you talking like that? Ohhhhh. I get it. But how?

>Hit spider with fingernail clipping.

It worked! He's running away!

Success! You earn 65xp!

Experience! Nice!

Yeah. That should come in handy.

So You've Been Shrunken to a Fraction of Your Size
Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images

"And from 2008 to 2011 I killed 25 spider captains a quarter."

Hey! There's someone else here! A human!

Lurking in the pubic bushes while you fought off the spider. Nice. What's his deal?

He says he's trapped here, too. He's the one who created the shrinkray.

So this is the science warlock. Casually kick at one of the pubic hair tumbleweeds and shake your head at him like you're really disappointed.


Is he abashed?

He's totally abashed.

OK. While he's distracted being abashed, you need to kill him to break his spell.

Are you sure?

>Use fingernail clipping on warlock.

I'm not going to ...


No! I'm not going to murder the warlock!

Do you want to get home or not?

I do! And if you'd stop telling me to murder him, you'd have heard that he's got an idea how to get out of here!



>Listen to warlock.

Fuck. I ... thank you.

What's he saying?

He's saying that to undo this spell we're going to have to hit Ctrl-Z.

Tab TIWI W E It Caps Lock I^ IT A S Shift Z X Ctrl Alt

Oh, for fuck's sake.

He says he's been waiting here for days for someone else to fall in here, because he can't press Ctrl-Z by himself.

As we skate quickly past just how impossibly stupid this all is, can I ask how's he planning to press a key from the underside?

There's a little flangy thing underneath them we can hook something on to. He's managed to make some ropes.


What is it?

Ask him what plentiful fibrous substance he made the ropes from.

Why would I ... oh, holy shit no.

Well, I think your personal hygiene issues are resolved, because once this is over, you will never not be washing your hands.

Fuck you.

Well, let's get this over with, and ... hey, wait a second. Won't this just unshrink you? What about the warlock?

Once I'm unshrunk, I'm supposed to press Ctrl-Z again to unshrink the warl- Gary. His name is Gary. He's a scientist and a nice guy.

He's a magical scientist with shedding problems. That is a warlock.

You know something? You've been even less help than usual this time around. Look. He's pulling down the Ctrl key now. I just have to pull on the Z and I'm out.

I resent the implication that I would ever be helpful. Now make sure to wrap that thing around your hands a couple times to get a good grip.

Fuck you.

Oh shit. I just thought of something. STOP!


-a loud SPROING sound fills the air-

So You've Been Shrunken to a Fraction of Your Size

Attention scientists: If your invention doesn't make this sound, try to do science better until it does.


What happened?

I'm unshrunk! I unshrunk right in the middle of the keyboard. I crushed it with ... OWWWWW ... mainly my face, it seems.

Yeah, I thought that might happen.

Oh no!


The keyboard is ruined! And Gary! I crushed Gary!

Success! You earn 1000xp!

FUCK YOU! Oh wait. There he is. He's fine. Still small though. Seems pretty upset, too.

Well, yeah. Your fat face just destroyed his only way back to normal.

How do I save him?

Congratulations! You are no longer shrunk to a fraction of your size! Should you require any further advice, please consult our guide: So You're About To Lose Your Job After Your Employer Found You Destroying Company Property While Mysteriously Covered in A Coworker's Pubic Hair.

Chris Bucholz is a Cracked columnist and your best friend. Join him on Facebook or Twitter where he will brush your hair and whisper terrible things into your ear.

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