back to article Town admits 'a poor decision was made' after baseball field set on fire to 'dry' it more quickly

In what could be understatement of the week, a Connecticut town has admitted that "a poor decision was made" when 24 'merkin gallons (90 litres) of petrol were poured on a baseball field and set on fire. A local government Facebook page for Ridgefield on Saturday confessed to citizens that the miscalculation had been an …

  1. caffeine addict Silver badge

    Presumably running a gas torch over it would have actually done what they were after. But that's butane not gasoline. And probably at a lower setting than this. :)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cn5S9TiDcBI

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      A former neighbour once tried to de-ice our road using an oxyacetylene torch. It was surprisingly ineffective.

      1. Lee D Silver badge

        Because it's a tiny, focused, hot flame.

        What you want is a large, wide flame - nowhere near as hot but hot enough.

        There are weed-burners that would do the trick for ice, even little hand-held ones that you can just stick a butane canister on. They work quite well for weeds (they tend to die before they can spread seed, it kills the seed too, and they tend to stay-dead for a while after), and can be handy for a quick de-ice.

        Saying that, some pillock will use them underneath their car fuel tank or something, won't they?

        But if the field is wet... the field is wet. Leave it alone. Anything you do to it will just damage it more and make it worse to play on.

        Go get muddy instead, it won't hurt you.

        1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

          To be fair, as rounders is a girls sport it would be unreasonable to demand that it be played in muddy conditions.

          1. TheVogon Silver badge

            Quite. I'm just surprised that they didn't decide on automatic weapons fire for ventilation of the burning petrol.

        2. Ashentaine
          Flame

          >There are weed-burners that would do the trick for ice, even little hand-held ones that you can just stick a butane canister on.

          In fact, Elon Musk sold a bunch of those for $500 apiece not too long ago...

          https://www.boringcompany.com/not-a-flamethrower

        3. MJB7 Bronze badge
          Flame

          Re: "some pillock will use them underneath their car fuel tank"

          I used to work with a company called Detroit Diesel Corporation - who make "engines for the heavy-duty trucking industry" ("lorry engines"). Some of the places their engines are used can get quite nippy (below -40) and even cold-weather diesel can gell a bit. Not to worry, the truckers had a solution for this - built a small bonfire in a metal tray, and slide it under the engine; engine warms up, diesel ungells, all good.

          The problem was, DDC didn't know about this, and they only realized when they started getting complaints ... after they changed the oil sump from metal (heavy, expensive) to plastic (lighter, cheaper, what's not to like?)

          Icon: Fire hazard

          1. Kiwi Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: "some pillock will use them underneath their car fuel tank"

            Not to worry, the truckers had a solution for this - built a small bonfire in a metal tray, and slide it under the engine; engine warms up, diesel ungells, all good.

            With some of the very old farm engines and the like, putting a gas burner or other flame-based heat source under a bulb near the front of the engine to help pre-heat the fuel was a critical part of the start-up procedure.

            As was spinning a gigantic flywheel by hand.

            Icon -> I'm sure no one got hurt or lost an eye or anything trying to start one of these babies... :)

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: critical part of the start-up procedure

              "putting a gas burner or other flame-based heat source under a bulb near the front of the engine to help pre-heat the fuel was a critical part of the start-up procedure.

              As was spinning a gigantic flywheel by hand."

              These are the second and third most important uses of the Youtubes. Our furry friends have already educatted us in the most importand use.

              Further viewing: almost any Lanz Bulldog startup.

          2. Lomax
            Mushroom

            Re: "some pillock will use them underneath their car fuel tank"

            > built a small bonfire in a metal tray, and slide it under the engine

            Supposedly this was a factor in Germany's defeat in Russia; when winter came the Russians were able to keep their T-34s running by warming them up with fire - an option ze Germans, having opted for petrol engines in their Tiger tanks, did not have.

        4. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          There are weed-burners that would do the trick for ice, even little hand-held ones that you can just stick a butane canister on. They work quite well for weeds (they tend to die before they can spread seed, it kills the seed too, and they tend to stay-dead for a while after), and can be handy for a quick de-ice.

          Pfft. Any ice you can remove with a hand-held weed burner isn't worthy of the name.

          Real road ice is thick enough that flame-based removal isn't practical, mainly because of water's crazy-high enthalpy of fusion - and enthalpy of vaporization, if you don't want it to just freeze again right back where it was.

      2. Simon B-52

        Temperature vs Power

        Acetylene is excellent where comparatively small amounts of very high temperature heat are required, eg for welding steel.

        However, acetylene is more expensive than other fuel gases like propane, and limited in the rate that it can be persuaded to come out of the solution in which it is stored (pressurising it above a certain point causes it to explode).

        Where it's quantity of heat that's required, rather than highest temperature, propane wins hands down.

        Drying grass out with flames seems unlikely to ever succeed. Apart from the obvious dangers, hydrocarbon combustion produces plenty of water vapour. . . .

        1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

          Re: propane wins hands down.

          Propane and propane accessories

          1. Toni the terrible

            Re: propane wins hands down.

            Reference to King of the Hill?

        2. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Temperature vs Power

          So the article suggests using a leaf blower to fan the flames... however if you combine leaf blower with a heat source, you now have something *resembling* a hair dryer, usable on grass Clothes dryers are often gas-fired and so the concept is good so long as you can keep the burner's exhaust temperature low enough to avoid actually catching things on fire. (In the movie 'Spaceballs' Princess Vespa had a comedically ginormous hair dryer...)

          Or maybe the kids will just have to learn how to play "wet".

          [I would expect a 'field dryer' to take the form of an attachment for one of those riding mowers, at any rate]

          1. Kiwi Silver badge
            Black Helicopters

            Re: Temperature vs Power

            [I would expect a 'field dryer' to take the form of an attachment for one of those riding mowers, at any rate]

            Not too hard to do actually when you think about it. The blade movement will already create a draft, although generally intended to be upwards rather than downwards. Directing it down (reversing the blade spin) and adding a heat source (piping the engine exhaust plus some extras towards the blades) would make for a far more effective dryer than a dose of gasoline, although the latter will be much more enjoyable :)

          2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: Temperature vs Power

            'field dryer' to take the form of an attachment for one of those riding mowers

            Or, in the Cricket world, large squeegee-type brooms pushed around by weary groundskeepers..

            But probably too low-tech and manual to be interesting.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Wilseus

        "A former neighbour once tried to de-ice our road using an oxyacetylene torch. It was surprisingly ineffective."

        I once watched the staff at Santa Pod Raceway clean up and dry an oil spill by scrubbing the track with detergent and water, then drying it using a jet engine mounted vertically to a trailer. It was as effective as it was loud.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          A jet engine is somehow a gigantic hair dryer - as it can displace large amounts of hot air - so it can be very effective to dry something.

          But I wouldn't have used an afterburner - nor on tarmac, nor on grass....

          1. Mark 85 Silver badge

            No afterburner on those jet engines. Combination of hot exhaust and the movement of the exhaust (acts like a stout wind) works very well.

          2. Symon Silver badge
            Black Helicopters

            ISTR that Kerry Packer used his own helicopter to dry the cricket ovals for his 'World Series Cricket'. I think it might have even worked...

            1. julianh72
              Black Helicopters

              Using helicopters (not necessarily black)

              https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4fbsx7

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbgzyvKKYDQ

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "I once watched the staff at Santa Pod Raceway ...using a jet engine"

          A clear case of using whatever you happen to have at hand.

          1. Jos V

            Track drying

            In case of dragracing tracks, this is not something that they "happen to have at hand".

            This is standard equipment. Unlike most racing, dragracing does not allow a spot of water, as the track simply won't allow the power of the cars/bikes and accidents will happen.

            http://surfacedrying.co.uk/

            Having said that, I don't think it will do much good on a grass pitch drying.

            In case of Santa Pod:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiph8W54lno

            Hope to be back there again soon :-)

        3. RobThBay

          I saw something similar at a Molson Indy race several years ago. There had been a sudden downpour and truck with a jet engine on the back was used to dry the track. It was noisy but the track was dried out in no time.

      4. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

        It takes an astonishingly large amount of energy to melt ice, as James Burke has pointed out.

        1. Symon Silver badge
          Flame

          And it takes six and a half times more than that to then vapourise it. Don't get wet in the Alaskan wilderness...

      5. dom_and_cats
        Mushroom

        I'm pondering over the reason for the use of the adjective "former" here...

      6. Alan Brown Silver badge

        "It was surprisingly ineffective."

        Not really.

        If you take 50kg of ice at 0C and 50 litres of water at 80C & put them together, you'll be left with 100 litres of water - at 0C

        It takes a LOT of energy to convert ice at 0C to water at 0C

        Back on the subject of the story, I recall one outfit using a helicopter as a blower to try and dry their field. That didn't work terribly well either

    2. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

      If they've got an ice-rink in town, they could have borrowed the ice-smoothing machine (whatever the official name for that is)

      1. Thrudd the Barbarian

        That ice smoother upper thingy

        I think it is alled a Zamboni - named after carl Zamboni from moosejaw Saskatchewan the inventor who also produced the first use of Saskatchewan seal skin bondings in personal protective equipment.

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Someone seems to have forgot their basic "science". Gasoline is lighter than water and floats on it. Heat goes up and not down so no to minimal evaporation. A bunch of hair dryers would have been more effective than pouring on the gas and lighting it off.

    4. jmch Silver badge
      FAIL

      "running a gas torch over it would have actually done what they were after"

      Or just play on the muddy field!

    5. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Pat McMoran said without a hint of irony: "Seems like a reasonable approach to me. Although personally, I would have added the use of a leaf blower to give the fire more oxygen."

      a troll literally fanning the flames there...

  2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    For what it's worth

    In the days of real film, it was common newsroom practice for urgent pictures (are there any other sort in a newsroom?) to rush the development and final wash, then dunk in alcohol... drying the negative by setting fire to it.

    1. Christoph Silver badge

      Re: For what it's worth

      Having cleaned most of the alcohol off, the small remaining amount went 'whoosh' fast enough that the film wasn't damaged.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: For what it's worth

      Ask Robert Capa about taking photos on D-Day following the early waves, and having someone destroying them for trying to dry them too fast... I think his ghost still haunts the shores because of it.

      Anyway, acetate film is hard to burn - I wouldn't try it with nitrate film....

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: For what it's worth

        I wouldn't try it with nitrate film..

        We have a very big, very carefully-controlled archive for keeping that sort of stuff in. With quite thick internal walls between the various storage spaces (and, for really fragile stuff, a set of temperature-controlled airlocks that stuff can be put in when being taken out of the archive to minimise thermal shock. Don't expect to be able to get out fragile stuff in a hurry. And you really, really, really don't want to upset archivists - they get very protective of the stuff they look after and tend to lose their sense of humour about such things remarkably quickly..).

    3. Sequin

      Re: For what it's worth

      In chemistry labs it used to be common practice to dry glassware (flasks, test tubes etc) by swilling some acetone around and then using an air blower to evaporate the residue. I had a lot of glassware to clean one day and decided to try to speed thing up - pour in a slug of acetone, swill round, pour out in to the sink, than flash off the remainder by igniting it using a Bunsen burner.

      This was working very well until I left a bit too much in one flask and instead of flashing off, it continued to burn. As it got hot, I yelped and dropped it in to the sink, where it ignited all of the other acetone that had been poured in there. The fumes in the drains also exploded, shooting geysers from all of the other sinks in the lab!

      1. stungebag

        Re: For what it's worth

        In our school chemistry lab we'd use an oven to dry glassware. That stopped after someone tried to dry a flask that was wet with ether. There was a loud bang, a damaged oven and the flask, although dry, was no longer integral.

  3. Francis Boyle Silver badge

    Idiots

    The correct method is of course to use one of Elon's flamethrowers.

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Idiots

      Odd, being from the UK I thought they would have just shot it with a gun to dry it.

      ^^Btw obviously troll is an obvious troll, you can get me back by saying I would drink tea to dry it out^^

      1. Geoffrey W Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Idiots

        I think the correct way for the English to dry a wet field would be to gather a lot of them around the perimeter and have them discuss ways of drying it; the resulting spout of hot air would be enough to shift the seasons.

        (Alternatively, have them discuss Brexit...that would be enough to shift the climate.)

        1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

          Re: Idiots

          Nah wouldn't work, they would need Risk Assesments, Method Statements, Work Permits and PPE before they go outside of the hut.

      2. Fungus Bob Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Idiots

        "being from the UK I thought they would have just shot it with a gun to dry it"

        Dumbass. We only use guns for toilet training. And drone removal. And testing bulletproof vests while drunk. And... oh never mind.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Idiots

      "The correct method is of course to use one of Elon's flamethrowers."

      And fireworks. LOTS of fireworks.

      It doesn't help with drying the field, but it would look amazing....

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: Drying fields

        Now we know what Elon plans to do with Starhopper when testing is complete.

      2. hplasm Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Idiots

        "And fireworks. LOTS of fireworks."

        Not legal in freedomland?

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Idiots

          Consumer fireworks are legal in most places in the USA, just not in 'tinder box' areas like most counties in the state of Cali-fornicate-you. In short, too many field fires result from home fireworks usage. But I think I can tolerate not having sparklers vs not having neighborhoods go up in flames from a canyon brush fire...

          Last time I drove through South Carolina, there were major fireworks outlets everywhere. And a lot of counties in northern Cali-fornicate-you still allow consumer fireworks to be sold around July 4, last I checked. You can't make your own legally, though. Darwin awards, etc. [that's why] though I'm sure that anyone with a large box of matches (and time to waste) could theoretically make *something* capable of burning the hair off of your face.

          [when I was young I used to like to make hydrogen balloons and light them - they make a nice 'boom' like a cannon - using household chemicals like drain cleaner, etc. - once singed the hair off of my wrist with a rather big one though, 2 feet or so in diameter, even using fireplace matches to light them]

          1. David 132 Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Idiots

            Ah yes. Fireworks.

            Britain: “It’s early November, everything’s wetter than a haddock’s bathing costume, it goes dark around 1pm...let’s set off fireworks!”

            The US: “It’s early July, everything’s tinder-dry, there’s enough daylight to read by until 10:30pm... let’s set off fireworks!”

            Seemed faintly ridiculous to me when I first arrived in the US, but now I just accept it. When in Rome, etc.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Idiots

              They legalized fireworks year round in my state.

              A true local I know predicted that legalizing would immediately lead to poor people buying them, getting drunk and setting them off.

              Sure enough, like many other places, my small city had a local law banning unlicensed fireworks in less than a week.

            2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

              Re: Idiots

              When in Rome

              Build a vomitarium?

              1. David 132 Silver badge
                Coffee/keyboard

                Re: Idiots

                Better than working as chief b*ll*ck-catcher at the eunuch factory, I suppose.

                (h/t Chelmsford 123)

          2. Thrudd the Barbarian

            Re: Idiots

            I recomend perusing a website know as Instructables and searching under pyrotechnics as well as firewroks.

            I remember reading years ago anout a lad who made a wodden match based on a 4x4 timber and an ungodly number of matches for the head.

          3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: Idiots

            I was young I used to like to make hydrogen balloons and light them

            We did this in chemistry at school (as a 6th form pupil anyway) - fill several 2 litre lemonade plastic bottles with hydrogen/oxygen mixture, arrange in the prep lab near where the 3rd-years[1] were having their chemistry lesson, open prep lab door and light all the bottles.

            Why yes, we did get into trouble[2]. There's a reason why I failed my chemistry A-level.

            [1] 13-14 year olds - so 8th grade? Anyway - they were (apparently) at the age of max screamage..

            [2] But not as much as when we all managed to escape a physics lesson being delivered by the really, really unpopular physics teacher - one of us wound her up and then walked out screaming at her. She chased said pupil out the physics lab and the rest of us promptly left by the windows (physics lab was on the ground floor). I feel somewhat guilty about that one since she left shortly afterwards. But we really did future physics students a big favour.

          4. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: Idiots

            Consumer fireworks are legal in most places in the USA

            Most consumer fireworks require a license in Connecticut.

            just not in 'tinder box' areas

            Iowa, Kentucky, and Vermont, for example, are similarly restrictive. Massachusetts bans the damned annoyances entirely (though from personal experience I know this is not enforced for traditional firecrackers on Chinese New Year, for example), and good for them, I say.

            Those are not "tinder box" areas. No one would accuse Massachusetts or Vermont of being short on precipitation.

  4. Ugotta B. Kiddingme
    Coffee/keyboard

    One of these days...

    I'll remember to drink coffee before reading The Register. Or perhaps after, but never during.

    1. Fungus Bob Silver badge

      Re: One of these days...

      Clearly, coffee is bad for you...

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: One of these days...

        coffee is bad for you..

        Which is why properly civilised countries drink tea.

  5. Alien8n Silver badge

    Burning question

    The burning question here though, apart from the obvious removal of grass, did it work?

    The purpose was to dry out the field, enquiring minds want to know if the field was left dry (if unusable) afterwards.

    1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Burning question

      No, it didn't "work", if you mean drying out the field.

      It did, apparently "work" to the extent that a contractor had to come in, scrape off the gasoline-saturated soil, haul it to a hazardous waste site (where it was hopefully processed to remove the gasoline, rather than just dumped in a lined pit) and then haul in replacement soil, grade and seed the field.

      Expensive for the town, and the employee who made the "poor decision" is still employed?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Burning question

        "processed to remove the gasoline" or lit as we'd usually call it.

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Burning question

          surprisingly effective I'm sure. gasoline doesn't have tetra-ethyl-lead in it any more, so should burn away completely, though it's possible that any MTBE additive might affect ground water at some point.

          But you know, the solution to pollution is "dilution", right?

          [given that it is regular practice with some industries to have an effluent tank for potentially hazardous waste, which is then tested and diluted to 'safe' levels before discharging it into the sewer systems, this is actually more reality than just a joke - being that the solution to pollution is *LITERALLY* 'dilution']

          out here in Cali-Fornicate-You, the gummint back in the 90's had voters approve the use of MTBE as an "oxygenate" in fuel to a) increase its price, b) cause a tiny percentage of engines to run cleaner, and c) require a ton of special fuel formulas that change between winter and summer so that gasoline prices would be as 'volatile' (pun intended) and dependent on specific refineries as possible. Yes, it's a scam, since nearly all cars have computers now, so MTBE really doesn't do ANYTHING except the side effect of POLLUTING GROUND WATER if it leaks out of tanks at gasoline stations... which happens often enough that for a long time you'd see a lot of gas stations suddenly fenced off so they could dig up and replace the underground tanks, which were leaking, and get rid of the contaminated soil, etc. making fuel prices EVEN HIGHER. Yeah, gummint... and the fault of MTBE, "voted in" in the 90's and NEVER repealed...

          but without the MTBE (or possibly worse additives), gasoline would burn off and any remaining vapors would just dissipate.

          1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

            Re: Burning question

            The issues of MTBE and tetra-ethyl-lead aside, there are effective bio-remediation techniques for ridding soil of petrochemicals. In other words; bugs that eat the stuff.

            We have a waterfront part in my town that, in the distant past, was a fuel tank farm for ships. Long after the conversion to a park, plumes of petroleum products were discovered to be migrating through the ground. The part was closed, Benches and the sod was removed and the soil was tilled while adding some sort of special bacterial concoction. The soil was allowed to sit for a year with occasional additional tilling. After that time, the bugs had eaten the oil. The grass was re-planted and the park is back in operation for the entertainment of the local three-eyed sprogs.

          2. DougS Silver badge
            Trollface

            "The solution to pollution is dilution"

            So they should have got out the fire hose and sprayed a bunch of water on the field to dilute the gasoline residue?

            Oh wait...

          3. doke

            Re: Burning question

            About half the US states banned MTBE years ago. They mandate ethanol instead. If you see a sticker on the pump that says 10% ethanol, then there's probably no MTBE. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MTBE_controversy

      2. Steve Kerr
        Coat

        Re: Burning question

        "Expensive for the town, and the employee who made the "poor decision" is still employed?"

        No, he/she was promoted

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Burning question

          Peter Principle. heh.

          1. Kiwi Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: Burning question

            Peter Principle. heh.

            Maybe in this case more of a "petro-principle"?

            But yes. Should've been fired. Someone should've stuck a match under him while he was stupidly pouring gasoline on the field. Maybe then he would've seen the light!

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Burning question

        >employee who made the "poor decision" is still employed?

        Probably a relative of the mayor.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Burning question

      "The burning question here though, apart from the obvious removal of grass, did it work?"

      From the linked video, it was a baseball diamond they were trying to dry out. That's usually "dirt", not grass, so no grass to remove. I suspect they just wanted to make the "dirt" slideable for those "did he make ot to the base" moments so beloved of baseball fans. I doubt the outfield grass being wet was a problem unless it had turned into a lake.

      1. Dave 144

        Re: Burning question

        "it was a baseball diamond they were trying to dry out."

        With 90 litres of petrol?

  6. werdsmith Silver badge

    You can combine your pitch drying with a BBQ, the folk of CT can learn a thing or two from cricket in India:

    Drying a cricket wicket, India

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      That would work so much better with sausages. Then there'd be an actual point in turning up at the ground.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        or in the case of baseball, hot dogs

    2. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
      Flame

      A carefully planned application of an appropriate amount of heat under controlled and supervised conditions, versus gung-ho chucking on any amount of fuel, igniting it and being shocked at the result.

      It's not just the folk of CT that could learn something, the latter approach does appear to be prevalent at many levels in the USA.

  7. el kabong

    Let me guess, a prominent twiterer gave them the idea

    I think I know who it was.

  8. Timo

    Quick dry

    There is a product called Quick Dry that will rapidly soak up the water in a damp field. Go Google it.

    Also helps to get out with a rake and work on the low spots, spreading out the wetness.

    It takes more than a few minutes to work, so some planning ahead is needed. Rake and put down quick-dry, then wait a few hours. It is effective but won't make miracles happen.

    My kids have played spring softball and those fields are just unplayable a lot.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Quick dry

      It's also rather pricey. But it probably would have been cheaper in the long run than the gasoline, fire department time, and digging up and replacing the dirt.

    2. d2

      Re: Quick dry

      w0w...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTq1urcRg5Y

      1:07

      Turface Quick Dry Infield 4 in 1

      Baseball field mix Quick Dry turface Axis absorbtion MVP

      =

      https://turface.com/products/infield-conditioners/quick-dry

      Turface Quick Dry

      Save the Game from Rain!

      The fine particles of Turface® Quick Dry®

      make it the perfect choice

      for quickly clearing up puddles and mud on skinned infields.

      Just dump and rake to make your infield safe and playable.

      Absorbs its weight in water!

      Won’t harden or cake like similar water-absorbing products

      Used to rescue more infields than any other brand

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    appaling

    Yet another proof part of humanity should and will go directly to the Darwin's award ...

    Good luck to them trying to explain how they'd get there !

  10. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Redwood trees do an amazing job of removing puddles. The initial lag of 10 years before it starts working is a bit of a drawback, but it's still better than gasoline.

    1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

      Redwood trees do an amazing job of removing puddles.

      They do tend to block the home runs and line drives, though (not to mention making running the bases more challenging)

      // no "mighty redwood" icon?

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        In the UK, I think cement dust is the approved solution for drying out playing fields. Then oh, hey! We can now sell those playing fields as car parks/housing developments!

        1. caffeine addict Silver badge

          Which, ironically (in this context), almost always end up with flooding problems.

          1. Christoph Silver badge

            Yes, playing fields tend to be on the flood plain. Because anything else you put there would get regularly flooded, which a field can recover from.

            Pity that they now let developers build over those fields - and then they are so surprised when after the developer has departed with the profits the new buildings get flooded.

            1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

              "I bought this house in Water Meadows Drive, why is it underwater?"

              1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                "They said this was a 20-year floodplain, and I've only owned the house for 19 years!"

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "Which, ironically (in this context), almost always end up with flooding problems."

            Make sure you do it on high ground. #someoneelsesproblem

      2. RFC822

        / no "mighty redwood" icon?

        Here we only have John Redwood. Who is very far from "mighty".

        1. Oh Matron!

          Just as intelligent, though...

          1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

            Bit of a plank really.

          2. hplasm Silver badge

            ...and wet-ish

      3. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        I may be wrong, but isn't it five runs for hitting an obstacle?

  11. BebopWeBop Silver badge

    On par with the guy who burnt his (parents?) house down trying to get rid of a spider with a blow torch, mentioned in the Reg a while back - http://time.com/2991835/man-tries-to-kill-a-spider-and-ends-up-burning-his-house-down/

    1. DailyLlama
      Mushroom

      But that's fair enough, I mean, it was a spider...

      1. batfink

        That wasn't a spider. THIS is a spider...

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRQucp31n0c

        1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

          Now that is one proficient spider. Amazing creatures and the self-propagating irrational fear of largely harmless to human critters doesn't help much and is annoying to see. While some are a touch dangerous to humans, most aren't and there is much more danger from farmyard animals, automobiles, the bugs that spiders eat, pets and, in un-civilised parts of the world, privately owned firearms (which have no practical use against spiders except for ill-advised bludgeoning).

          1. batfink

            Agreed Nick. These Huntsman spiders are pretty timid, despite being large and scary-looking. They do hurt if they bite you, but it's not going to be fatal and they'd usually just prefer to run away.

            I'm kinda happy to tolerate them around the house as they eat lots of other things I'd prefer not to share with. However under pressure from SWHBO, who pointed out that maybe they wouldn't appreciate being accidentally being sat on, I used to just chase them out the back door. Occasionally though I'd come across one with a bad attitude so the size 10 would come out. Hopefully I was using natural selection around my place to breed less-aggressive ones...

            1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

              Huntsmen

              The story I've been told is that the huntsman spider is deadly as a distraction, and nothing else.

              Since they hide and then jump out at prey, having this happen to you when you're doing 100 and flip the sun visor down/reach for a sweat/turn on the radio etc.

              1. batfink

                Re: Huntsmen

                Yeah agreed - I can picture that! I had a nasty shock when driving one night when I looked right and there was a large huntsman about 6 inches from my nose. When my heart rate came back down I realized it was on the outside of the window. Made me jump though, and I had to squash down hard on my mild arachnophobia for the rest of the journey, while it simply enjoyed the breeze.

        2. Kiwi Silver badge
          Alert

          That wasn't a spider. THIS is a spider...

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRQucp31n0c

          Ah, looks like a breed we have around here.

          Last week my cat got a bit peeved at me after I wasn't watchful enough while walking, and happened to find his tail with my foot.

          Not sure how, but later that night I saw him carry a mouse into my room. Only, it wasn't a mouse.

          I am a bit arachnophobic, but at least I have a large enough jar and being that NZ doesn't have anything more poisonous than a white-tail, Mr Spider was removed safely and without (futher) injury.

          I am a bit worried about what form of revenge the cat may attempt next time I do something deserving of extreme revenge, like delaying his feeding a few seconds or not giving him a taste of milk every now and then.

          (Must check if we are actually supposed to have this breed of spider (or something similar) in NZ or not)

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        I mean, it was a spider..

        Oi! Leave spiders alone - they are really, really useful little beasties[1]. Especially if one's home gets infested with clothes moths that laugh at the usual methods of controlling them.. (although the moth clap-dance still works but you usually get funny looks from guests when you charge round the room trying to kill them.)

        [1] My wife classifies them into 'Henries' and 'Georges' - Henries are the long-leggedy ones with small bodies that lurk around the coving and eat mainly each other and Georges are everything else - especially house-spiders. And house-spiders don't get put outside in autumn because the cold will kill them, unlike wolf-spiders.

        1. 9Rune5
          Gimp

          but you usually get funny looks from guests when you charge round the room trying to kill them

          You are doing it wrong if you just get funny looks. Rewatch "The Silence of the Lambs" for inspiration.

  12. Red Ted
    Thumb Up

    Jet engine dryer

    I recall that the Santa Pod Raceway has a jet engine mounted on a trailer with a cowl that directs the exhaust down so as they can dry the track before a race!

    1. Korev Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Jet engine dryer

      The RAF V bomber bases used to use a jet engine mounted on a truck which towed a fuel bowser. They use less fun methods these days (and only the Royal Navy submarines have nuclear weapons in UK forces these days).

      Thankfully they never needed to deliver their "bucket of sunshine" -->

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: Jet engine dryer

        That's what we need! A Zamboni with thrust vectoring. Anyone got the number for those Sabre chappies?

        1. Criggie

          Re: Jet engine dryer

          @elonmusk got a moment.... ?

  13. Trollslayer Silver badge

    How about

    Robot controlled fan heaters?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: How about

      I'd suggest a fleet of drones.

      1. Kiwi Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: How about

        I'd suggest a fleet of drones.

        Wot, like the local council?

        1. David 132 Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: How about

          The “Drones” was the name of the fictional gentlemens’ club in PG Wodehouse’s Jeeves & Wooster books. It was a club of what we might otherwise refer to as upper-class twits.

          Bear that in mind, and from now on any news stories you read about ”drones being used to deliver groceries” or ”drones sighted on airport runway” etc. will be just that little bit more surreal and interesting with the appropriate mental substitution.

  14. jabuzz

    There is a range of ground drying machines from Super Sopper in Australia. Extensively used in cricket, but can be used to dry any grass surface. They even advertise some of their machines as being ideal for baseball. There is also the Bowdry squeegee.

    1. Woza

      My cricket club bought 2 of the small (hand-pushed) ones last year - best money we ever spent. It will only pick up surface water, though.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "There is a range of ground drying machines from Super Sopper in Australia. "

      Are they a bit like snow ploughs in the UK? ie spend most of their lives in a warehouse waiting for the once in 10 years outing when the wrong kind of snow/rain comes?

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
        Trollface

        And then when it does come, it comes to such an extent that you can't get the damn things out of the shed anyway?

      2. batfink

        Nup. In many places in Australia during the wet season it rains with a capital F. Regular afternoon thunderstorms are a usual occurrence in several of the larger cities in summer. If you're really in the north - such as Darwin - you get monsoon-like rains.

        Of course, in those places where it doesn't rain all that often (I think Birdsville has an annual Australia Day match), when it does rain, your main problem is generally that the bit of ground that your pitch used to be on is now some distance downstream...

      3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        spend most of their lives in a warehouse waiting for the once in 10 years outing

        Certainly non in the UK - it's more likely that they spend one year in 10 in the warehouse..

        Although 'play stopped for rain' *is* a valid excuse to get some more beverages from the tent.

  15. Crisp Silver badge

    Why not construct SportsBall pitches with proper drainage

    Then the water would, y'know... drain away.

    1. DJV Silver badge

      Re: Why not construct SportsBall pitches with proper drainage

      How dare you come around here with your sensible suggestions!

      1. d2

        Re: Why not construct SportsBall pitches with proper drainage

        pro templates: https://bsbproduction.s3.amazonaws.com/portals/10758/docs/turface%20articles/turface%20field%20maintenance%20tips.pdf

    2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: Why not construct SportsBall pitches with proper drainage

      Because it's expensive.

      I play amateur rugby in the north of England. A wet winter and you can go weeks without a game. Amateur clubs just can't afford the drainage.

      Apparently the RFU are willing to fund the installation of our drainage but (understandably) only if we can get a long lease on our pitch which the land owner won't agree to.

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: Why not construct SportsBall pitches with proper drainage

        How much would you be willing to add to your rates (aka local property taxes) to enable this brilliant plan?

        1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

          Re: Why not construct SportsBall pitches with proper drainage

          The RFU is the Rugby Football Union. Nothing to do with taxation at all.

      2. Kiwi Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Why not construct SportsBall pitches with proper drainage

        I know you play rugby and are perhaps a little scared of breaking a nail, getting your skirt dirty and so on but.. Y'know playing in the mud can be rather fun, right? And big tough men don't actually mind getting dirty... :)

        Best game I ever had was in Wanganui, near the boys college, where our field had a stream running through it thanks to lots of rain and not-so lots of drainage. That was back before we got "touch rugby". These days I think there's more water on the field from the players crying over the thought of getting their hair wet than there is from actual rainfall....

        (cue flames, threats and other such fluff... :) )

        As an aside, perhaps you can look into doing some fundraising and labour raising to get the field sorted? Perhaps the land owner would be willing to meet you part way, say they provide the materials and your teams provide the labour? I realise novaflow (or UK equiv) must cost a bit to cover a decent sports field, and the gravel etc would also cost a pretty penny or two, but some banding together can get this stuff done with less effort than most realist. Maybe some drainage companies will even have usable "scrap" lengths of piping that could do the job.

        1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

          Re: Why not construct SportsBall pitches with proper drainage

          The rules are that we can't play if you can drown on the pitch. Years ago I played with a ref that said flooding was fine, but if there's a breakdown in one of the an infield lakes, he'd stop play for a scrum.

          I believe the landowner wants to flog the land to a housing developer at some point and so we're apparently in talks with moving down the road to a more permanent ground.

    3. PhilipN Silver badge

      Wembley

      Guess sports field technology has advanced in 50 years so we should never see a water-logged pitch for Important Games.

      Different when Leeds lost an FA Cup final. The ground staff spent all morning working sand into a wet pitch as a result of which it was like playing on soft moss. As a result also they lost when the ball, expected as per normal physics to bounce straight into the arms of Gary Sprake, who was positioned exactly right and ready, just went plop and almost dribbled underneath him into the goal.

      1. Kiwi Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Wembley

        Different when Leeds lost an FA Cup final.

        Your soccer rules may be different over there than ours over here, but don't both teams normally play on exactly the same pitch at exactly the same time? :)

  16. chivo243 Silver badge
    Flame

    Motor racing

    Have a cool device to dry the track, I think it could be rejiggered to work on grass ;-}

    https://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/23/sports/autoracing/nascars-air-titan-could-reduce-drying-time-of-rain-soaked-track.html

    Flame icon because...

  17. DuncanLarge Bronze badge

    Grass?

    Are they really still subjecting poor innocent grass to the punishment of human feet needlessly stomping on it?

    Surely I thought we had all switched to AstroTurf TM

    :P

    However maybe that would dry better?

    1. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: Grass?

      a) Kiddie field.

      2) Astroturf hurts like hell when you hit it c/f real grass according to most athletes.

      *) I thought we were all supposed to be thinking green and doing our bit for carbon sequestration? Astroturf sucks up no OCO whatsoever. Grass is the very epitome of photosynthetic political correctness.

      Until you fire up the ride-on mowers of course, but then you can't make an omelet without firing up the ride-on mowers.

      1. veti Silver badge

        Re: Grass?

        Grass doesn't sequester any noticeable amount of carbon either.

        The playing fields around here have mostly been replaced with astroturf. Now (1) they're sodden most of the time, and (2) they stink. I haven't tried falling over on one.

      2. eldakka Silver badge

        Re: Grass?

        Grass is the very epitome of photosynthetic political correctness.

        Well, until some bright spark decides to pour gasoline on it and burn it that is.

      3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Grass?

        photosynthetic political correctness

        It ain't easy being green! Unless one is a chlorophyll-based lifeform of course.. Or a sloth.

    2. Zippy´s Sausage Factory
      Joke

      Re: Grass?

      Are you astroturfing on behalf of AstroTurf?

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Grass?

        Are you astroturfing on behalf of AstroTurf?

        Don't grass him up - he's trying to get to the root of the problem.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Grass?

      As I recall, baseball infields (the runner areas between bases) are usually coated with that clay-like material that looks a bit like cat litter. Probably similar to that 'quick dry' compound someone already mentioned.

      The center around the pitcher's mound, and the outfield, would all likely be grass-covered though. but most of the running takes place on a clay like material.

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: Grass?

        More akin to the stuff on an "all-weather" soccer pitch (do they still have such horrors?) - actually, just dirt really.

        All-weather soccer pitches. Ha! The one at St John Backsides Comprehensive washed out in the first year it was put in so that from then on right behind one corner there was an ankle-breaker & concussion pit. Made for short corner kicks. Star school player places ball on corner, signals in a businesslike manner where he wants all the other players to be, snarls at the weedier ones, takes three paces back, plunges out of sight with a gratifying scream of pain.

  18. Jemma Silver badge

    Roundup & diesel..

    Always a good decision..

    Just check for live hand grenades beforehand!

    My dad did the R & D trick in the back garden - when we moved in - then cross rotavated - then went round beating the crap out of scaffolding pins - and the egg shaped extremely live not-a-scaffolding-pin..

    Must have been built under contract by Morris because even after all that it didn't explode..

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Roundup & diesel..

      might get you on a terrorist watch list!

    2. Crisp Silver badge

      Re: Roundup & diesel..

      "Roundup & diesel" - That's a drink isn't it?

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Roundup & diesel..

        "Roundup & diesel" - That's a drink isn't it?

        Only once.

      2. Kiwi Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Roundup & diesel..

        "Roundup & diesel" - That's a drink isn't it?

        Does that explain your handle?

    3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Roundup & diesel..

      contract by Morris because even after all that it didn't explode..

      Oi! I'll have you know that our Morris Minor is a fine piece of kit![1] And I'm pretty glad that it hasn't exploded either..

      [1] I use the word 'kit' as shorthand for '1950's engineering using agricultural suspension and costs a fortune every year to keep working and looking nice'. But t'wife loves it so who am I to argue? You can't fault her taste in the finer things of life - especially as she married me..

  19. drand
    Trollface

    It's not a proper sport

    ...if it can't be played in the wet.

    1. Caver_Dave
      Unhappy

      Re: It's not a proper sport

      We used to play rugby at school - skins against shirts. The pre-match warm up was kicking the snow off the lines on the pitch. We used to swap shirts at half time.

      Character building they called it!

      1. sandman

        Re: It's not a proper sport

        You got to swap shirts at half time? Luxury!

        1. Stevie Silver badge

          Re: It's not a proper sport

          You 'ad 'arf time? Luxury!

    2. the Jim bloke Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: It's not a proper sport

      ...if it can't be played in the wet on FIRE

      FTFY

      on reading the article I thought it was someones bright idea to make baseball INTERESTING

      Probably something for the major leagues though, and find an alternative for dealing with the larval stage

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At school we had to play (field) hockey on the beach when the grass pitches were too wet. Least popular position was winger when the tide was coming in.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bah - softies

    What's wrong with making them do cross-country when the pitch is too wet?

    Never did me any harm, blather mumble.

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: Bah - softies

      Rugby's the sport you play when it's too wet for cricket.

      ( Not being a girl I never played rounders, so I wouldn't know what time of year they played it )

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Bah - softies

        Rugby's the sport you play when it's too wet for cricket.

        Being the tall, skinny kid with glasses, rugby was never my choice. Basketball though - it had the advantage of being indoors, nice and warm and dry, and we were allowed mixed teams..

  22. Real Ale is Best

    They evidently forgot that you shouldn't pour petrol near a match.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      <groan> :-)

    2. Stevie Silver badge

      you shouldn't pour petrol near a match

      Agreed. Could trigger a player's strike.

  23. hplasm Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Somewhere...

    Green Day are playing...

  24. Spanners Silver badge
    Go

    New invention?

    Combine a leaf blower with a paint stripper.

    Or one of those things they use to strip off old road markings before putting in new ones?

  25. &rew
    Joke

    The obvious solution

    I hear sunshine dries things quite well - did they try that?

    1. alex-w
      Mushroom

      Re: The obvious solution

      The canned variety?

  26. Celeste Reinard

    Fotonic Fountain

    Has anybody thought of the use of the giant raygun in the sky? Cheap as dirt, cheerful actually, it works like a charm. ... As I recall Florida isn't one of those places where the sun doesn't shine...

    Another useful tip from ancient times - the Parthenon has (if I recall properly) a curved floor - to make the water go away - so no puddles for the gods. Maybe the lesser gods could take an example from the worshippers of Athena?

    1. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: As I recall Florida

      Story item took place in Connecticut.

      1. Celeste Reinard

        Re: As I recall Florida

        ... Someone is wrong on the internet...

    2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      Re: Fotonic Fountain

      They say of the Acropolis, where the Parthenon is …

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fotonic Fountain

        What do they say? What do they say?

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

  27. Christian Berger Silver badge

    The way it's done in Germany (I know it's boring)

    We use those tubes used for pneumatic tube transport at CCC events, but in a variation with holes on one side and burry them in the ground. This gives you a drainage system to get rid of excessive water.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: The way it's done in Germany (I know it's boring)

      This gives you a drainage system to get rid of excessive water

      Or, as we've done here for generations, fired clay pipes with gaps along the upper side. They work nicely and don't have the problems associated with burying plastics..

      (Search-engine-of-your-choice for "clay land drains". Laid with small gaps between the sections..)

  28. Eddy Ito Silver badge
    Facepalm

    24 Gallons!

    So they did what? Took 5 or 6 trips to the filling station with a single can or did they go whole hog and ring up the $70 worth of gasoline in one go? Most shops around here won't let you simply fill up a drum in the back seat of your car as they want it to be grounded to reduce the odds of static discharge so I'm wondering just how they did it. Please tell me they emptied a 1 gallon hand pump sprayer a full 24 times before actually lighting up the sod.

    On the upside, since they'll be rebuilding it from scratch maybe they can do it right with some sharp sand, gravel, and perhaps even a bit of drainage pipe instead of the previous, "We'll just paint base lines down at the field by the marsh and the kids can play there. What could go wrong?"

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: 24 Gallons!

      24 gallons is a small topup can in florida

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: Most shops around here won't let you

        Nanny state. Move somewhere less nosey and controlling.

        Like Connecticut.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: 24 Gallons!

      "So they did what? Took 5 or 6 trips to the filling station with a single can or did they go whole hog and ring up the $70 worth of gasoline in one go? "

      My guess, a siphon tube and the principal's SUV

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: 24 Gallons!

      City parks department. Probably the city has a large gasoline tank for it's fleet of vehicles.

  29. John Robson Silver badge

    Cricket...

    Has some pretty good techniques...

    First of all, don't let the critical surfaces get wet.

    Then run a rope around the rest - it doesn't strictly dry it (although it can trail a towel as well), but it does knock the moisture off the grass, and onto the ground, where is it fairly likely to soak in (assuming the ground isn't waterlogged, in which case come back in a few days...)

  30. Marty McFly
    Mushroom

    Sensationalism???

    $10-20k to clean this up? Seriously? It is gas in dirt. In the middle of a field. Not threatening any structures or landscape. Let it burn and the gas will be gone.

    Fire icon because, well, fire!

  31. JohnFen Silver badge

    Idiots everywhere

    This reminds me of the time when a neighbor decided to get rid of a wasp's nest under the eaves of his house by soaking it in kerosene and setting it on fire. He was left without 25% of his roof, a large bill form the fire department, and looking forward to years of his neighbors snickering every time they looked his way.

    On the positive side, he told me, he did successfully eliminate the nest.

  32. spold Bronze badge

    More efficient solution...

    ...would have been to order 50,000 somethings (shoes, handbags, electronics etc) from Amazon for same day delivery and use all the little silica gel packets to get the job done (do not eat remember). The incidental waste (swag/products) would be efficiently disposed of (kept) by the town employees.

    1. eldakka Silver badge

      Re: More efficient solution...

      Or use the mobile-phone drying technique:

      Cover the field in uncooked rice, let it sit for an hour or 2, then scoop it up.

      1. Toltec

        Re: More efficient solution...

        Even better add some spices, tomato, chicken and prawns while gently heating with a jet engine and you have enough paella* for the whole town

        * Other regional rice based dishes are available e.g. biryani and jambalaya

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: More efficient solution...

          jambalaya

          Craw-fish pie, ambigayo,

          son of a gun, we'll have real fun, on the bayou..

          Now I'm earwormed by 1970's-era Carpenters music.

  33. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Was the use of the 80s-era jingoistic insult because a lake of premium gasoline can be had for next to nowt this side of the pond rather than the two-limb cost of half a tank of four star Blightside?

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Bah!

      Actually, in Cali-Fornicate-You right now, gasoline is approaching $4/gallon again. Reason: new taxes, special formulation requirements, and the usual refinery problems [all caused by state government regulations, many of which are based on false science like 'oxygenate' in gasoline and special formulas that have no effect on computer-controlled engines].

      It's an unfortunate part of living in the state where gasoline prices are 25% or more higher than everywhere else in the USA, and consumption is probably highest due to the average length of daily commutes. If it takes you one hour each way by CAR, think TWICE that on public transit...

      Then again, in UK I guess fuel prices are even higher than here... [similar problems too I bet]

      [crude oil prices are not the main driving factor of Cali-Fornicate-You fuel prices - if they were, then fuel would be cheaper than ever here]

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: Bah!

        So go live in South Carolina or Georgia.

        Gas is about a dollar a gallon there most days, *and* they let you use that little ratchet and peg in the gas pistol handle so you can wander around while the car if filling.

        Also: no earthquakes, though you do get hurricanes of late, and snow for the last two years.

        1998 called. They want their "pun" back.

      2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Re: Bah!

        We pay about £1.30/litre at the moment

        That, in American gallons is (1.3*3.78) = £4.91, which google says is $6.42.

        1. Kiwi Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Bah!

          NZ petrol currently would work out to $US5.90/Gal at today's prices (using the same method)

          ($NZ2.309/L earlier today at Z, I think Mobil was $2.319 - I took it off the Z price)

  34. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Strikes me that the easiest way to dry ground out once it is wet (professional fields attempt to avoid this by covering the fields when it rains) would be to erect a large, transparent, air-supported marquee over it, of the sort used to shelter rooftop tennis courts and suchlike. Kind of like a huge hovercraft skirt. The incident sunlight would get evaporation going and the airflow would keep it going until the ground parched and the grass died of thirst.

    1. redpawn Silver badge
      Alien

      Re: Bah!

      Better to use large satellite mounted mirrors to focus more sunlight on the area. That's how how we do it here on Proxima Centauri Two.

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re:Proxima Centauri Two.

        So we can expect your pitch-drying rays to arrive sometime around July 10th?

        Of 2023.

        Good to know.

  35. Oh Homer
    Facepalm

    Only in America

    Maybe they could just man up and get muddy.

    Failing that, there's always astroturf.

    But burning away all the grass in a futile attempt to "dry" it...

    I can just imagine a golf course greenkeeper's reaction to such a suggestion.

    This is some of the most profound idiocy I've ever witnessed. Anywhere. Ever.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Only in America

      This is some of the most profound idiocy I've ever witnessed.

      Oh - I dunno. They *did* elect Trump after all..

  36. Marshalltown

    Reminds me

    Dry grass can burn very hot and very quickly. My grandmother, whose immigrated from England to Canada before WWI and who in turn immigrated with her husband and family to California following the Long Beach earthquake. After finally settling on a small "farm" in Central California she developed the practice of burning over the "north 40" every year in the later spring. One time she stationed me down wind with a hose to protect the neighbor's wooden fence and torched the plot. The wind gusted and I was suddenly confronted with eight to ten foot high flames roaring right at me. Somehow I made a standing backward high jump over the fence behind me. Happily she always mowed a fire break around the plot and I was able to use that and the hose to stop the fire. She came hurrying around the burn to see if I was all right.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    US Gallons or real ones?

    As this is a US tale i presume they used 24 US gallons which would work out as approximately 91 Litres rather than the 109 Litres quoted

    But more importantly what is that in real ElReg units?

  38. genmayhem
    Black Helicopters

    Could have just done what they do with the football fields, land a helicopter and let the blades spin for a while...

  39. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    No, no, no...

    The best solution would be to put a laptop in the middle of the pitch, browse to The Register, and simply post a comment about how smoothly Brexit is panning out and how wonderfully Theresa May is handling the situation. For a quicker drying time, the comment should be made in a thread totally unrelated to Brexit.

    1. Kiwi Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: No, no, no...

      Faster still... Mention that Windows is better than Linux, and Elmer Fudd is right in that we should backdoor encryption!

      Or, even faster...

      Invite Righto and that other fella[1] who was sadly banned for a no-holds-barred grudgematch...

      [1]I apologise for not being able to remember his name. One of the more interesting characters we had around here! [sniff]

  40. 10forcash Bronze badge

    I think a couple of Sea Harriers doing a few 'touch & go' exercises would have dried things out nicely, failing that, paint a large H in the middle and fabricate a story that would result in several Chinooks landing there....

  41. sisk Silver badge

    ......Hey Reg, I think you messed up. Wasn't this story supposed to be posted last Monday?

  42. GrapeBunch Bronze badge

    100 local gents with shop-vacs, and a cancerous windmill to power them all.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Baseball field?

    If you burn it, they will come.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ay5GqJwHF8

  44. Hazmoid
    Facepalm

    Seems that councils don't have a lock on stupid moments

    reminds me of the time the local ranger decided the easy way to get rid of dead whale carcass was to blow it up :)

    1. Kiwi Silver badge

      Re: Seems that councils don't have a lock on stupid moments

      At least everybody got fresh sushi....

      ...For several miles around.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Seems that councils don't have a lock on stupid moments

        fresh sushi.

        Only if you definition of "fresh" extends to "dead for several days and lying in the sun"..

        1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

          Re: Seems that councils don't have a lock on stupid moments

          Fine, everyone got gas station sushi.

        2. Kiwi Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Seems that councils don't have a lock on stupid moments

          fresh sushi.

          Only if you definition of "fresh" extends to "dead for several days and lying in the sun"..

          No.

          My definition is several weeks. At least going by the taste and stench. I mean tantalising aroma.

          --> My face at the smell of putrid rotting fish fresh sushi

  45. HinD
    Trollface

    Also...

    The article failed to mention the fire had the potential to spread and cause an uncontrollable forest fire. Thankfully this was prevented because there were people raking around the fire.

  46. Kiwi Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Us Kiwis...

    We commonly use Helicopters in such cases.

    That said, when it comes to sports we would probably only resort to that for a thugby match. They're the only group sufficiently fearful enough of water to warrant it. The kids would love the chance to get muddy while playing baseball!

    We've been known to use the same method for drying concrete inside buildings as well, although I'm sure better planning would be cheaper than finding a chopper pilot willing to hover inside a building! (spent some time trying to find a link - miss the days when a "+" or "-" had a decent effect on search terms, rather than today when all engines do a "or" search on every word and also do their "Couldn't find many results for what you typed, here's something completely unrelated instead!")

    1. El Al

      Re: Us Kiwis...

      If you start your query with allintext: , Google restricts results to those containing all the query terms you specify in the text of the page.

      HTH

      1. Kiwi Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Us Kiwis...

        Thanks but.. It breaks Google by being a bit unusual, and as I won't allow google's BS JS to run on my machines.... :

        Our systems have detected unusual traffic from your computer network. This page checks to see if it's really you sending the requests, and not a robot. Why did this happen?

        (search was "allintext:helicoptor dry floor" on google.co.nz)

  47. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

    I Love the Smell of Napalm in the Morning

  48. defiler Silver badge

    Fast times at Ridgefield High?

    Come on guys - it's been a whole day, and nobody's come up with that one?

  49. Potemkine! Silver badge

    J'aime jouer avec le feu, mais j'aime pas me brûler

    Playing with fire

  50. Bill Michaelson

    Drying vegetaiton is a cottage (hangar) industry...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPT9YbtINy4

  51. Toltec

    Missing the obvious method

    You simply invent a time machine, travel into the past and cover the pitch/field before it rains.

    And leave a note to yourself to explain why the pitch/field was covered so you need to build a time machine and go back to put the cover in place and pass the time machine plans on. Don't leave the result of the game in the note, you wouldn't want to mess with causality after all.

    1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: go back to put the cover in place and pass the time machine plans on.

      I'm glad that I'm not maintaining any of your programming jobs.

    2. defiler Silver badge

      Re: Missing the obvious method

      Ted! Don't forget to wind your watch!

  52. StillBill

    Missing other good government ideas

    From the 70s...

    Oregon Exploding Whale

    So a large whale washes up on the beach... Rather than haul it away... load it with explosives and let the birds eat the bite size chunks that would be left...

    You can read what really happened. Lets just say bite sized if you are an elephant sized bird and they still had to haul away 1/2 the carcass... I remember loving this video back in the early internet days

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sadly missed water removal method combining benefical US slurp

    enclose area to be dried with airtight surface with built-in rills and water permeable hollow spikes (to bring partial vaccum below surface level) and reduce pressure in contained area via pump.

    Gasolene may still be used to power pump if desired or alternative ecofriendly method of employing local sex workers to crank of pump allows for local officals to put BJs on expenses as well as being more fun to watch than football.

    Admittedly overuse of pump may produce desiccation and freezing of grass with result that it is turned to powder after a few seconds of use but ground will be much drier and harder.

  54. 9Rune5
    Pirate

    How to dry a baseball field

    Well, the obvious solution is, as always, sharks with lasers.

    But what if you did not bring your sharks along or, heaven forbid, forgot the lasers at home? That has happened to me, and I'm sure it has happened to all of you as well.

    In that case, there is a very eco-friendly method: Plant a row of trees. The gentle oak will gladly soak up liters and liters of deadly water. What's more: You can then soak the oak with gasoline and set fire to it, or build a fleet of ships complete with cannons and other necessities you'll need in order to crush your enemies. Win-win.

    1. the Jim bloke Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: How to dry a baseball field

      My favored backup plan for when I cant bring my sharks, is the giant Lunar based deathray laser, slightly more economical than the orbital option due to costs involved in building the required volcano to mount it in.

      As for the biological option, Oaks may not have the pitch dry enough in time - I vaguely recall something about a mid-morning game ?... Perhaps I could recommend...Kudzu

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