What would you do ? (3) The Puzzle

“What would you do ?” used to figure on the cover of a boys’ comic called “Boys’ World”. This was a publication, obviously, aimed at boys and first appeared on January 26th 1963. There were 89 issues before the comic was merged with Eagle in 1964. The last issue of “Boys’ World” came out on October 3rd 1964.

I used to buy “Boys’ World”, and this was mainly for the front cover which always featured a kind of puzzle. It was called “What would you do ?” and was based on somebody being in what Ned Flanders would call “A dilly of a pickle”.

Here’s the situation:

The yellow box would have set the scene, but at the moment she has run away with the orange arrow, so don’t expect too many maps either. Instead, the blue box steps manfully into the breach and describes the situation which is yours to solve.  Perhaps you might like to write your idea in the “Comments” section.

Here’s the blue box enlarged:

Soooooo…… with seconds before the building falls, the firemen are thirty feet from the base of the main front wall of “Wobbling Heights”, set on fire by a mysterious arsonist. The ten storey building will cover around one hundred and sixty feet when it falls. That’s a “A grilled dilly of a roasted pickle”.

Be sensible in your suggestions. No, there isn’t enough time for:

Or even for :


Filed under History, Humour, Literature, Personal, Writing

31 responses to “What would you do ? (3) The Puzzle

  1. Richard

    I would either run sideways towards the firetruck, since the building looks like it is falling straight, and therefore it would miss. Or locate the nearest manhole, and throw myself into it.

    • The nearest manhole is a very creative solution, although the cover might be more difficult to unscrew and lift off. Your fire truck idea, though, is on the right track.

  2. Can’t think of anything – sensible or otherwise

  3. Run toward the building and get as small as possible against the base of the wall. (Am I dead yet?)

  4. Chris Waller

    Though it goes against all intuition I would suggest running towards the building and standing in the doorway in the hope that the door-frame and lintel would provide some protection.

    • Obviously, I’ve seen the answer, and in essence, you are correct, Chris. Interestingly, firemen have fewer and fewer fires to deal with, in England at least, particularly house fires. People have largely given up smoking, and there are so many food shops open really late that drunks don’t have to get the chip pan out and burn their own house down.

  5. Definitely in the “run towards the building” camp. Any debris further away would be falling with a greater velocity when it hits the ground.

  6. “Beam me up Scotty”? 🙂

  7. Jan

    This is what you do, but only if your Alberts are the size of a planet!

    • I have always wondered how many stuntmen were injured in practicing this, before Buster Keaton stepped in to do it as a take. The Imdb trivia section tells a slightly different, and rather sad, tale:
      “The stunt where the wall falls on Buster Keaton was performed with an actual full-weight wall. Half the crew walked off the set rather than participate in a stunt that would have killed Keaton if he had been slightly off position. Keaton himself, told the previous day that his studio was being shut down, was so devastated that he didn’t care if the wall crushed him or not.”

  8. Do you still have the comic books? They could be valuable now if they were protected. I have heard of other British bloggers writing about Boys’ World and the “What would you do?” before. We in the states had Boy Scouts but I’m not sure what else. I only remember my brothers reading Mad Magazine while I read Archie…

  9. I would do as Buster Keaton did and hope the window frame was in just the right place. Knowing a burning building though I’d be toast! However, if I was a little more callous, I’d grab my friend next to me and pull him on top to protect me from the burning debris.

    • But you’d be racked with survivor guilt for the rest of your life!
      You’d just have to hope that standing where you thought best would work, and that the window would be big enough to clear your head and then to fit over you perfectly. If you look at my reply to Jan, you can see what the stuntmen of the day thought of Keaton’s stunt and just how dangerous it was.

      • Hmm racked with guilt maybe but alive I would be! I guess my ideas don’t cut it then, especially considering what you said to Jan. Some of the stunts performed by these early silent movie stars would have the ‘elf ‘n safety dept. reeling!

  10. Looks like they are standing on top of the fire truck and also the breadth of the building hasn’t been mentioned so assuming it to be smaller I would ask the driver to speed off along the breadth to get out of the way. In the meantime keep praying that I didn’t make a stupid decision 🙂

  11. I believe the only way these firemen have a chance of survival is to run towards the wall and make themselves into a tight ball against that wall, protecting their limbs and face. I can see of no other way.

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