The Moonlighter Challenge: Dangling a beer carrot

Don’t you just hate it when you see people that think they know how everything is done? No one likes a know-it-all . . . until now. Last year I did this build and I am still uncertain of what it is called. But whatever it is called, it will provide hours of entertainment watching people try to figure it out. I called mine “The Moonlighter Challenge,” after my homebrew club. After doing some research (drinking beer in various awkward positions) I was ready for my build. The best thing about it is that you probably have just about everything you need laying around for this build. You may want to double up and build two and make it more competitive. If you have two people competing side-by-side they are less likely to be taking their time making for better entertainment for all. When someone goes too slow it is about as fun as watching paint dry. Keep in mind you want this as light as you can possibly make it. I made mine with 2X4s but 2X3s would make it a bit lighter. Also consider safety when building this or it may be all fun and games until someone loses an eye. Best of all, given our current situation, social distancing is pretty much built into this. And for those I-can-do-it-alls, now you’ve got a real challenge for them.

Parts and Materials

  • (A) 2×4 or 2×3- 46 in. (1.17 m) long
  • (B) 2×4 or 2×3- 22 in. (56 cm) long
  • (C) 2×4 or 2×3- 15 in. (38 cm) long (ends cut to 45 degrees)
  • (D) Approximately 20 ft. (6.1 m) of string
  • (E) An old backpack, harness or something to use for straps
  • (F) A piece of plywood about 16 in. x 20 in. (41 cm x 51 cm) for back board
  • (G) [2] 12 in. x 6 in. (30 cm x 15 cm) plywood
  • (H) 7 in. x 7 in. (18 cm x 18 cm) plywood for cup holder
  • (I) [2] 6-in. (15 cm) wooden dowels to use as handles
  • (J) [12] Metal eye hooks
  • Plastic solo cups
  • Cheap beer or beverage that you don’t mind getting spilled

1. Create the Carrot Stick Holder

Use the drawing and parts list above for references to the individual pieces. Attach A and B to form a 90 degree angle, then re-enforce the connection with C using nails or screws

2. Creating the Backpack

Attached the back board, piece F centered on piece A using nails or screws. Mount the back pack straps securely to piece F using screws. This is going to take some trial and error to get it in the right position. I recommend making the straps adjustable so people of varying sizes will fit. Also mount an adjustable waist strap. This is important as it keeps the whole assembly better secured to the victim . . . I mean participant. Do not skip this item as it keeps the whole thing from flopping around.

3. Install Gepetto’s Board

Center and attach 1 piece G to piece B and screw in four metal eye hooks in. The strings will run through the eye hooks. Attach the other G piece to the end of piece B to use as the sign . . . this one is optional. But why would you go through all this work and not have a sign. Chalkboard paint will allow you to change up the sign for different events.

4. Create The Cupholder

Take piece H and cut a cup size hole in it. Not too big you want the cup to stick up and out a few inches. Screw four more metal eye screws into the corners of H.

5. The Puppeteer’s Handles

Take your two pieces you want to use as handles and put a metal eye screw on each end. Then run your four strings one at a time from the handle through the top plate and down to the cup holder. I recommend making the strings all of different lengths so it is more difficult to operate.

6. Test runs

A very important step, in the privacy of your own home try out your project. Iron out any flaws and make adjustments. Make sure it is not too easy or too hard. If you built it right you will get wet. I painted mine as well, which you may want to do as well.

Issue: October 2020