Talk to a headphones-wearing friend on a microphone made out of a matchbox and a pencil lead. Sure, you could use a regular microphone, but would it be as cool?

Say youâ€™re MacGyver. Youâ€™re in an evil-doerâ€™s secret lair, and are about to go and reveal his plan to the world. Suddenly, he realizes youâ€™re there, and he locks you inside a soundproof booth (itâ€™s an abandoned game show set) and leaves on a helicopter. Your partner is outside the booth, listening in on a headset, but the microphone inside the booth is destroyed. How do you get the information to your partner?

First of all, you donâ€™t laugh, because that kind of situation happened every week on MacGyver. Secondly, because youâ€™re a canny survivor who finds ways to use ordinary objects to make fantastical creations, you donâ€™t panic. The bad guy, like all bad people, is a smoker. Heâ€™s left an empty matchbox behind. On a desk in the booth, in a cup that says â€˜Worldâ€™s Best Supervillain,â€™ you find a bunch of mechanical pencils and some extra packs of lead. You also find a 4.5 volt battery. Since the equipment in the booth is smashed, there are a lot of lengths of wire sitting around. You and your Swiss Army Knife are now ready to go!

First, cut off three sections of pencil graphite. Two should be equal in length, and just a bit longer than the length of the matchbox. The third should be a little bit shorter than the length of the matchbox. Use your knife to very carefully scrape on side of each section of graphite until itâ€™s rough and uneven. Pierce the middle of each short side of the box twice, and thread the longer pieces of lead through, rough side up. The box, when looked down at from above, should have two parallel lines going through it lengthwise, with each line peaking out just a bit on either side. Now take the short piece of graphite and lay it down across the two long pieces inside the box. The rough sides should be put together, so the graphite pieces stick to each other a bit.

Good! Youâ€™re almost there! Take the wire connected to your partnerâ€™s headphones and split it in two. Wrap one piece around one of the protruding pieces of graphite and the other to one lead of the battery. Grab another piece of wire and connect one end to the second battery lead, and the other end to the second protruding piece of graphite. (You should be hooking the wires to the graphite bits protruding on the same side of the box.)