Donna Marie Dickens, 26, of Bowling Green, Kentucky, and Kiki Kane of Seattle, Washington run the site ThereIFixedIt.com. The blog started in May of 2009 and is a part of the famous Cheezburger network, which runs ICanHasCheezburger.com.
Donna, why did you start the site? It's pretty brilliant. Did people just start sending you photos of their weird contraptions?
The idea came to me several months ago. Living near rural Kentucky, I see a lot of hilarious yet unsafe fixes all the time. I'd looked around but couldn't find a site that was dedicated solely to the “kludge” and when I was hired at Cheezburger, Ben (the founder of the company) and Kiki loved the idea. At first we were scouring the internet to find images that were already available. Now that we've got a great community built up (and they are awesome), everything on the site is user submitted.
When someone does some kind of boneheaded jury rig (i.e., the electrical power strip in the inflatable swimming pool), do you think the stupidity of it ever occurs to them? Or do they do it precisely because it's stupid?
The part of me that likes to believe human beings are intelligent, capable beings would like to make us both feel better by saying the “stupidity” fixes are in good fun or ironic but if I'm going to be honest, I'd have to say the danger of the situation probably never even occurs to them. Which is probably a good thing, otherwise ThereIFixedIt wouldn't have nearly as many submissions.
Is blogging about epic kludges your full time gig or do you have a day job?
The blog is one of many sites that Kiki and I are in charge of. However, it is my baby and therefore my favorite child.
Of the ones up on the site so far, do you have a favorite fix-it?
It's so hard to pick just one…Every time I check the email, I find a new favorite. But if I had to to pick an all time favorite so far, it'd have to be the MacGyver Headlight; simply because he has TWO flashlights…indicating to me that he must get out to turn on the high beams.
Some of the photos really make me wonder what happened after. Like the guys in the home-made jacuzzi: Did they burn their asses? Or the plane with the duct-taped wing: Did it crash? Do you ever wonder about the aftermath?
I personally try very hard NOT to think about what happened to that airplane after the picture was taken.
Do you guys get a lot of submissions? I imagine this country is full of people doing ill-advised MacGyver stuff.
Oh yes. We get submissions from all over the country and the rest of the world. Some of the best kludges have come from Eastern Europe and Russia. Kludging is a worldwide pastime.
Do you ever reject any submissions? If so, on what basis?
Unfortunately, we do have to pick and choose which images to put up on the Voting page. Usually an image will be passed over if it's extremely similar to an image already on the site, (or) if the kludge doesn't make us laugh when we see it.