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Is There Anything, at All, in the World, We Can Use CDs for?

It's a legitimate question.
Ryan Bassil
London, GB

CDs used to make sense. Cars would come fitted with players, Walkmans slotted neatly into purpose built backpack compartments and HMV could, unequivocally, save any last-minute Christmas shopping trip.

But these days the compact disc is redundant: entire music libraries are carried around in metal cases smaller than a micropenis. If you look around the room you're in, people will look at you strangely and you’ll peer back at them, knowing they too, do not own a CD player.


Vinyl sounds the most human, Spotify provides all music ever for casual music, and the type of people that get off on lossless compression of digital audio can lubricate themselves using FLAC files. The only reason CDs still exist is because all the old people haven’t died yet.

Or, at least that’s what I thought—until the other day when I found myself cleaning the crack in between my desk with the new Kasabian album. As I scrubbed the detritus of a thousand rushed lunches using the edges of once innovative technology, I said to myself, “This is a great use for all the CDs people keep sending me in the mail.”

And then I started to think some more. Maybe the reason CDs still exist is because, not only do they please outdated record companies, they can be used for a million other things. So, I decided to grab the big box of CDs under my desk and set to work finding other uses for them. Here are some uses for the CDs you don’t use anymore.

A Prison Shank

The first thing to remember is that CDs are incredibly hard to break in half. I asked Thump UK's John Calvert to lend his manly hands to this task but feel free to use any tool that you please. The only thing we ask is that readers ensure they are supervised when repurposing all the pop-punk CDs they inexplicably purchased seven years ago.

The first thing we decided to make was a prison shank. Why? Because why not? Imagine it’s courtyard-strolling time, the screws have found your wittled-down toothbrush, and the lifers in C-block still haven’t got the message. You’re going to want a sharp respite - and the two-disc Best of Sting Anniversary boxset that your weird Uncle bought you last Christmas is perfect. Crack it up, break-it-down, and point it at people muttering threats under your breath.


A Middle School Art Project

Artwork: Writers own

One day we’ll be subsisting on Soylent and getting robots to wipe the drink’s milky diarhea from our arse. But even then, on that day, GCSE students will continue to make collages out of CDs and packets of Malbro Lights, bullshitting their meaning when it comes to writing up sketchbook analysis.

Cymbal-banging monkey.

Impress your friends and workmates with a handy solution for all those desperate times when you need a cymbal banging monkey but can't find one in your local tit-tat shops. Simply glue two CDs to the hands of a human and, hey presto, your hilarious new pal is ready for that big sales meeting.

Here's John demonstrating how you can easily recreate the toy by sellotaping CDs to someone's arms and forcing them to clap on command.

An App for Reading Backwards

After fucking around inside for a little while, we decided to head outside. Can CDs be as useful out of the home as they are in? Maybe. This is the first use we found.

The App Store has over 1.2 million apps for sale. These include—but are not limited to—a game where you dress up Drake, a virtual candle, and whatever the fuck YO is. It seems strange that among the virtual beard shavers and constant reiterations of Angry Birds, no one has invented an app to aid reading backwards. Thankfully, carry a CD around with you and you’ll always be equipped with this ever-necessary skill.


A Tool for Picking Up Dog Shit

Walking around the park, I noticed a pile of dog shit. This, presumably, had been left behind by the sort of person that can’t take 15 seconds out of their day to make the world a better place.

Thankfully, I love making the world a better place. And with a CD you too can walk around picking up stranger’s dog shit.

A Piece of Sporting Apparatus

This one is a bit obvious, I suppose. But yes, if you’re so inclined, you can use a CD as a frisbee. However, unless you want to stand in the park aimlessly flipping obscure krautrock singles at strangers and hoping they don’t physically assault you, you should probably get a friend on the receiving end.

A Replacement for a Light on your Car

The broken lights on your car can also be replaced with CDs. We used a leftover car from my color-coordinated music video shoot that had taken place earlier in the day, but the CD will literally stick to any car that you like. Car-modders, I know what you’re thinking—they’re ugly. But they will protect your number plate from being flashed when you speed past cameras.

A Bird Prevention Device

Walking down the road, we found several more ways that compact discs benefit people in the physical world. You can use them as replacement cats eyes, mirrors to look around corners, gifts, and as a trail to help you remember your way home. However, and this is an important one in London, they can also be used to scare birds.


All you need to do is pick up a CD and wave it around in the general direction of whatever pigeon is currently eyeing up your lunch.

A Piece of Headwear to Let People Know You Are an Idiot

As we ventured back into the office, we realised that CDs can literally be used for anything. The most important one, though, is that you can strap them to your head. We’re not even sure what this shit does, but add a stethoscope and a white lab jacket and you can go anywhere in large hospitals. Get diagnosing!

Follow Ryan and John on Twitter: @RyanBassil @JCalvert_Music



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