Ball Pit, Phase II

I posted a while back about a ball pit I’d installed in my room. Everything in that post was true, but the pictures were a little misleading.

Looking at that, you don’t necessarily realize how cramped those people are. I framed the pictures to make it look larger than it actually was (THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID). In fact, the ball pit was only about the size of a large bathtub or small jacuzzi. In the pictures on the site, it was barely deep enough to be buried in, and when we shrunk the area to make it deeper, it was barely big enough for two people.

When people came in and saw it, they were always startled at how small it was (also what she said). There was no room for hide and seek, and barely even space for surreptitious ball-pit groping. This was a terrible state of affairs. It was nice to sit in, but really, why bother having a ball pit if we were gonna do such a half-assed job of it?

Well, as of this week, the situation has been rectified.

We all chipped in and quintupled the volume of the ball pit. It’s now set up opposite a hacked-together server-projector system (yes, that means Guitar Hero in the ball pit — that’s a controller you see on the left). It’s lined with blankets and foam padding, and is oh so comfortable. We’ve had two people fall asleep in it already.

For sanitary reasons, we of course have a few rules:

It’s still only half the size of the recently-constructed ballpit. But it’s finally big enough to really hide in, stretch out, and grab someone’s ass without them being sure who did it.

On the other hand, it has the slightly unnerving effect that we now have no idea how many people are in the apartment at any given time.

For science, the next experiment will be “what do cats think of ball pits?”

266 replies on “Ball Pit, Phase II”

  1. i may be late with this, but do the guys at XKCD know about i think the comic “cyanide and happiness” complements the xkcd toons well.


  2. “Ultimate Game” was a fantastic tribute. I know you don’t often make direct references to real-life people and events, but this was very, very well done, and it made me even more impressed with your talent as well as with how you choose to use it. Thank you for a great strip.


  3. in regards to the ball pit maybe you should dump 10-15 of these in it

    or even worse walking with dinosaurs in a ball pit

    everything from now on i will look at like this “it would be better if it had a ball pit”


  4. Please upload a copy of that sign, it is hilarious.

    Although my sign would say No Heavy Petting [exceptions, Limor Fried, Kari Byron, Hayley Williams, or any combination thereof]

    Good Job on the Ultimate Game, its one of my favorites.


  5. Does anyone know of anywhere in England that sells ballpit stuff?
    (Bristol, ENGLAND). ‘Cos U.S. places charge abso-f*cking-lutely loads for p&p to England.


  6. Woah. I really need to mke one of these.

    On the other hand. I need a new car.

    Such a hard choice.

    (The reading out recaptcha thing is so hard to hear, or understand, its like 99 chinese people reading out numbers at once.


  7. Ahh, but after the cat experiment comes phase 4: overflow bins + pneumatic tubes.


  8. Am I the only one that noticed that Janeane Garfalo has a beard in his sanitary poster? I applaud you for making your fantasy so public.


  9. Hey Randall,
    First, the ball pit is ace. When I finally get around to buying my own flat that will be one of the things I will be looking into.

    Second, 2000 AD (a British sci fi comic) is owned by Rebellion, a company which recently purchased Clickwheel, a company that you can by pdf copies of comics from. To help promote the site, they did a feature on the internet as a medium for distributing comics and did a sidebar recommending some webcomics. xkcd was one of them.

    Thought that was some very cool exposure.



  10. My extensive research has proven that there is no such thing as a spill-proof container. Especially when I am wearing a clean, freshly pressed white shirt.

    Haha… Weird side comment… The two words I have to type to submit this comment look just like ‘Bankrupt Clinton’… I’m sure that’s just randomly generated.



  11. @Pandora, You took my schroedinger’s cat reference. Can a cat be in a ball pit? You’ll never know until it is observed.



    There’s a youtube video about a cat in a ballpit. I’ve been thinking about building my own ball-pit for 10 years now and I have it all planned out. When I finally move out of my parents house I’m going to dedicate an entire room in my house to ball-pitness. Any time someone comes over they have to bring a bag of 500 crush-proof balls to add to the fun otherwise they will not be admitted into the house. (This includes parentals.)

    After doing some calculations I figured out it would cost about 2650$ to fill a room 3m x 2m and 1m deep which is 6m³ so thats 13250 balls.. Better start saving now.


  13. Craig said: “I want balls so bad, but just need an idea of how many to fill my space.”

    …That’s What She Said.


  14. @Alex: Nice idea about the different sizes, but small stuff sinks, sometimes even when it’s less dense than the other solids in the collection. Ever notice all the crumbs and raisins at the bottom of a box of raisin bran?
    I don’t need to say it, but this is awesome.


  15. This totally rocks! I wish I had space in my room to do this. Maybe I can convert my bed into one of those!


  16. I’m looking forward to the ‘what do cats think of ball pits’ experiment. I suspect if we did this in my home, we’d never see the cats again, except at meal time, at which point we’d have to somehow follow the howls to the bottom of the ball pit.

    You’re making me nostalgic for my MIT days, when visits to friends’ homes often resulted in such odd sights…


  17. Does anyone know where I can get crush-proof balls in Canada? And unfortunately not even one of the better known places in Canada, but one of the smallesk tiny places in Canada.. haha.. We have a Toys R Us close by.. would their balls be crush-proof? Or does anyone know any sites I could Order from that would ship here? Ebay doesn’t seem to mention how durable any of their balls are.. making them an unsafe coice…


  18. also.. where did you get the pen? I’ve been looking at some online, but they only seem to be about 36 inches tall…

    BTW if you couldn’t tell.. I LOVE your ball pit!!!!!!!!!! I just saw it today, and I am totally making one in my living room! ❤


  19. Next experiment….cats in a ball pit.
    I have only one thing to say to that Randall

    I support it but on one condition. It can’t have anything to do with buketz…ceiling catz….or kittehs.

    Please..? My sanity implores you to consider the ramifications of fueling the LOLcat craze!! o_O

    I need an answer!!

    Currently Contemplating the Latest Adventures of Dr. McNinja,


  20. The typeface on your poster resembles that used by London Transport for the signage on the Underground and elsewhere. I wonder whether that was intentional. Nice!


  21. For anyone in europe who’s after the balls, we got them from ‘euro-matic’ for a cheap price. I would recommend against toys-r-us/woolworths due mainly to the incredible price they slap on so few balls.


  22. “The Game, while an ingenious social experiment, stopped being entertaining after about 10 minutes. Then I started cheating, and haven’t stopped.”

    what is this game you are atalking about?


  23. I built my ball-pit back in ’99 using balls I purchased from Ball-Pit Balls of America. Not sure if they’re around anymore (ordered them online), but they were cheaper to buy in cases of 500 rather than buying through places like Toys R Us at 100 a box.

    Here’s some images of my pit when it was on display for my senior art show in college…

    Eventually, I set it up in my apartment. It was fairly sturdy and had mattresses underneath for cushioning, so you could jump around a little and stay somewhat safe. I’m no carpenter, so it’s not perfect by any means, but I enjoyed building it and it’s fun to party in!

    I dig yours, btw. The pillows make it all nice and cozy looking. Good for lazying around in, I bet. 🙂


  24. I had a similar idea a while back but I couldn’t find any balls at a reasonable price. Where did you get yours at?


  25. I am surprised you drew that as a horse versus 600watts and the horse loosing.

    1 Kilowatt (1000 watts) is 1 Horse Power. In context with the blag comic, the horse should have one being 400 watts more powerful. 😀


  26. ^actually 1 horsepower is approx. 0.75kw, and the competition was “a smallish horse (say, 75% the strength of a standard one)” – so approximately 560W worth of horse.

    I have only just discovered this webseat. This stuff is brilliant.


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  28. This might work for our living room.

    How many people can sit in the pit and watch a movie comfortably?
    Can you post a picture of a ball pit movie night?


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