November 25th, 2006

Very important part for a 1979 Triumph Bonneville T140V

Dear all,

My first post. You all seem very informative, and I really, really need help with this! And yes I *did* attempt find it out on my own, but since I know *nothing* about motorcycles...

My main character owns a 1979 Triumph Bonneville T140V motorcycle, which he has just crashed into a car. He is not badly hurt, but I need the bike to be hurt enough that it will be written off. However, since I know nothing about bikes, I don't know what should be damaged so that my hero can walk away from the crash (almost...) but the bike cannot be ridden again...

EDIT FOR CLARITY - The story takes place in 2006 Toronto and the bike must be written-off by the insurance company so that the MC ends up stuck in Toronto with no transportation. So I'm looking for a part on this classic bike that - if it breaks - cannot be replaced for love nor money, or would have to be custom-made or something that would make it so ridiculously expensive that no insurance company in the world would bother.

Thanks so much for your help!


"Coming out" in 1814

I've read lots of things about young women coming out, but I'm having trouble finding out the ages at which a young woman of means might be considered "out" in 1814 England. I have a Baronet's daughter and when we first meet her, she's considering her dress for her first ball "out." How old, or more accurately, how young might she be?

Thank you for your combined wisdom.

Edited to add: All right, it looks like I can go as young as fifteen, but sixteen is more probable. Thank you all!

1800's Orphanage Life

Now I know in a way this is a broad subject, but I am doing a story set in Maine with an 1800s orphanage and I want to know what life was like back then for an orphan. My story puts a boy and a girl who are best friends into the orphanage. Would they be separated to a girls/boys sleeping quarters? The orphanage is run by a lady who has a giant inheritance from her dead husband who used to run the orphanage. I am also interested in what a typical orphanage of the time would consist of. The kind of orphanage I want the story to be in would be very grand and mansion-like. I would say more about the plot... but lets just say there are some VERY unique twists.

EDIT: My orphanage (which is entirely fictional) will be set in Maine (USA) in a rural region, and... oh fine, I will reveal some more plot. It actually IS present day, but the orphanage and everyone in it is like in the late 1800's. weird, I know.

Anyway, who could help me out here?

**Thanks for helping me out, everyone! I have just the right amount of information needed now! Special thanks to issendai: your extensive information focused on exactly what I needed! If anyone still wants to add more information, feel free! I could always use a bit more. ;)**
  • gisho

Trade unions in Japan - all-encompassing in construction trade?

Short version: Would it be possible for someone in modern-day Tokyo to easily get a job as a construction worker or longshoreman without joining any sort of labor union?

Long version: I have a character who is sixteen but looks older, is very strong and doesn't mind hard work, and who has been thrust into the middle of Tokyo without any sort of proof of identity or resources beyond his own wits and strength. I would like him to find, temporarily, a job as a construction worker. Longshoreman would also be workable, but construction worker would be better.

It is essential for plot reasons that he not leave Tokyo. I am willing to fudge the qustion of paperwork by assuming that a sympathetic or short-handed foreman would take him on without asking questions and pay in cash; however, I know in America it can be hard to get a job in some fields without union membership, and my reseach suggests that Japan has, or at least had, a fairly strong union movement which included construction workers. He would be unwilling, for personal reasons, to join a union, even if he could somehow do so without proof of identity.

Would he be able to get a job at all, even "under the table"? If he did, would be be pressured to join a union by his co-workers (who probably wouldn't know about his lack of paperwork)?

suicide by OTC overdose

I'm working on a horror screenplay set in a US modern-day mental hospital; part of the plot hinges on the lack of supervision, lack of upkeep, and overall shadiness of the place. One of the antagonists commits suicide by overdosing on an over-the-counter drug. The aftermath of the suicide is a big bloody mess of vomit and blood.

What OTC drug would [a] cause bloody vomiting [b] be small enough to hide [c] be easily obtained in either a convenience store or grocery store?

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PS - you guys were a big help with my last question! Although I'm not finished with that screenplay, your help got me over a big bout of writer's block.

[EDIT: To clarify on small enough to hide, I meant that she was able to hide it both on her person (to get it home) and in her room (not so much of a problem in the story), most likely in a drawer.]