Frankly Disappointing Telescope

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The Frankly Disappointing Telescope when not in use during daylight hours.

The Frankly Disappointing Telescope can be found in the South East region of the United Kingdom. Its creator, Trevor McClaverty (a.k.a. Flaky Trevor), was inspired by both the Overwhemingly Large Telescope and the Very Large Telescope. Unfortunately, McClaverty did not have the tools, scientific know-how, or monetary capability to create such an impressive instrument. Hence the Frankly Disappointing Telescope.


As the photo shows, the telescope was constructed using a single empty toilet roll tube. Any household has the raw material necessary for in-home production of the telescope, but Trevor had the innovative idea before others could jump on the boat and sail it away. He also has played with the idea of sticking multiple tubes together, however he found that this technology did not increase the power of the telescope. In fact, the more tubes that were used, the more difficult it became to see out the other end, and, due to substandard sticky-tape, the telescope had a tendency to droop as its size increased.


At first Trevor thought he'd discovered a new nebula, but realized it was only his cat looking back at him.

The Frankly Disappointing Telescope was tried out by a number of Trevor's friends and relatives, all of whom declared it "A bloody complicated contraption". But family friend and gardener Virgil Ecatomy said it was "Delightfully light in comparison to the Hubble one".

His resolve raised by Mr. Ecatomy's comment, Trevor was determined to send his invention to the Astronomer Royal for peer review and laurels. Regrettably, his ambition was thwarted as time-after-time his kid sister squashed the prototype he'd placed into a jiffy bag for postage purposes.


As of November 2023, there is only one operational prototype in existence (as before, see photograph). Visitors can view the telescope in Trevor's basement laboratory, but have to ask his mum first. Thus far he has not actually been able to use it to spy on the neighbours daughters, or discover any new planets, stars, or asteroids, or even gotten a close look at that thing that looks like a cuddly toy in Miss ManTackel's bedroom window. Visitors and Trevor's mum have been known to mistake the telescope for an empty toilet roll, resulting in unintentional discarding of previous prototypes.

Future Projects

While other inventors might be discouraged by the relative failure of their inventions, McClaverty sees his endeavor as one giant leap on the road to scientific greatness. He is currently thinking of working with those long kitchen-napkin tubes in the hope of inventing a Slightly Less Disappointing Telescope, which may be able to explore the ultraviolet range of astronomical wavelengths. He hopes to have a prototype ready by the end of 2012.

Always the visionary, Trevor has also contemplated inventing a telescope using Christmas wrapping-paper rolls. But as devout Orthodox Atheists - except for his sister, who celebrates Festivus - his family does not observe this December holiday, thus once again limiting his access to more sophisticated and advanced technology.

The view from the Frankly Disapointing Telescope of a poster of the Hubble Deep Space Field hung on Trevor's basement wall.
Trevor's telescope worked well when he used it to view his spilled soup on the linoleum kitchen floor.
A very nice reflection of a light bulb on the linoleum floor, as viewed from the Frankly Disappointing Telescope. (copyright, Trevor)
Trevor pretended to put in a new lens, turned off the kitchen lights, and asked his kid sister to stand there and aim a flashlight at the floor. She once again thought he was a duffus dork dingleberry, but did it anyway, and her hair, face, and hand were reflected in Trevor's photograph (although not clearly enough to see her feigned expression of exaggerated amusement).
For the cover art of his funding proposal Trevor wrapped his prototype and the empty soup can in aluminum foil, taped them together, carefully attached the top of the soup can and a dental mirror to the mechanism, then balanced the whole thing on a tabletop of his favorite Chinese buffet and snapped the pic.
Trevor's kid sister got hold of his best machine, and ruined it!

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