A Rube Goldberg machine or device is any exceedingly complex apparatus that performs a very simple task in a very indirect and convoluted way. Rube devised and drew several such pataphysical devices. The best examples of his machines have an anticipation factor. The fact that something so wacky is happening can only be topped by it happening in a suspenseful manner. A Rube Goldberg machine usually has at least ten steps. One story about Rube Goldberg is that while sleep-walking barefoot in a cactus field, he screamed out an idea about a self-operating napkin.