What I call toys are not what they used to be. Some of these games and gadgets are so expensive that I’d be afraid to turn a kid loose with them. And when you buy some fun thing you have to wonder whether its going to twist your kids mind or if it will even work when you open it up for use. All the electronics
Nobody knows how this stuff really works. You push some buttons and get whatever it is your supposed to get. You hope. Maybe that’s why in some places electronic voting machines were delivered to polling places without electrical cords and no one batted an eye. Who knew you had to plug them in to make them work! But I digress
When I was a kid toys were all about imagination. You created your own story. Your own plot twists and your own reality. I guess that’s why I like to watch television with the sound turned off. I can come up with just as good a story as the TV writers.
A simple metal Tonka truck could provide hours of entertainment in a sandbox. Up a hill, down a hill. Dig a hole, move something around. Plan a trio to anywhere. And go! Or a pile of plastic green army men. Not bendable. Don’t light up or make noise. Just stand there wherever you put them. But you could recreate all of World War Two with just a few of them. The Allies still win, because of teamwork.
So I bought a simple toy the other day. For my dog. I needed something a little more complex than a stick or a ball, but not an HD virtual reality thing. I like real reality. Anyway, I throw something and the dog chases it. But since I broke my shoulder several years ago I cant throw anything very far so I bought a distance enhancer.
It’s a spring loaded tennis ball launcher. Put the ball in the tube, pull the lever back to compress the spring and release. The ball flies maybe thirty feet in the air and then bounces and rolls on the ground. Zoom! Off goes doggy to chase it. Works great!!
Just one problem. When I bought the thing I was worried about how well, or if, it would work. The toy works fine, it’s the dog that’s defective!! She’s good at chasing the ball. And she grabs it up in her mouth. Then runs away with it to play by herself. Or to make me chase her around to get the ball back.
So I get another ball to launch and while she is distracted by the second ball flying and rolling, I grab the first one that she has dropped. And round and round we go. She gets plenty of exercise and I get to see her play, but it doesn’t work quite the way its supposed to .
Then again, her playing this way is like me watching the tube with no sound. She’s enhancing the game. Creating her own reality. She’s a genius. Things don’t always work out the way they were planned, but they always work out.
That’s part of my story. What’s yours?