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Boy Troubles

Boy Troubles

Boy Troubles: Tangled Slinky

What we have here are boy troubles. Yep. Serious boy problems. This tangled Slinky will never walk down the stairs again.

An entirely separate problem would be if you bought this thing and your house didn’t have stairs. Bwahhh! By the way, this is the prize you get at Chuck E. Cheese after your mom and dad spend $52.13 on two pizzas, four drinks and 100 tokens. A plastic knock-off slinky that’s a tangled mess before you even get home.

The original Slinky sprung to fame in the 1940s. I got my first one in 1977 while living in a split-level house on London Lane in Colorado Springs. The Slinky had no trouble going down the gold sculptured carpet, but it could not make the turn to get down the tiled stairs to the basement. Total disappointment.

 Plastic Rainbow Slinky

Tangled Slinky

In 2000, the Slinky was inducted in the National Toy Hall of Fame.

Mechanical engineer Richard James invented the Slinky by accident. In 1943, he was working to devise springs that could keep sensitive ship equipment steady at sea. After accidentally knocking some samples off a shelf, he watched in amazement as they gracefully “walked” down instead of falling. Along with his wife Betty, James developed a plan to turn his invention into the next big novelty toy. Betty combed the dictionary for an appropriate name and came up with “Slinky.” James designed a machine to coil 80-feet of wire into a two-inch spiral. The couple borrowed $500 to manufacture the first Slinkys. Initial sales proved sluggish but soared after Gimbels Department Store in Philadelphia allowed demonstrations for Christmas 1945. The first 400 Slinkys sold within minutes. An advertisement with a memorable jingle familiarized a national customer base. “What walks down stairs alone or in pairs and makes a slinkety sound? A spring a spring, a marvelous thing. Everyone knows it’s Slinky!” Slinkys glided effortlessly down stairs on television, but alas most household steps proved too tall and wide for long descents. Still, at the end of the 20th century and 250 million Slinkys later, people continued to buy them.

Anyway, the boy’s one day out of school and he’s already got trouble. But, things could always be worse. He could have a tangled Slinky AND have to wear brown plaid pants like the Gen-Xer in this commercial from the 1970s.

When You’ve Got Trouble, I’ve Got Trouble, Too.

Have you heard Liz Longley’s song, When You’ve Got Trouble? I’ve mentioned it a time or two. A fitting tribute to my little boy, definitely not so little anymore. I’m posting all these pictures because in about five minutes he’s going to tell me not to post anymore pictures of him on my blog.

Baseball and Boy Troubles

Spring Baseball Spring Baseball

I say do you want to be a great baseball player when you grow up and he says yes, but I’d rather be a great mountain guide. Looks like I might be moving to the mountains someday, ya’ll.

I look to the mountains; where will my help come from? My help will come from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let you fall; your protector is always awake. The protector of Israel never dozes or sleeps. The Lord will guard you; he is by your side to protect you. The sun will not hurt you during the day, nor the moon during the night. The Lord will protect you from all danger; he will keep you safe. He will protect you as you come and go now and forever. Psalm 121

Sullivan, always remember, when you’ve got trouble, I’ve got trouble, too. What I’m trying to say is, your troubles are my troubles, son, and always will be.

Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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1 Comment

  1. Alan

    Fortunately, son Logan doesn’t read my blog yet. Your young man is growing up. Baseball player or Mountain Guide. So you are either moving to the mountains the ballparks.

    Reply

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