Here’s the deal. I hate to write this. I didn’t want to do it. My whole life I’ve wanted to love Slinkies. Remember the jingle…
What walks down stairs, alone or in pairs, and makes a slinkity sound? – – – A spring, a spring, a marvelous thing! – – – Everyone knows it’s Slinky – – – It’s Slinky, it’s Slinky. For fun it’s a wonderful toy – – – It’s Slinky, it’s Slinky. It’s fun for a girl and a boy – – – It’s fun for a girl or a boy!
I remember Christmas morning as a child, the family huddled about the tree with anticipation. Piles of gifts with limitless potential…infinite possibilities as to what might lie beneath that snowman wrapping paper. Then tearing into that small, perfect cube of a present – and there she was, my very own Slinky.
I’d seen the commercials. I knew the physics-defying feats this metallic wonder was capable of. So I’d rush to the top stair and gently push her over…and my Slinky would magically slink its way down to the next stair…and stop right there.
It’s as if my Slinky were saying to me, “Look, kid, I’ve had a long day…enough with the stairs, already.”
I always managed to get the only lazy Slinky. The Slinky that couldn’t be bothered with, let’s be honest, the only trick a Slinky can do. They’re designed to go downstairs – what the heck was wrong with mine? It just sat there…like the cold coil of metal it was.
That is, of course, if my Slinky ever made it to the stairs. A slinky in the box is a marvelous thing – perfectly coiled, aching to spring into action. And then I’d take it out of the box. And, on average, it was eighteen seconds until my Slinky had a bend in it. I don’t know how, but it was nearly instantaneous every time.
From that point on, no matter what I did, my Slinky would have that annoying gap in its coil, like Michael Strahan grinning at me. And the second your Slinky has even the tiniest twist of bend – it’s done for. You might as well send it to that Slinky farm upstate, because its slinking days are over.
In my childhood, the difference between December 25th and December 26th was the difference between a marvel of modern toy engineering and a tangled mess of sad metal.
I had multiple Slinkies over the years. And every single time my Slinky would quickly lose the spring in its step. For me, no toy has ever held so much promise and consistently failed to deliver.
So, how am I going to do it? How will I deal with my traumatic, childhood Slinky issues? Well, I’ve been in specialized Slinky-recovery therapy for eighteen months and it’s going well.
It’s a twelve step program.
Just start at the top step and make your way down.
Shouldn’t be too hard to complete.
Unless you’re a Slinky.