Vs. Slinky

Posted: April 15, 2011 in Games and Toys
Tags: , , , , ,

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.

Metal slinky.

Image via Wikipedia

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.

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Comments
  1. heathersnyder1 says:

    Took funny! I thought my Slinky was the only one that tangled! Maybe the Slinky makers programmed them to tangle after purchase. The commercials had a special Slinky that actually worked correctly, enticing kids. I HAVE GOT TO HAVE THAT SLINKY! Then BAMMM…the Slinky Fail.

    Another thing, what were parents thinking letting us kids play with a metal spring? Why not just let us cut open a mattress, plenty of springs in there. Or, go out and play inside the hood of a car. More springs & metal stuff…at least that way we wouldn’t be disappointed with a jank Slinky…sorry, just thinking of my incredibly warped Slinky. I have Slinky issues.

  2. Wes says:

    So what would happen if you put a slinky (a working one, if you could find it) on an escalator? Would it go forever? Or maybe with this luck, the escalator would break…

    • Makya McBee says:

      Heather – What? Your parents didn’t let you play inside the hood of the family car? Engine hour was my favorite part of the day as a kid.

      Wes – Stephen Hawking has theorized that a Slinky on an escaloator could make the Universe implode.

  3. Heather says:

    Hahahaha…nope never allowed to play in the hood of a car or run with scissors either.

  4. I loved the commercial, didn’t love how it got all bent out of shape 🙂

  5. Steve says:

    Makya, you speak for a lot of us who lived throught the failed promise of slinky. I had no idea, till I read this, what a slinky burden I was carrying.

  6. Stacey Hatter says:

    I love this
    Sad to say…..
    SO TRUE
    Makya, you’re not alone on the slinky boat…..

  7. JamesSnyder1 says:

    Finally, someone decided to take on Slinky. We owe you a debt of gratitude for all you have done. DEATH TO SLINKY!

  8. Jennifer says:

    Oh Slinky, you have let us all down. Slinky have you ever stopped to think why people set you aside in favor of Rubik’s Cube?

  9. And what about “Super Slinky”, we’ll just make Slinky even bigger so there will be bigger bends & tangles. Wasn’t there even a plastic Slinky in the 80’s-90’s? Won’t bend, but it’ll break like a plastic Slinky.

    • Makya McBee says:

      You’re blowin’ my mind over here. I’d never heard of Super Slinky – had to look it up just now. The plastic ones I remember, they seemed like sad little rip-offs of their metallic forefathers (although they were prettier). But Super Slinky…wow, I never had a Super Slinky. Suddenly, my old Slinkies feel like Clark Kent. Surely Super Slinky could never let me down. I envision it, cape flowing in the wind as it flies down the stairs with grace and dignity…oh, I want a Super Slinky so bad it hurts.

      • No! Whatever you do don’t get a Super Slinky! It’ll only let you down in the end. Please don’t get Super Slinky, I beg of you. No, don’t let its shinyness tempt you. Come back from the Slinkety Darkside.

      • Makya McBee says:

        I won’t promise anything. Honestly, if I ever see one, I’ll probably buy it. But I’ll try and stay clean.

  10. Nate Wilson says:

    Funny, I didn’t remember the Slinky jingle at all, but I’ve got the one for Log memorized (“What rolls down stairs, alone or in pairs…”), and some of the bits for International Log, too.

    Of course, this also reminds me of one of my favorite bumper stickers: “Many people are like Slinkys. Not really good for anything, but you can’t help but smile when one tumbles down the stairs.”

  11. RogerWaite says:

    I think I broke 4 or 5 Slinkys in my childhood. But I kept going back to them. What was wrong with me?

    • Makya McBee says:

      I feel your pain, brother. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault.

      • Roger Waite says:

        It’s good to know that I’m not alone in this Slinky downward spiral. I’m glad that there is a specialized Slinky-recovery therapy. I will try not to fall off the wagon, or Slink off of it for that matter.

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