Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Curse of the Slinky

Slinkies. Aren't they fun? The word just slides out of the mouth - a slight hiss, a metallic clink and another hiss. Just the word, uttered softly is reminiscent of the sound the toy makes.

But despite how much fun they can be, I am always amazed at how quickly they become unusable. Can't you just hear the jingling jangle of the metal spirals as they cascade down the stairs, the slink-slink-slink-slink sounds as they twist and jiggle, vibrate and sway from hand to hand, the grating shrieks of frustration when somehow, yet again, another slinky, has been twisted into an unrecognizable tangle of metal wires. Why does that happen?

Could it be the orderly way they are gently tipped down the stairs to walk sedately from step to step? Could it be the gentle handling as they are passed from hand to hand, rolling in orderly waves and slinking softly? Or perhaps it's the wild, undulating waves as the wires stretch to their fullest, forming impossible curves and eliciting giggles and shrieks. Perhaps it's the wild sideways thwang! as the end is released across the room to thwock! into the wall. Perhaps it's even the twang and clatter as the overstretched wires snap back, wrapping metal curves around and around each other like a tangle of kitten-snared yarn.

We may never know. I fear the Curse of the Slinky may always remain a mystery.


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