Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Erratic, Luminous, Omen

The job of toy advertisers is to make toys look fun. Little children, beholding a picture of other children laughing and dancing wildly as they play with the toy,  are drawn to the promise of future thrills.  My grandson brought a new toy with him for this summer visit, and since the weather was warm, we had to try it out the first afternoon.


There is is: an inflatable ball connected to a hose.
In theory, the water flows through special channels on the outside of the ball, making it bounce erratically all over the grass, chase screaming children, and bring the joy of cooling sprays. Sitting quietly on the lawn, luminous in the summer heat, it did seem like something that would provide at least thirty minutes of gleeful entertainment.

But there were problems. First, the ball refused to dance all over; it just sat there and spewed water.
Ah! it seems the movements portrayed on the box were initiated by the children. In short, they had thrown it up into the air.

Now it's hard to grab and throw a sprinkler when your arms are "child-short". Zaya got around that problem by kicking the ball, an adaptation that worked--for a minute or two. Then the cord twisted; the water supple stopped; the ball just sat there.
It took five minutes for me to untwist the cord which was a convoluted mess. Finally, the water began to spout again while he kicked and shouted whee! (obviously something one was supposed to do while playing with toy--according to the picture on the outside of the box). Then the hose kinked and the water stopped. Zaya helped with the untwisting, shivering in the wind. This cycle was repeated about five times before he announced that he was tired, cold, and ready to do something else, like read a good Foxtrot comic book.  


 
Meanwhile, Mim had been observing the entire scenario from the dry safety of the porch swing, reluctant to get sprayed in the face. I feared her sad face was an omen of a melt-down to come, so  I consoled her with a promise that she could hook up the spray gun and water the flowers.

Zaya came and sat beside us. He had only one comment: "Dumber than advertised!"
At least he was still smiling.

The toy is sitting out on the grass. I'm using it to water the lawn on a rare, windless day in Western Oklahoma.







13 comments:

Carina said...

I suspected it might be that way. Zaya spent a ridiculous amount of AWANA shares on that ball sprinkler.

jaerose said...

What a sweetie..you really made me :)..isn't it true all over the world..the promise of toys..you can't beat cardboard boxes and a good old reliable £1.99 football..Jae

Language Lover said...

Like the way you worked the 3WW into this real life piece! Refreshing...

Cynthia E. Bagley said...

Wow - Zaya is smart. ;-)
And I remember that my favorite toy as a child was a cardboard box. It was only limited by my imagination.

Fear Not the Darkness but What lies Within said...

Sheilagh Lee said: I love how you used this for three word Wednesday.It's great that your grandson said that it was dumber than advertised at least he learned. Sometimes it's good to learn that advertising can be deceptive.

Old Altonian said...

Jaerose is right - sometimes the wrapping provides more pleasure then the toy it enclosed - so it was with my kids.

Jessica Prescott said...

'Dumber than advertised' - how cute, and how perfect

Rinkly Rimes said...

My grandsons would love a toy like that. A delightful slice of family life from you.

gsb3 said...

Though disappointing for the child, you have provided entertainment for the oldies. This reads like a real documentary or commercial. Great job.

verseinanutshell said...

A lovely realistic take. Quite refreshing. My 3WW: http://verseinanutshell.wordpress.com/2011/06/02/dare/

Mike Patrick said...

“Dumber than advertized,” sounds like the title of a blog I should be hosting. He may be youth-gullible, but he’s smart.

mindlovemisery said...

So cute, its really ashame it wasn't as advertised I probably would've played outside with it lol

Madeleine Begun Kane said...

LOL! I don't think I'll be buying one of those any time soon.