Something Else

Do you remember using your toys in ways that they weren't designed to be used to suit your play requirements?  I distinctly remember re-envisioning a kid sized type-writer, back when there were not even adult sized personal computers, into a film projector. I had an elaborate explanation for how it worked that was only slightly more technical than my explanation of how gymnasts fit inside the t.v.  My brother used a kid's record player as a pottery wheel (yes, plugged in and yes, with water).

I converted many a thing meant to be one thing and turned them into something else.

I look around at my kids' toys and I see a lot of this inventing going on with them too.  The main exception is that they are lucky enough to have "real toy cash register" and I am still tempted to play with it. I got a job at Zellers when I was seventeen just so I could get close to one.  I spent my whole childhood (and some more besides) seeking out a cash register to play with.  The tap tapping of the keys prompted me to take an old metal bread box like the one below and convert it into a cash register.  I put some little white squares of paper with numbers on them on the face of the bread box with tape that was slightly raised to give me the same sensation that I imagined those cash register keys gave.

Image from : Tara Guisto,
It suited its function but I never quite got that quest out of my system.  Recently, after swimming at the local pool, I happened to peer into the dumpster outside the entrance.  Sitting there, oh so forlornly, was an old cash register.  I almost leapt in to retrieve it.  Something stopped me though.  I've been kicking myself ever since.