Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Inventions

I've always enjoyed science and when I was growing up, thought that maybe some day I would be a scientist. My parents bought me microscopes and telescopes and chemistry sets, so I was always studying something. I think what tipped them off was my inventive mind. See, when I was small, I invented. Here are a few I remember:

MONSTER KICKER

My parents made me go to bed when it got dark and in the winter time, that time came pretty darned early. Of course, I had to keep the light off and the door closed, and I recall the only night light came from the hallway--if it was on. Nights got pretty scary for a small boy who was not quite ready for bed.

So while protected from evil by the invincible covers and blankets on my bed, I determined something had to be done, so I devised "The Monster Kicker." I envisioned a long stick with a boot on the end that, when mounted on a hinge by the door, would "kick" any monster that opened the door in hopes of eating my face.

Finding a long stick and an old boot, I somehow managed to secure the boot to the end of the stick. But now, I needed help mounting the hinge and pulleys and springs necessary to make the boot "kick" when the door opened. My dad heard my plan and surveyed the work site behind my door. I recall him being impressed. But I also recall the booted stick and knotted ball of twine remaining behind the door, waiting to be mounted. for a very, very long time. It never got mounted, but having the pieces present gave me great comfort.

REFRIGERATOR BOXES

No, I did not invent the refrigerator box; rather, they became my inventions. Sort of. Not far from where I lived was an appliance store. I dragged these huge, nearly indestructible boxes home and made them what I needed them to be.

Once, I "built" a "computer". I poked and pulled wires in and out and all around and cut strategic holes in places. Crawling inside with my entire set of encyclopedias, charged kids a quarter to answer any question they had. Any question. They would write their questions on a piece of paper, drop it in a slot with a quarter and I would look things up while making "computer noises" in attempt to answer their questions.

I also built a library (loaning out my personal books) and a "general store." Can't remember what I sold, but I don't think I made much money.

THE 40 FOOT STRAW

Ok, this one came when I was in college. Perhaps it was not so much an invention as it was curiosity. We spent too much time in the coffee shop down in the Student Center at Eastern New Mexico University and I think boredom got the best of me. I wanted to build a long straw, so I put a cup on one end of the coffee shop and started putting straws together. I don't think we got it to the 40 foot mark because I did not have the draw power to move liquid from the cup. Of course, not sealing the joints might have had something to do with it . . . but it was long.

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