In the time of Beta Max, we were latch key kids. I, of course, was a scientist and my loyal assistant, age 6, was not always good at following directions. We were on the verge of discovering a new fuel to power our time machine which was still in the prototype phase.
We had been working on this project for what seemed like weeks, when the brilliant idea came about to unlock the key hidden deep inside a bright yellow super bouncy ball. I am still vague as to how this theory evolved, being over 20 years ago, I get confused as to which experiments were actually mine and which are my sons more recent attempts at science.
We stood there, the two of us, in our white lab coats. My assistant was quickly making notes on her clipboarded pad of paper. I glanced over to see what exactly she was jotting down, since I wasn’t in dictation mode, and couldn’t make out anything but pictures of smiley faces and a bunch of scribbled nonsense, “Cassy!” I shout, “What are you doing?”
“Making important documented notes,” she stated.
“You can’t read.” I pointed out
“Yes!” she exclaimed, “I can!”
“No, you can’t,” I repeated calm and PROFESSIONALLY.
“I’m telling…” As she began to pout, I decide it best to look past our slight differences and move on toward the important task at hand.
“Fine… fine. Let’s go over the important facts that we have discovered about this magical fuel cell.” I point to a cup in front of the window dangling from a bit of yarn we had confiscated from mom. In it held the glistening key. Earlier we had rigged a very sophisticated pulley system, interweaving a bit of yarn and various household products throughout the entire upstairs of our old house on 5th street. Such a weave made it almost impossible to walk over to the window and actually touch above mentioned dangling cup. This type of yarn configuration was repeated quite a bit during this Beta Max period, although commonly referred to as spider webbing, it usually had to be cut away with scissors to clean up.
“Well,” stated my assistant, “your magical ball…”
“Fuel cell” I corrected.
“Sell what? I thought we were going to use it downstairs to see dinosaurs”
“We are going to use it in our TIME machine. If we can figure it out.” She always seemed to forget the important details.
“I’m thirsty; can we have some kool-aid?” Cassy whined. I let out an irritated sign and exclaimed, “Cassy! We are on the edge of science discovery… VERY important stuff. PAY
“GEEZ, it’s just a ball. I want to go play outside,” she said. Perfect delivery and timing easily swayed this scientist to the great outdoors. Experiments quickly discarded to roam unexplored lands in the great vastness that was our backyard. Magical fuel cells buried and forgotten, and today we still have yet to travel back and forth through time. Geez, where were our priorities?