The Slinky is toy cancer. It was junk when I was a kid. It’s junk today. Look at the picture. Yesterday, Christmas, three of my four sons received Slinkies in their stockings. This is what they look like today. My childhood slinky lasted about as long.
It was invented when Richard James, an engineer in a U.S. Navy shipyard, saw a spring fall off a table and wiggle as it landed on the floor. Whammo!* He thinks of the Slinky! Or in other words …
“I’ve got an idea for a toy. Let’s call it a children’s choking wire. What? Too long? How about Slinky?”
On a related note, a few weeks ago I saw sparks come off my machete as I sharpened it on my bench grinder, but resisted the temptation to create a children’s toy.
And, no, my boys aren’t the problem. They are boys. It’s the Slinky. I hate this thing. But maybe the inventor was a nice guy? The inventor left his wife and six kids to join a religious cult in Bolivia. Nope. He was cancer, too.**
Q: SO WHY DO PEOPLE STILL BUY IT?
A: That stinkin’ commercial. Watch that thing go down those steps. Wow, that’s awesome. But they ought to sell those stairs with the slinky because I’ve never seen it work on anyone else’s steps. It just doesn’t +#@% work. Possible exception: the steps of M.C. Escher.
Slinkies are not Old School.
Keep It Old School, My Friend
The Old Man
*No relation to the Frisbee people.
**His widow took over the company and, years later, did sell the company for big bucks with the proviso the company and its 120 jobs would remain in its home of Hollidaysburg, PA. For that I have much Old School respect. But the toy itself? Cancer.