When I was young, my Grandmother bought me a Jack-in-the-box for Christmas. The stupid thing didn’t work. No matter how hard or fast I cranked it, not one burger, shake or french fry came out.
The truth is, I wasn’t little at all. I was 13! I know! What kind of a gift is that for someone who’s voice is already changing? I know, its the thought that counts. It doesn’t work in this case, because she “thought” I was still a little boy. So, I just gave it to my kid brother. He was only seven, I think, and he enjoyed it.
If you don’t know how these toys work, I’ll explain because it’s important to the story. There is a very wide piece of rubber inside, with small nubs sticking out. There is also a bar with thin, razor sharp needles attached to the bar.
As the rubber band passed the prongs on the bar, the nubs hit the right prong and, voila! Music! And the last prong causes the clown to pop out and scare the daylights our of unsuspecting young children. Pretty interesting to me. Oh yeah, how do I know how they work?
One day, the tin toy stopped working completely. No music, no scary clown popping up, nothing. In those days, I thought I had the ability to fix anything. gently opened the box and noticed that the rubber band was broken, rendering the toy useless.
We didn’t have super glue but, no matter. I would simply use heat to fuse the rubber back together. It worked just fine. As I was trying to place the rubber band back on, a couple of the prongs entered the top of my index finger. My natural reaction was to jerk my hand out of the box. When I made that attempt, more prongs stuck in my fingers, to the bone.
It hurt so bad! My mother was next door, having coffee with the woman of the house. I sent my kid brother to tell her. He entered and screwed, “Jerry got his hand stuck in a music box”! My mother instructed the neighbor to call the fire department. They must have thought she meant a jukebox, because the firemen were there quickly.
I was on the back patio when to firemen, in full gear – including axes – kicked the wooden gate open and saw me sitting there with my hand stuck in the toy. They both started laughing, used some tin snips and I was free. It took about 30 seconds. They told my mother to soak my hand in some ice water and get a tetanus shot as soon as possible.
We went to the front yard and there was the huge fire truck and several police cars, too. The worst part was the entire neighborhood was standing there watching. Meanwhile, all of the emergency personnel were really laughing. I was the laughing stock of the neighborhood for quite some time.
When my kids were growing up and a toy broke, they either kept it anyway, or I threw it away.
See you tomorrow.
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