Friday, September 14, 2007

The Psychology of Gizmos




I’m so not good at waiting. It is distressing. It makes me anxious, and uneasy. It is worrisome and unpleasant. But yet, with my gizmo in my pocket or purse, I can endure endless hours of waiting, without nervous energy spinning me into a state of nausea.

How do I do it? I have the primordial gizmo of all time. The ‘adam’ of the species. It is a button and a bobby-pin. And how do you play with it? You put the bobby pin in the button, you squeeze it, bend it, unbend it, and twirl the button and create unique b & b associations.

It’s a diversion. The same kind of diversion as that provided by high-tech gizmos. It is a diversion for easing the discomfort of idleness. It works to quell the irritation of feeling alone in the crowd or the oblique thought that I am waiting for something, without the slightest notion what I am waiting for.

But bobby-pins are scarce, hard to find, and I’m not too sure everyone has a button jar anymore. So while I calm and sedate myself with my button and bobby pin, you go ahead and get downtown (if you must) for the latest gizmo.

P.S. If you want to be resourceful, you might want to try a piece of velcro and a barrette.

6 comments:

Joy Des Jardins said...

Some things are just so simple aren't they Roberta? And for FREE!

Jayne d'Arcy said...

Mom always used to use a big button and string. Thread the string through the button holes, tie the string ends together. Place button at center of string and put thumbs at either end. Then spin the button and keep it spinning by tugging on the ends of the string. This little gizmo was actually shown in the movie Sleepy Hollow.

Roberta S said...

Hi joy, thanks for commenting. It probably would be truly fascinating if we could recall all the free childhood amusements we found in kitchen drawers when we were kids.

Roberta S said...

jayne, I had forgotten. I have to laugh remembering how much fun we had playing with button whirlies. They were really neat, but not so much when my brother got one too close to my hair.

Matty said...

Roberta,
You could patent it and make a fortune. Just think of all the things you can do with your B-gizmo! You can scratch your head with it when somebody asks you a stupid question....or you can clean your nails while you're waiting, or heavens forbid, your ears?
You can stab somebody who stands too close, you can point with it if someone asks you directions. Not a good idea to pick your nose though. You can scratch your name on the table in doctor's or dentists offices while everyone looks on.
You can get down on the floor and write your name.....if someone asks you what you're doing... you just say "I'm writing love letters in the sand...well, I'm practicing".
I'll bet everyone will want one.
Oh and when you point it at people, make a loud humming noise. Tell them it's a heart detector.....and when you get close just yell 'Gotcha' and watch them run.
I wish I would have thought of it!

Roberta S said...

matty, you clever girl, you. All grand ideas. After all that wisdom you must move on to my next blog and see what you can work out there.

With that many uses, it would be easy to patent these things but probably before I could even recover my costs, someone would decide to yank them --- too dangerous. i.e. choking hazard, poking hazard, etc.