December 20, 2013

FRIDAY: Hands up or I'll sonic you


---- — Burp.

Paint things in glitter.

Make volcanoes out of mashed potatoes.

These are all things that you’re not supposed to do when you’re an adult. Or so they tell me. (I’m not sure I’m convinced about the mashed potatoes.) But sometimes, adults regress. This is one of those times.

I received a completely useless, unbeautiful, plastic toy for Christmas last weekend. A genuine toy that lights up and makes noise and does absolutely nothing else. I haven’t gotten one of those since I was, oh, maybe 8 years old. And for some reason, I’m acting rather childish this week. Can’t think of why.

My new toy is something called a sonic screwdriver. Funny thing: It doesn’t actually do anything with screws. But it has a big red button that you push to make it light up and emit noise. Who doesn’t need a big red button to push constantly?

There are scary silver claw-like parts surrounding the green light bulb at the top. The sound it emits lies somewhere on the annoyance spectrum between TV static and the funny noise your car won’t stop making.

When I got to work this week, the first thing I did was point my sonic screwdriver at my boss. Bzzzzzt! She looked at me like I’d turned into a toddler.

But later, she asked to play with it. Sure, I said. So she pushed a button and it lit up and made noise. But there’s another button, too.

She pushed that one – and jumped back with a yelp when the sonic screwdriver opened.

OK, so I lied when I said it didn’t do anything else. The light-up head pops up like a click pen if you push the second button, and the jaw-like things surrounding it spring open so it ends up looking like an evil brain drill. It all happened so fast, my boss had no idea what to do with herself. Except shriek like a scared puppy.

I kept pointing it at random coworkers and “sonic-ing” them with my new toy. I even went so far as to take it into the staff meeting with me. It’s like a magic wand, I explained. In theory, you can point it at a computer and the computer will be forced to do whatever you want it to. That is, as long as you also make a very strained concentrating face, like kids do when they’re figuring out how to open the plastic case their new Christmas toy came in.

Wait, is that something else adults aren’t supposed to do?

– Sarah Einselen

Friday editor / Child at heart