With Christmas just around the corner, it reminds me of the toys and games I received for Christmas when I was young. The 1960’s and early 197o’s were the decades of “The Misfit Toys.”
I don’t think they had testers back then. If someone invented a toy or game, perhaps the toy manufacturers just packaged it and put it on the shelves. I really think that if there were toy testers back then, some of them surely would have died. I’m thinking specifically of my first chemistry set. I can’t find any research on “toy tester deaths.” I did look. If they would not have perished, toy testers would have received brain damage, an amputated finger, or if not injuries, than stains on their clothing. And on the carpet. And on the couch. Which piss mothers off to no end. Probably worse than the brain damage. This mother hates glitter. Just thought I would add that because if glitter gets in your eye, you WILL go blind. For that reason, it is banned in my house. I know I read that somewhere. You can’t dispute facts. Especially if you make them up.
Anywho, children got to be “guinea pigs” when the product actually game out. And of course you know that a “guinea pig”
is a person is a person who is subjected to experimental or other observational procedures. Like children of the 1960’s and early 1970’s. That would include me. I very well may have been one of the “Guinea PigChildren.” I was, after all, hit in the temple by flying clackers.
I loved my Clackers…. until THE incident. Clackers were popular in the early seventies, when I was about 13-16 years old, perhaps. Clackers were two hard plastic marbles, (if marbles can be plastic), each about two inches in diameter. They are attached to a ring with a sturdy string. A person puts their index finger in the ring, allowing the marbles (or balls) to hang below. Through an up-and-down motion, the two balls swing apart and together, making the clacking noise that give the crazy toy its name. With practice, it is possible to get the marbles swinging so that they “clack” together above and below the hand.
Clackers were discontinued because children were being injured. I continuously hurt my fingers while honing my clacker craft. Not all children follow rules. They also made an excellent weapon. If you swing them over your head, and let them go, they could fly across the room and either hit or strangle a kid…. Or a poodle. I read that cave men used Clackers. Or bola’s, as the South American gaucho called them. (See, I do research). I heard that if struck too hard, the acrylic balls could shatter, with flying consequences. I became really good at clackers. I could hit them above and below. I was the Crystal Lane Clacker Queen. Self-imposed title, perhaps, but queen, nontheless.
One day, several of us were “clacking”, and mine flew across the room and knocked over a glass of water that was on the coffee table, which in turn, spilled the water, which then flowed into my mom’s pack of Salem cigarettes. I guess water-logged cigarettes aren’t easy to light. I tried to get one out of the pack and it just wilted in half. So, I put it back in there. We were done clacking for the day. My sister told on me and off to my room I went. When I came out, my Clackers were gone. Damn….
I really don’t know what the fascination was with Clackers. You didn’t win anything. You didn’t have a high score. But, you could be timed to see how long you could “clack.” Time clackers, so to speak. Maybe it was a lesson in eye-hand coordination.
I really think that I could have been a ninja assassin with my clacking skills. But, I preferred to grow up and become a teacher.