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A Word of Explanation

by on January 29, 2011

You may have noticed, faithful reader, that the title of this blog is “Writer With a Slinky”. The writer part is rather self-explanatory, but then you may be wondering about the “Slinky” aspect of it. In the 14 or so posts I’ve written since I started, I don’t believe any of them have mentioned Slinkies. It’s not a weapon used by Gaseous Girl or the Sporkster, and in Princess Caitlin’s era they wouldn’t have even been invented yet. No, the Slinky is more of a personal thing for me.

I don’t remember exactly when I started carrying one around; all I know was that it was way back in the halcyon days of my youth. Somehow I got into the habit of having a Slinky close to hand as I worked on homework or read books or something; a Slinky is remarkably useful to play with while one is brainstorming. Usually kids put aside their toys as they grow older, switching maybe to a lucky hat or a favorite tie with a polar bear on it or a particularly sentimental urn that they found on an archeological dig in the Himalayas. I, however, have not. To this day, wherever I go, I still carry a Slinky around with me. A plastic one, usually, as I find them more flexible than the metal. I recognize protocol, of course; if I were meeting, say, the Prince of Liechtenstein, I would stow the Slinky safely and politely in my pocket. Otherwise, I’ll be casually tossing it about during conversations and so forth.

Most of my friends hardly notice it anymore  as they’ve gotten used to seeing me with it; still, though, I’ll occasionally get someone who asks why I always carry a Slinky with me. I still haven’t been able to come up with a completely coherent answer. It’s part lucky charm, part brainstorming tool, part sheer habit. I think, too, that there’s an element of symbolism in it; the Slinky is a splash of color and fun in what is admittedly a very dreary world.  It’s like on M*A*S*H when Hawkeye wears a Hawaiian shirt instead of the green Army uniforms that everyone else is wearing. The Slinky is my Hawaiian shirt, my dash of random humor in a world that all too often just isn’t that funny, the disco ball in the dark midnight of my soul, pick your cliche. Anyway, that’s a short explanation for why I named this blog the way I day. Stay tuned for the further adventures of Gaseous Girl, Princess Caitlin, and more, including the fairly soon debut of Corporal Thunder, heroic defender of the tiny suburban town of Mole Dropping.

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