Something To Celebrate, But How?


My love was looking for something and so found something else, which is the way it goes half the time. This was a partial box of birthday candles. Nice ones, too: they’re hand-dipped rainbow candles. My love remembers the only store that sold those boxes and so can date their purchase. They must be 21 years old, and have to have survived being moved at least four times before the handful of remaining candles were put in the Scary Closet and forgotten.

Five rainbow-colored hand-dipped Cheerlites ``candles for celebration''.
The box offers no hints about who made it or when, other than that it was “Made In USA”. Nevertheless my love found what looks like the company that made it, and which according to its web site the company started … four years after these candles were bought. We have no explanation for this phenomenon. (Well, maybe their web site meant they started in their current location four years after my love bought these candles. It’s still weird.)

Thing is now we have a problem. What could we ever use these candles for? For that matter, these candles are now over two decades old! At this point we should be throwing a birthday party for the candles, in which case we could make a cupcake and light the candles to celebrate themselves. Sick? Maybe. Also a bit of a busman’s holiday. That could be what really stops us. They’re cute candles, though.

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

The index rose three points as traders got to arguing about whether pop culture’s fascination with zombies reflects social awareness that Baby Boomers are retiring and often require long-term medical care, placing them effectively outside the “economically productive” bounds of society and making demands on the rest of society that can be read as fitting base, immediate needs. The large number of Baby Boomers represents how zombies in these kinds of story often outnumber, or at least compete with, the number of “living” humans. And any person, even one young and apparently able, can be suddenly strick by accident or trauma that leaves them similarly outside “economically productive” society, joining the “zombies”. Even if they don’t suffer accident, they will eventually by merely living long enough join this post-living set; it’s unavoidable. Anyway, it’s a good, lively debate, suggesting many of the Another Blog, Meanwhile trading floor really missed something not pursuing English degrees. Maybe even Masters’ degrees, because this analysis sure seems like it could be made compelling.

193

Ninja Turtles Under Attack


So we were at Meijer’s trying hard to think of what we went to Meijer’s to buy. We succeeded as far as we know. The store had some toys in those little mid-aisle displays that make it harder to get around the aisle. This one was of those giant Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures. Well, I guess they’re not giant. They are like four feet tall and I think that’s about life-size for the Ninja Turtles. The 1980s Ninja Turtles anyway, that I’m kind of sure-ish about. They’re way giant compared to any toys.

We were walking past and this kid ran out of Seasonals, punched a Michaelangelo right in the stomach, and then ran off before the Ninja Turtle could retaliate.

It all seemed mysterious. And quite unfair. Who sucker-punches a Ninja Turtle? I mean a Ninja Turtle other than Raphael. There must be some story we’re not getting behind this.

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

So the main Another Blog, Meanwhile Index dropped seven whole points in scattered trading interrupted by thunderstorms. Analysts say this isn’t going to affect their long-term plans because they just “had a feeling” something like this was going to happen, what with the way the dog was walking funny and tried to eat the flameless votive candle off the coffee table. So they say. I say they were just as surprised as everyone else including the dog was.

83

Playing Without Fire


We got a bundle of those battery-operated LED tea lights, the kind that look like candles without those problems of open fire and wax and smoke and stuff. We were going to get just a couple, but we couldn’t find just a couple of battery-powered tea lights because the Meijer we were in is renovating so that nobody can find anything anymore. I walked along the aisles, sinking further into the helpless despair that comes from finding magazines on display next to men’s shirts or houseplants scrunched up a little too close to the mouthwash aisle. Maybe I was overreacting, but I sure felt at parts like I was going to have to survive by eating my own shoes and drinking rainwater out of a fountain drinks cup scavenged from the parking lot. Maybe I need to go to a different Meijer’s until the renovations are done.

It turns out over by the regular candles they had the imitation candles, which we probably should have guessed. I didn’t see them right away, so guessed maybe they’re in housewares, or maybe by the lamps, or maybe a little farther out, and I think I was going to give automobile parts a try on the grounds I had nothing to lose, when my love found them. And we kept finding packs of more tea lights in each bunch. Tea lights turn out to be very economical when you buy in quantities of over four thousand at a time, and we’re now very set, lighting-wise, for both our decorative and for our teeny tiny localized power failure needs.

They’re bilingual tea lights, so as to let us pretend they’re Sans Flamme brand lights, unless they actually are called that and the bilingual directions and warning label is a coincidence. Among the warnings, printed in English and in French, is: “This is not a toy”. The warning comes out a good deal more merry in French: “Cet article n’est pas un jouet”. This makes it sound like the thing battery tea lights aren’t is some kind of jest, or an obscure sport from the Old Country, or maybe one of those long early medieval poems about French kings killing Angevins. It depends what a “jouet” is. Between middle and high school I took four years of French classes. I’m helpless to do more than agree that household articles are owned by relatives.

But now the warning’s given me a challenge. Is there a way to use tea lights as a toy? The obvious way is to use them next time we play Monopoly, letting them take the place of traditional tokens like the thimble, the dog, the pawn that immigrated from the Sorry board before that was lost, and the tiny Rubik’s Cube earring that broke off its mount long ago but, hey, tiny Rubik’s Cube you can use as a Monopoly token. Tea lights would fit right in, because then when we got tired of the game we could turn them on and declare that the game was ended by arsonists.

Except! I can’t call a board game token a “toy” and neither can you. I may not have a perfect conceptual theory of what a toy is, but I’m fairly sure that if you imagine getting it for your eighth birthday, and realize your response would have been an age-weary groan, then it isn’t a toy. It’s some kind of socks or perhaps a decent set of trousers. And there’s no using tea lights for socks, battery-operated or not; any decent pair of socks is powered by the feeling of discomfort you get after they’re soaked through by an unexpected puddle. An indecent pair of socks is made whole again by darning, a process people were able to do until the early days of television when you had to be careful about your language.

I grant this all sounds like the tea light subject is getting away from me. But the point is I’ve got plenty of battery-powered tea lights, and I’m interested in ways in which they could be used as toys. I think it’s because I’d like assurance that the prohibition on their use as toys isn’t just because the manufacturers are opposed to fun but because they’re worried of the consequences of a toy-tea-light-based explosion or the like. So, this is why I haven’t had the time to do any of my real work lately.