Last night, Miscellaneous G™ and I took a trip to Hobby Town USA before commencing our console gaming activities. I wandered through the aisles of the store, practically drooling at the model rockets, slot car racers, remote control aircraft and model trains, dreaming of bringing each home to my young apprentice. Despite my innate ability to rationalize almost anything, even I was unable to conjure a justification for dropping three hundred dollars on a toy boat before Kyle can roll over without adult intervention.
Miscellaneous G™, having recently seen one of the kids on my cul-de-sac playing with a remote control airplane, was in search of something simple, stylish and relatively inexpensive that he could fly around the vast fields surrounding his dojo in the country. As I explored the Star Wars models—recalling that I have an unassembled model of the Millennium Falcon in the closet at home—Miscellaneous G™ solicited the help of a friendly sales person, who apparently tried to sell him remote control aircraft that cost more than many European sports cars.
We were about to admit defeat and leave the store when I spotted two things: a thirty-dollar, battery-powered remote control biplane and the Magic Wigglee. The plane was just the sort of thing Miscellaneous G™ had been looking for, so he made his way to the checkout while I watched the jittery, jumping video on the Magic Wigglee endcap.
Amazing! The fuzzy, googly-eyed little worm climbed out of a glass, then crawled over a little girl’s hands and between her fingers! In the video, children laughed and clapped at the antics of this mischievous little artificial annelid as it wiggled to and fro, seemingly of its own accord.
I’ve got to give the proprietor of Hobby Town USA a lot of credit; he didn’t even crack a knowing smile as I loudly declared, “I have to know how the hell this things works,” and then plunked down not one, but two of the four-dollar wiggling wonders on the counter. He didn’t chuckle to himself, recalling the immortal words of P.T. Barnum as he swiped my debit card. The guy’s face was an immobile slab of granite as I signed away $7.98-plus-tax of my hard-earned money; nary the faintest tremor or twitch tugged at the corners of his mouth.
After fastening my seatbelt in Optimus Prius Supercar, I eagerly tore open the package. A small, folded piece of paper labeled “Top Secret” promised to reveal the mystery behind the Magic Wigglee’s hidden means of locomotion. “It’s probably a string,” Miscellaneous G™ muttered as I prepared to peek behind the curtain to look upon the wizard’s true face.
Of course it was a string. Tucked into the folded paper was a small piece of cardboard, around which was wrapped about eighteen inches of not-so-invisible thread. Immediately, I knew just how Ralphie Parker felt when he decoded Little Orphan Annie’s secret radio message in A Christmas Story. If Ralphie’s mom had heard the next few words I uttered, she would have crammed a bar of Lifebuoy so far down my throat I’d be farting bubbles for a month.