We went to Barnes and Noble the other day with the purpose of buying a birthday present for a friend and allowing Dimples to burn some more gift card money.
Dimples, who is 9, decided to buy herself something she had been craving for a couple of months – a Hexbug.
For those of you who have not been introduced to this
pest toy, the Hexbug is a battery-operated creature that will run around your house, looking like a neon mutant survivor of a nuclear holocaust.
This purchase disturbed me for a few reasons.
First of all, as regular readers know, we already have tarantulas, snakes, and unidentified rodents prowling our abode. Not to mention our two dogs and a fish. I don’t really see why we need to introduce another living thing into the mix.
B.) I don’t understand the appeal of a moving creature that does not respond to its name or to a remote control. The fish also falls into this category, but at least he is pleasing to the eye.
3.) I am really, really tempted to step on this blasted blue bug or feed it to Wonderbutt. Which would upset Dimples. But it might make for some good video as it crawls through the dog’s digestive tract.
The real thing that makes me sad is that Dimples got this at Barnes and Noble.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all about technology. But it’s a little depressing to walk through a Barnes and Noble these days, and find that less than half the store is actually dedicated to selling tangible books that you can thumb through and re-shelf in the wrong place.
I remember the first Barnes and Noble in town. It started as a place with books, music, and a café. Perfect. A literary/music/coffee lover paradise. The Cap’n and I went there on one of our first dates.
Then games started to creep in. Some time last year, the tiny game and toy section that used to consist of a couple of bookshelves and a table became a section as large as the cafe.
Then the Nook section began to
infest the place take over. It went from a small counter somewhere in the middle of the store to a huge counter at the front of the store to what is now 1/3 of the store with a pod for people to try out the product, false walls displaying Nooks on shelves, and an actual area for “Nook Classes” smack in the middle of the store.
I have been known to read a book or two on my iPad when I am traveling. I am not opposed to electronic books. But I find it more than slightly ironic that virtual books are about to take up more space in the bookstore than the physical ones.
As for Hexbugs, I don’t really know what to say about that. The good news is that Dimples only headed for that area after she bought the books she had been wanting. So, it appears that she has her priorities somewhat straight.
At least she did until she bought the “fart” putty in the “dollar” section at Target.
“His name is MacGyver. He can fix anything. He could fix a computer with a hairpin and a piece of duct tape.”
Dimples and Cap’n Firepants have been bonding lately over MacGyver. I tried to watch it with them, but ended up laughing so hard at the critical moments that they kicked me out.
It could be that the background music is ridiculously corny. Or, it could be that I can’t get Saturday Night Live’s MacGyver spoofs (MacGruber) out of my head. Or, it could be that I just don’t like to take things very seriously.
I’ve been trying to figure out why Dimples has a sudden affinity for this television show from the 80’s – other than the fact that her dad likes it, too. (Notice that I don’t question why her dad finds the show so fascinating; he’s a bit of a MacGyver, himself.)
When I looked up quotes from the show, I found a possible connection. Pretty much one out of three quotes from the guy is about duct tape.
“If I had some duct tape, I could fix that.”
Dimples loves duct tape. In case you haven’t had a chance to peruse the duct tape aisle of your local Target store lately, it has changed dramatically since the days of the silver colored hardware accessory. It comes in a multitude of colors, including pink with white polka dots, blue plaid, leopard print, and neon colored peace signs. Duct tape has branched out.
Why, you may ask yourself, would anyone want duct tape with neon colored peace signs?
Apparently, like MacGyver, the world has realized that duct tape has many uses. And one of them is for crafts.
Oh yes, you would be amazed at the gifts one can make from duct tape, including: bags, pens, bows, flowers, and wallets. Google it and you will find people who have made prom dresses and wedding dresses out of the stuff.
Dimples, our little 8-year old entrepeneur, has made a tiny side business out of making duct tape bags, such as this Halloween Trick or Treat bag:
We have a huge bin of duct tape in various patterns to fit any occasion. Except fixing things. I don’t think Cap’n Firepants really wants to use Hello Kitty duct tape to fix his lawn mower or the vacuum cleaner hose.
So, now I’m picturing MacGyver in another one of his hairy situations, saying, “If only I had a roll of duct tape.” His current babe of the moment whips a roll of zebra striped tape out of her bra, and hands it to him. He gratefully accepts it, turns away from the camera, and, in a matter of seconds, turns back around with this:
“For the past seven years I have done nothing but travel around the world getting shot up, locked up, blown up… and all I have to show for it are a couple of empty rolls of duct tape.”
That’s what I want on my tombstone.