This is my attempt to create some interesting musings, uberservations and, perhaps, insights on both my personal and professional life.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Rubber Bands and Betrayal

As I get older I find myself sounding, well, older.

We have a pretty good kitchen drawer in our kitchen with everything in it you’ll never need, but alas, it lacks large quantities of rubber bands. When I was growing up, everyone I knew had large quantities of rubber bands in a drawer with lots of rubber bands of varying colors – red, blue, green, black, yellow, and beige. Red was the most common. Today, it seems that all rubber bands are beige.

I was talking with my friend and co-worker, David White, yesterday and he was telling me the story of a friend of his who is building a rubber band ball. You see, David and I were crossing the street in London, near Trafalgar Square, and David saw two rubber bands (red ones!) on the ground. He picked them up and told me that he was going to send these two rubber bands back to the U.S. to contribute to his friend’s rubber band ball.

You don’t see rubber band balls anymore. When I was growing up (here I go again, sounding older) rubber band balls were commonplace. You used to get rubber bands for all sorts of things, but mainly they were use to keep your newspaper together or hold a large bundle of mail together. Nowadays, newspapers are delivered in plastic bags. My sister used rubber bands to straighten out her teeth. The rubber bands she used inside her mouth looked like a spider web. She also used rubber bands for her head and neck gear.

Again, I know I am sounding old, but, like rubber band balls, you don’t see a good head or neck gear anymore. Maybe that’s for the best. Head and neck gear was a bit medieval. I had head gear during my first round of braces. Yes, first round, I was lucky enough to have braces twice.
In sixth grade I was dating Erin Callahan and she and I agreed in one of our nightly, marathon phone conversations to wear our head gear to school the next day. I followed through with the promise, but alas Erin did not. Head gear was pricey and a bit awkward to store in a cubby hole, so I ended up having to wearing it all day because I didn’t have anywhere proper to put it. Erin and I broke up a couple of weeks later. I was betrayed.

But, back to the rubber bands. Dan Fuller had the best rubber band ball in town. He belonged to one of those families who had all sorts of cool things – a soldering iron, turtles, terrariums, a trampoline, a bubble over his pool (a pool!) in the winter, and of course a rubber band ball.

It was as big as a tennis ball. I never did find out what was at the core in his rubber band ball. To stay true to the name, I think it’s supposed to be all rubber bands, but I think Dan cheated and had a super ball in the middle.

Anyway, this rubber band ball had been around for a while and one day we went outside to see how high we could bounce it. We bounced it on the ground and the old rubber bands snapped off with every hit to the pavement. Dan was upset by this as the years of work on his tennis ball sized rubber band ball seemed to be popping off with each bounce. I remember laughing. I thought the whole thing was funny, but the reality was I was just jealous of Dan and his rubber band ball.


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