Toy Appliances

I was vacuuming yesterday, utilizing the central vacuum system and its fifty feet of hose.

What a snake it would have been.

See, as a child, I used Mom’s appliances to augment my reality. She had a little home salon hair dryer. Contained in a small brown suitcase, it opened up, displaying controls and a lit mirror. You’d attach a hose which attached to a plastic bonnet that she wore on her head. An intake fan was in the middle. Several push buttons orchestrated fan speed and temperature.

The hair dryer was perfect as my spaceship’s controls. The short hose was my communication device to communicate with star base, or, if necessary, Earth Command.

Besides it, we had an Electrolux vacuum cleaner, a canister type with a hose attached. The hose became a snake, serpent, or dragon for me to fight, sometimes utilizing a discarded paper towel tube as a sword, but often something I’d need to battle with my bare hands. 

The Electrolux’s canister was my rocket sled. It also worked as a time-machine, enabling a quick escape from now to the future or past. Pillows, chairs, and blankets were employed as forts while boxes were ships and rockets. Mom and Dad’s transistor radios were also communication devices. Sunglasses were useful as protective devices but also enabled me to see into other dimensions. They could also be employed to see over the horizon to far-away places, like China, Europe, South America, and Antarctica.

Things changed. Television developed. I acquired modeling clay and shaped rockets and space ships. By now I was twelve, and drawing these vessels, reading books, and watching television. While those were great vehicles for my imagination, it wasn’t quite as good as opening up the hair dryer and blasting off.


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