December 17, 2008


Filed under: Essays — unwriter1 @ 9:15 pm
Tags: ,

“What’s all that racket?””I have no idea Martha. Where’s it coming from?”

“Grab that baseball bat, George. It sounds like it’s coming from the kitchen.”

Slowly they crept into the kitchen. The doors to the cupboard were rattling. Martha signaled George to be quiet. She went over to open the door while George prepared to attack whatever was causing the ruckus. She slowly opened the door when suddenly a big box of tea bags flew out!

“OMG” (Oh My Goodness, what else would she say?)

it quieted down immediately. The intruder was gone. Their daughter, Tillie, put her teabags in the wrong place and the coffee cups were very upset.

Is this story true? Of course not. I made it up, using something called imagination. This commodity is becoming short in supply. Between reality TV and the realism of games, imagination is being forgotten.

Before the advent of all these reality based products, four chairs lined up properly, became a car. An empty box turned into forts or houses. How many baking soda and vinegar filled plastic bottles were launched before the first Jupiter C crossed into space? It was this way of thinking, this imagination that fueled the space program. From this non-real thinking, we have home computers and the Internet. But imaginary thinking is almost a remnant of the past.

Today’s children need time away from television and the game consoles. Give them boxes, chairs, paper and crayons. They need to keep their childhood curiosity. Given free rein to make things up opens new worlds. Allow children to be creative and you get adults that turn science fiction into science fact. The Star Trek transporter may someday be as common as the family car. The future depends on more kitchen chair cars and cardboard forts.



  1. Ah. A chair turned sideways made a house for Barbie for us who couldn’t afford her mansion. A shoe box made a nifty convertible for her and the Teddy Bear was MUCH more handsome and cuddly a beau than that ol’ gigolo Ken ever dreamed of being (besides MY Barbie simply could not afford Ken’s expensive tastes).

    Ah. Thanks, Ron Twain, for bringing my memory back to the days of…..imagination.

    Comment by Carol — December 17, 2008 @ 9:20 pm | Reply

  2. The kids and I still make forts every weekend in their bedrooms. An old card table, every blanket we can find, chairs, and a black and white TV that only plays VCR tapes. My kids have wonderful imaginations I must say.

    Many times I’ll open my freeze to find a plastic bowl full of barbie dolls frozen in a block of ice. “They’re prisoners,” my son will say. Cracks me up every time. I’m so thankful for their imaginations. It’s what keeps us laughing.

    Comment by Katrina Wampler — December 17, 2008 @ 10:34 pm | Reply

  3. I couldn’t agree more, Ron. I taught in the Poetry in the Schools program and my main focus was on developing imagination. It’s been lost in the TV-video game shuffle.

    Comment by Jean Henry Mead — December 18, 2008 @ 2:53 pm | Reply

  4. I couldn’t agree more. I taught in the Poetry in the Schools program and my main focus was on developing imagination. It’s been lost in the TV-video game shuffle.

    Comment by Jean Henry Mead — December 18, 2008 @ 2:54 pm | Reply

  5. Amen Bro. When I was a kid my Grandma would save cardboard in a big bushel basket and have scissors and scotch tape for me when I went over to visit. I would play for hours at a time, building cars, rocket ships to Mars, horses upon which to mount and conquer the old West.

    X-boxes. Humph. Who needs em when ya got imagination?

    Comment by Marvin D Wilson — December 18, 2008 @ 3:38 pm | Reply

  6. My kids have wonderful, active imaginations. They get it from my husband, I guess, since I still have mine! I love watching them build forts and tie blankets around their necks to be superheroes.

    Comment by Lynn McMonigal — December 18, 2008 @ 7:14 pm | Reply

  7. Ron, Just a quick note to let you know that Google Alerts finally let me know that you had included my Sharing with Writers in your blog roll. Thank you so much! Hope we are also fellow Tweeters! I’m at http://www.twitter.com/frugalbookpromo! (-:

    Carolyn Howard-Johnson
    Author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers
    Also blogging at http://www.SharingwithWriters.blogspot.com

    Comment by Carolyn — December 19, 2008 @ 12:19 pm | Reply

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