Saturday, 9 April 2011

Sin... fiddling...

The plastic bit on the end of your shoelace is called an aglet. I know that, even though I am only allowed to wear slip on shoes. Bit bizarre that, isn't it? That I know it, and that it actually has a name.

Does everything have a name? Even the silliest little thing like the bottom curve of a paperclip? Not allowed them either. You could kill yourself with a paperclip, just as you could with a shoelace. Not that I would. I used paperclips to... clip paper. Kind of does what it says on the tin, although they tend to come in boxes rather than tins. I also use - or used - paperclips to create my incredibly clever and stupendously useful Fiddler.

I'm a fiddler. No, I'm not made out of paperclips. But my hands like to be doing something. Tapping, clapping, unwrapping. I get fidgety if I'm not doing anything. So I took a paperclip, one day, and bent it. Then bent it again, until it was a quite pretty looking 'Y' shape, and thus the Fiddler was born. It slots right into your fingers, perfectly sized to twist and turn as absently as your mind wants to wander. Therapeutic almost.

A whole industry has been built from executive toys. Mini Newton's Cradles, stress balls shaped like faces and more. My own invention did exactly the same thing and cost next to nothing. I even put it on ebay. And had questions about colours and sizes!

People will buy anything. Apparently someone sold a piece of burnt toast on ebay once.

The burnt bit looked a bit like a cross between Garfield and Elvis. Didn't cost me much either.

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