Losing my marbles

I just wanted some spares to keep in the glove compartment of the Buick. Haven't you ever wanted to rush out to your car in the parking lot when you felt like you were losing your marbles?

No? Then you might not work with children! My test group of teachers all reported experiencing this phenomenom.

It's not easy to find replacement marbles these days, probably thanks to consumer product safety litigation. No one wants a child to choke on an aspirated marble. We don't want anyone [especially middle-aged teachers] to slip on a marble on the floor.

Still, I needed some marbles. Will the world be safer if I can't find any marbles at Toys R Us on a Sunday afternoon? None to be had at Hobby Lobby either. Bet kids are still sticking beans, pencils, and Legos up their nostrils in this brave new marbleless world!

Now I was obsessed. I drove to Hobby Town, the store where my kids bought models, paints, and miniatures for tabletop battle games like Warhammer. Hobby Town only had little bags of serious marbles for players who know the rules--$3.99 for a dozen and a half.

Thank heaven for US Toy/Constructive Playthings new store in Plano. That is where you can still buy a little party favor bag of marbles for seventy cents.

These are the marbles from my childhood, and possibly some considerably older. Should you be nutty enough to wonder about the origin of the expression, "losing one's marbles," I recommend this column by Ian Mayes in The Guardian. Then you can spend your Sunday afternoon wondering if this expression comes from the Elgin marbles, the game of marbles, or movable French mental furniture. I didn't even know the French had mental furniture, but if they do, the rabbits will chew on it.

This is from Wikipedia:

The little boy's mother was off to market. She worried about her boy, who was always up to some mischief. She sternly admonished him, "Be good. Don't get into trouble. Don't eat all the cabbage. Don't spill all the milk. Don't throw stones at the cow. Don't fall down the well." The boy had done all of these things on other market days. Hoping to head off new trouble, she added, "And don't stuff beans up your nose!" This was a new idea for the boy, who promptly tried it out.

© 2008 Nancy L. Ruder

1 comment:

meggie said...

Hi, I loved your story about marbles! It brought many happy memories of the school yard, & my first little boy friend, who gave me his 'best' marbles!
Also loved the story about the little boy & the beans. My daughter once pushed a crayon up into her nose. We had to go to the ER to have it removed.


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