Tools and Simple Machines, with Tom and Susan

Popular Science, long the golden subscription for the less-nerdy geeks, made informational filmstrips long ago. I have one -- "Tools and Simple Machines". Boy, did I learn a lot!

'Popular Science Publishing Company' -- it was not only powerful enough to be a publishing company all it's own, but it had a special A/V club of it's very own. It's nerdy characteristics WOULD require that they handle the A/V equipment, since Sports Illustrated and Field & Stream are too cool to mess with that sort of stuff. Popular Science, with it's expertise in nuclear weapons and flying machines of the future, was perfect to run the overhead projector. Or the filmstrip machine...

Tom and Susan -- On The Farm! We're going along with Tom and Susan, which leads me to believe they're naiive city folk...I forsee an arm lost in the grain auger; let's see where this goes.

Teach - O - Filmstrip! I miss the days of product titles like this. Today, we feel the need to make up our own names, using the underutilised letters of the alphabet. "Bulanex," "Miqwanor," "Volmaran". In the Good 'ol Days, you just pieced together a few words with a vowel, and you were in like Flynn.

They're looking for a whuppin', that's what. Screwing around when they should be slopping hogs or milking chickens, or whatnot. Farmlife isn't all sitting around with a blade of grass between your teeth - it's hard work!

When I was a kid, I could push a box uphill both ways to school. The youth today, what with their hacky-sacks and baggy jeans and their Bjork and their wallet chains, they aren't worth a lilly white dime.

Try LIFTING it, kids! What's in the stupid box, anyway?

Here comes that whuppin' they were looking for earlier. Dan the Milkman is ready to give the smackdown!

RUN TOM! You've arrived at Uncle Ben's Wild Rice Mines! None escape with their lives!

Logs may be round like wheels, but the so are a lot of things... cans...weasels...cookie dough with christmas tree patterns already in the middle...

...eyeballs...toilet paper tubes...pencils -- hey, it DOES roll! Well, at least for a distance equal to the ratio of circumference to the distance to the back of the box, at which point the box falls off and becomes immobile again. Come on, Popular Science, can't you do better than that?

Tom and Susan? Make Mr. Greenjeans do it! He seems perfectly able.

Susan -- stop doing that to the board this instant! The girl is always the indecent one...just look at Christina Aguilera. And, a 'slanting board'? Is there a special manufacturing process? I thought I bought some slanting boards, but as soon as I laid them on the floor, they became horizontal boards.

Yeah, Uncle Ben does the hard work. Lifting the box of whatever -- that's easy. Making a ramp up existing stairs - get that man a Zima, he's spent!

Easily? Looks like it'll fall off the side if they lean too far. At least Ben seems to be doing his share of the work this time.

...or without Uncle Ben's rippling muscles and monochrome outfit. A real man would give the little ones a block and tackle. Pulleys, shit -- THOSE are real tools.

"No, Susan -- Logs and boards are construction materials.

You and Tom are tools."

....boards and logs....pulleys...screwdrivers...bottle openers...bobble-headed dogs...that zipper thing on resealable bags of gummy bears...locomotives...pretending you suck at your job...bookmarks...remote controls...automatic icemakers built into the refrigerator door...tracing are everywhere! Thanks, Uncle Ben!

Hey -- there's a Part 2 available!

Originally appeared at Thingsville, US

Article by Derek

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