My Magic 8-Ball

Alex - Richmond, Virginia
Entered on January 29, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: children
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I was feeling nostalgic. Scavenging through an old toy chest in my attic, I came across the usual suspects: Lincoln Logs and Lego blocks, my sister’s old beanie babies and Raggedy Ann, a Lite-Brite and a G.I. Joe, toy trumpets and other plastic miniature musical instruments. It was baffling to imagine I used to spend entire Saturdays sitting with my Legos, building massive, ornate structures just to knock them down, but such was the blithe attitude of a child. No longer the untroubled child I once was, a hectic high school student like myself had no time to busy himself with such juvenile playthings; years later, these toys that had once provided countless hours of entertainment were now of no interest to me, save one.

Near the bottom of the heap I found my old Magic 8-Ball. So simple was its purpose, yet so limitless its possibilities. It could provide answers to all of life’s pressing questions, anything from “Should I jump off that bridge?” to “Does that boy like me?” It does not discriminate in its advice – the probability of getting a specific answer is the same for every person, from a toddler to a terrorist. Its answers are also realistic: some questions it will answer in the affirmative, others in the negative, while with still others it remains non-committal. If taken seriously for its potential, it could be the deciding factor in many of life’s critical issues. Such power is held within this $10 toy!

I suddenly found endless questions to ask the psychic sphere, and its response became the be all and end all. Should I do my math homework tonight? “It is decidedly so.” And so I did and got a good grade. Will this movie be any good? “Outlook not so good.” And so I didn’t waste my time or money. What about spaghetti for dinner? “Signs point to yes.” Italian it was! And ice cream for dessert? “My reply is no.” It obviously had seen my waist line recently; it was always looking out for my best interest. Will I get a good grade on this test? “Ask again later.” Apparently I was starting to annoy the supreme orb.

Though perhaps less practical than a coin toss, it was more fun! I was no longer indecisive because I had found a method of decision-making free of bias, with a definite response. It became an invaluable tool to me, and I use it to this day. I made an important discovery that day in my attic, and I now believe that to solve life’s problems, you need look no further than a child’s toy chest.