Making telephones out of string and tin cans was something my brother and I did as kids. The crude instruments worked fine as long as the twine was kept tight.
Jim was quite clever in coming up with a more advanced system. He started collecting empty toilet paper and paper towel rolls while having friends do the same. After several months of accumulation my brother finally had enough cardboard tubes to begin taping them together.
In the classic 1954 Walt Disney film, “20,000 Leagues under the Sea”, Captain Nemo of the submarine Nautilus used tube phones to communicate with various sections of his boat. Early day submarines and ships used similar arrangements.
By splicing the tubes together my brother created a 20-foot long communication device. Jim was proud of his accomplishment.
Before we had a chance to try things out mom shut the operation down. She deemed the tubes unsanitary, instructing him to chuck the disgusting things into a garbage can. That only temporarily slowed my brother down. Jim discovered that a length of garden hose replaced his beloved tubes just fine.
Oddly enough a prized gift given to mom by me was constructed from a TP tube. My teacher in 5th grade brought in a box of tubes along with paste, glitter, cloth, pipe cleaners, and other miscellaneous items.
It was near Christmas and Mrs. Drake had students use the components to create special earth angels. The tubes became torsos or bodies. There’s no telling where Mrs. Drake got hers? Back then kids didn’t care. They probably still don’t!
The earth angel I made for mom didn’t last long as it was quickly destroyed by our boxer dog, “Jet”. I suppose he was attracted to the odor. The angel contained gobs of paste which gave it a sweet tantalizing aroma.
The other day I was browsing through Hobby Lobby when I spotted a clear plastic bag full of cardboard tubes. The bag label had one of those yellow recycle logos on it.
I’m not sure if they were the real deal; size and shape was exactly the same. I know all kinds of paper items are recycled these days, so perhaps these tubes did at one time hold sheets of Charmin or Angel Soft. If that was the case there’s no telling where they’d been. My mind went numb thinking of all the bizarre possibilities.
If one of my grandchildren wants to make me an earth angel I’d be tickled to death. Hopefully the tube used to construct such comes from their home. If it hails from a bag of tubes purchased at Hobby Lobby I’ll still accept the gift of course. What loving grandparent wouldn’t?
I would relegate my angel to stand on the fireplace mantle rather than our coffee table. I think that’d be a mite too close to the open bowl of M&M’s.