I know you’ve done it. Whether out of curiosity, desperation or boredom, you’ve picked up that magazine in the seat pocket in front of you, the Sky Mall catalogue every airline so kindly provides its passengers, the one filled with useless and utilitarian gadgets. Yep, you’ve done it.
Which means, you’ve probably seen the Marshmallow Bazooka.
And you’ve probably thought to yourself, who the hell buys this crap?
I’d like to pose a different question, one that gets at the heart of an Adult Dilemma with which so many of us wrestle…
Who wouldn’t want a marshmallow bazooka?
Think about it. Think about the act of running around a yard, perhaps in your bare feet, chasing after friends or family and showering them with…marshmallows.
How silly! How absurd! How joyful!
Forget for a moment your thoughts on violence or obesity or waste that may attempt to grab a bullhorn and blast you with RESPONSIBLE MESSAGING.
Get back to the kid in you, the one who laughs without censor and who expresses excitement without shame, the one who owns her right to be silly and proudly seeks out opportunities to bask in it.
When was the last time you played with her? Do you even remember what she looks and feels like? Can you replicate the lightness of her steps — or were they skips?
Does even thinking about that little girl make you squirm? Because once you think about her, you’re giving her permission to start doing what she does best:
Yep, she starts to ask why…
Why are you always so serious?
Why do you care what your boss thinks about your shoes?
Why should it matter that your new idea has never been tested?
Why don’t you like being tickled anymore?
Why are you spending all day doing something you don’t believe in?
Why do you hang out with that person who makes you feel small?
Why are you eating the food that gives you a headache?
Why don’t you still think marshmallows are the coolest things ever invented?
Ah hell, that can be as annoying as shit, right?
And we don’t have time for all those questions. I mean, really, who does? Instead, we look at the marshmallow bazooka and we roll our eyes and we let the RESPONSIBLE MESSAGING drown out the questions. And we proudly hold up our badge of Adulthood and get back to our emails.
And so the Adult Dilemma I eluded to earlier, the one where we ponder how the hell we’ve lost touch with the joy, freedom and certainty we felt in childhood moments and the core of who we really are, gets put on the back burner again.
But what if you got yourself that marshmallow bazooka?
It may seem counterintuitive but sometimes we must act without grand purpose to get to our greater purpose.
We must do something for the pure pleasure of it. We must play.
And, of course, I don’t mean “must” as an authoritarian command; I mean “must” as a soul-fulfilling imperative, as a hunger triggered by need for nurturing rather than desire for numbing, as an act of unlocking our complete identity rather than the one we’ve gotten accustomed to showing the world.
Would you feel stupid? Would you feel silly? Would you feel guilty?
Or would you defiantly say ‘what the fuck,’ invite some friends to your neighborhood park for an hour, laugh ‘til your belly ached far more than any set of crunches will make it do, and let that little girl have some time in the sun?
She might surprise you by providing some answers to all those questions you’ve been trying to keep her from asking. Or you might only get sixty minutes of unmitigated pleasure. Either way, I guarantee it wouldn’t be a waste of time.
Now, if you happen to be reading this somewhere other than on an airplane, you may be starting to panic…Where the hell are you going to get that marshmallow bazooka? Never fear. You don’t actually have to acquire an honest-to-goodness marshmallow bazooka (you already knew that, right?).
Just keep your eyes open this week for activities or tools of action that make you squirm and make the little kid in you giggle. Then, gather your courage, and pursue them. I’d love to hear what you discover and uncover in the process.
And if you do actually end up with a marshmallow bazooka, you MUST (as an authoritarian command) tell me, please!