I love my Magic 8-balls. Yes, plural. I have a purse one, a full-sized (like a softball) one, and an app on my phone. I might have a Magic 8-ball problem. Nah, I can quit any time I want. Any time. Well, signs actually point to no there, but I can pretend, can't I?
So, why so many? Well, have you ever been ambivalent about a decision you needed to make? Like, should I go to a movie tonight? Should I order pizza? Should I scoop the kitty litter? Yeah, like that. I am constantly plagued by the little choices in life. How many times can my partner, J, and I have the same conversation about what we're going to have for dinner tonight? Jeez! My solution to the yes and no questions of my world? Ask my friend, the Magic 8-ball.
But there are rules, because, see, I treat it like a sacred divinatory device. That's the GODS speaking to me through that Mattel m-fer! So if I don't want to know their answer, I should be courteous enough not to ask, right? Listen, don't you hate it when someone asks your opinion on something and then just ignores it? I feel like the 8-ball Gods feel the same way. "Why'd you bother asking me, jerk!"
So, if you ask the 8-ball, you have to be willing to do what it says. My daughter has gotten in on the action, and in some ways, I think it's been bad for her. She reports that she finds the concept that it could say ANYTHING anxiety-inducing. My housemate says it's like when you flip a coin and while it's in the air, you suddenly know which way you want it to go. The ambivalence can suddenly vanish in the face of the total decision-making POWER of the 8-ball.
But I find that helpful. I really, truly, have never regretted the decision my 8-ball has given me. To me, it is a surrendering of the future to the deities Mattelius. Take me where you will, oh Toymakers of Fate. Well, there was that time when I told it, "Wait, no, two out of three..."
Cat C. is the president of Turtle Hill Events and a graphic designer, too. She's been in the events biz for more than two decades and thinks she might have a tale or two to tell.