Last week I got a new toy.
Rarely, when I can win one, I get a box of "random crap" from a website. You pay $8 and they toss in whatever they think they want to get rid of. You wait about 3 weeks and the box arrives. It's a little like your birthday. Sometimes you get socks, other times you get something that you need but never knew you wanted.
I've always gotten a lot more than the $8 so that is why I try for them. Money is tight but I've always been able to give away more than the $8 that I paid for simply by getting rid of the extra stuff I didn't want.
Last time I got a car. Not a big one, one of those silly battery powered toys that eat up batteries. This one takes 7 AA batteries. Luckily I have that many rechargeable batteries in the house. It took me a while to find enough batteries that would take the charge and power this beast of a yellow car, but once they were charged, I had to try it out.
So lets see. Aging Mc Nab Dog being curious what Dad is doing. Dad is a big kid. Floor is clear of wires and other obstacles but the furniture is still in the room. Car is about as long as your forearm.
Dog is still curious.
Power on car.
Power on controller.
Dog sniffs car.
Pull back gently on controller.
Pull back a little more.
First it turns out that this toy has no middle speed. When the so-called engineer made this thing, they didn't realize that two speeds, on and off, weren't exactly useful.
Oh sure, it has on and off and backwards and forwards, but that means it basically had all the control of the real thing ... on ice.
Secondly that dog. She's older, at 11, and slowing down, but she had a Good Day.
Pull back the lever on the control gingerly and all the sudden the contact inside the controller fired off.
The car ripped tire, then started to move loudly.
So did the dog.
Luckily for the car, it was too large for her to grip as it shot out from under her. Turning the steering wheel made for another realization. It turned all the way to the side or not at all.
Turning that steering wheel meant the car, now going at a fast running pace, whipped around crazily, knocked over the recycling bin, pulled under the dog. The dog taking this as a personal affront decided to try to herd the yellow beast and barked at it while giving it the McNab Dog Stare.
That noise meant that yours truly turned around to see what fell, nothing broke, and then back to the dog in an eye blink. The steering wheel at the mean time had been released and the car broke from its tight circles to wedge itself under the coffee table. Mind you, the coffee table is elevated so it had to do some sort of Dukes of Hazard trick to jump into the air two inches off the ground.
The dog was still angry at the evil yellow beast, and tried to catch the car.
By this time, I had slipped my finger off of the car's speed "control" and the car stopped resting on top of the laptop that had been closed there.
I could see that this would not be an ideal place to play with an electric car that the dog did not like.
There is a term called "Fitness of Purpose". It's an old concept that says when you buy something, it should do what is advertised. The car did, the human was a bit confused as to what that exactly was meant to be so it was time to have a change of plans.
That same car that careened madly over the "slightly" cluttered floor was much better suited for being brought outside. Outside was the driveway and the street in front of the house. One difference. Even on it's best day, a street is nowhere near as smooth as a floor with wall to wall Florida Tiles. The car drove over pebbles as if they were boulders, cracks were as potholes, dimples filled with a drop of water became lakes.
Sure, once it got to the street, it could be controlled better but the dog still didn't like it. She was chasing after it again and finally decided to sit down next to me and give it the stink-eye. It didn't move all that quickly across the street since the 1/12th scale pebbles were slowing it down and it drove more like my Jeep does over a washboarded dirt road.
It decided that it had had enough of driving around when it's "generous" 10 meter range was reached. It stopped dead in the middle of the street, and a truck was approaching.
My inner 12 year old child decided at this time, it was best to take this yellow thing back into the house before the big red "whistle truck" turned it into a crunched pile of yellow plastic. That would please the dog but disappoint the moose that owned the thing.
All in all, well worth the $8 price of admission.