Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Whack on the Side of the Head Wednesday

Whack on the Side of the Head Wednesday. It's been a while.

This Highlowaha tradition is our way of making sure that, in addition to receiving your daily dose of creativity, you are also giving your creative muscles a workout. We will have failed you if after following our blog for a period of time you don't find yourself more creative than when you entered our community. Besides... the stronger your creative muscles get, the better your input is to our comment section.

Normally we enlist the help of Roger von Oech, creator of the Whack Pack, to provide us the creative principle that expands or thinking for the day. After months, even a year, of keeping company with Roger, I thought I'd give a whirl at flying solo.

Kids toothbrushes.

Walk into your local drugstore or Target and there are rows of kids toothbrushes from which to choose. Some spin, others light up, and still more have figures that float from one end of the brush to another whenever the brush is tipped. Action figures such as Elmo, Superman, and the Incredible Hulk that don't light up, move, or talk are old news. Passe.

Here's the latest Beeny Brush.

Point. Kids are pleased, but not surprised, when a toothbrush has a suction cup attached to the bottom. They, in fact, expect a toothbrush to be more than a utilitarian tool and it is precisely that sense of possibility that allows kids to free their creativity. Kids are not surprised when a toothbrush performs. But, jaded adults? We are. We resign ourselves to accepting that it's ok for a toothbrush to be boring. Eventually our imaginations fall in line with our limited expectations and slowly our creativity slips into hiding.

Not today! Today we will reclaim a piece of our childlike wonder. Exercise your creativity by selecting any mundane household item with which we come in contact fairly regularly. Expect more from it. Demand that it capture your imagination in the same way a toothbrush can capture the imagination of a child.

Go ahead. Name an item and whack it. Describe how it could be improved or enhanced. Why should a vacuum only vacuum? Why is it ok that kids sneakers light up, but my hair dryer is perfectly complacent with a simple on/off button? I want more and so should you.

Take it away.

Signing off until tomorrow...


heather said...

Just checking in this morning as I'll definitely need my ride to work to whack this idea.

Chaotic said...

My dishwasher.... boring thing, and I don't think it gets the dishes clean enough. I thinkg it should be painted with stars & moons and symbols of outer space. It will become a vehicle of space travel, to boldly go where no dish has gone before. THAT is why they come back to Earth without being clean. They were busy saving the planet.

Peggy said...

Well goodmorning everyone!! I've been able to follow the blog, but have not been creative enough to to input ideas while 'lounging' in sunny Orlando!

Today, my thought is along Buzz Lightyear's Zapatron 'manners' target gun and to what Brian's and others pet peeves are....

Somehow to SHREK ('shock') people who are poor (tea cup)drivers and those who lack with manners and E.T.iquette to get their head back into FAST PASS of life (courtesy) (at least through my perspective)...

zap.... oh, you forgot to turn on your left turn signal
zap.... you stopped in the middle of the side walk and turned around
zap... don't be a dofuss in O'Hare traffic going 20 mph while adjusting your GPS with the overhead light on
zap.... sit down, there are people trying to see the game behind you (ya big SOB) quit going to the snack bar
zap.... yes, I'm holding the door open for you and by the way "YOUR WELCOME"
zap.... please quiet your children, I know they don't like airplane pressure but now their giving me a headache

I'm back!

cristine said...

Hmm right now - a mute button for children or I'll take a volume control. Anything to stop the loudness
Or - toy boxes that pick up all the toys for you. Kinda like the lego alligator that you just run over the legos and they go away.
Someday I'll have a grown up house that is clean and quiet. HAHA and pigs fly.
Have a great day everyone

Kat said...

My washer and dryer. I feel like I am doing laundry constantly, and it isn't too fun. I would like them to play music while they wash my clothes. It would also be cool if they were clear and had that colorful foam like what they have at the car wash. Hopefully the swirling colors and fun music would distract me from the drudgery of yet another load of laundry.

Cheryl said...

Good morning. I'm looking around my desk for something to whack... there's a kleenex box, a phone, a stapler, a whole punch, lots of files, lots of paper... hmm... I will be on the lookout today for something better.

Chaotic- I would like to be able to open the dishwasher and have new dishes!

Welcome back Peggy. Glad to hear you had a good trip. I got my latest card. Too cute. Thanks.

If you get one of those machines to pick up toys, Cristine, I want one, too! And volume control on kids would fabulous!

Heather said...

Oooh Kat...I like that idea of the washing machines. As I loaded a load into the dryer before I left for work this morning and filled the washer yet again I too realized that I'm ALWAYS doing laundry so it would be GREAT if they could make it more fun.
How about having those trashcans in your house like the ones they had at some restaurants for a few years...the ones that say "Thank You" when you throw something away.

Keep whacking guys this is fun!

Tera said...

I hate the iron. That's why it doesen't come out unless it absolutely has to! It's boring!!! I'm not sure what I'd do to make it exciting though. Hmm...gotta think on this one.

Also, I need some HELP!

My family is having a reunion this weekend and I'm supposed to come up with kids games. I've got the standards (3 legged race, egg toss, sack races), but I'm looking for some other ideas. Anyone? Anyone?

Claudia said...


I'm loving the whacks so far! Chaotic, you sent the benchmark high with your dishwasher idea and everyone has quickly followed suit.

Peggy... your post was GREAT! Clearly your mind is well rested and ready to roll.

What about the full length mirror I have to stand in front of each morning to make sure I am presentable and don't have toilet paper sticking out of my skirt?

Wouldn't it be fun if the mirror applauded for me? Or, better yet... what if the mirror doled out some fashion advice. "Claudia, you need a belt." Or, "That necklace doesn't match. You need something longer or chunkier."

heather said...

Tera, I'd definitely do something with water...water balloon fight, water balloon toss, you get the picture.

Other kid games, tag, hide and seek, Red Rover, Spud...I'll keep thinking.

Cheryl said...

Tera- at Field Day they did the sack race, the shoe toss (who can flip their shoe off the furtherest), the water relay (who can fill up a pitcher first using a sponge, egg/spoon relay, jump rope contest, 50 yard Dash... and snowcones. That was an event as far as I was concerned.

Katie K said...

Good morning, everyone!!!

As I was straightening my hair this morning and it wouldn't lay the way I wanted it to, I was thinking it would be nice if when I plugged it in each morning it would warn me whether or not it was going to be a good hair day. If when I plugged it in it said "sorry, not going to be a good day for you today", then it would be so much easier! I would stratch that plan and go with curly hair instead of trying to make it straight! Plus, why can't it light up and do fun things instead of just being black?!

This is fun! Keep it up!

Anonymous said...


Along the lines of water balloons, or instead... those squish balls for the pool, fill up a bucket and you just soak the ball and toss!!No tying and people get soaked!

Relay: Fill an empty liter water bottle with the 'squishy' or tiny water cups... but the bottle is sitting on the head of the unknowing person who volunteered... run relay to fill the liter bottle and get the holder soaked

Relay: with inner tube around waist, swim fins and a mask, each team member has to run with (a rubber duck?) down to a spot with all the gear on... then run back and the next member has to dress and repeat.

If you don't get what I'm saying... I'll explain more

aka Peggy at work @@

Nicole said...

What about an oven that talks to me? It could tell me step by step directions when Im cooking or yell at me when I wander away and start to let something burn.

I could see us getting into fights though. I imagine my talking oven to be quite forceful and opinionated. I think I would name it Susan, but I would have to hear her voice before deciding for sure. :)

Cheryl said...

Ha Ha Robin! That's great! I would name my talking oven Betty.

Cheryl said...

Sorry- that was Nicole. Not Robin.

Tera said...

Thanks for the game ideas, everyone!

Nicole, I wish my oven would do the same. I had an old oven and it would burn everything! I just got a new one today though so hopefully this will work out better.

BeeKayRoot said...

I don't know about you all, but my couch is "boring"... It just sits there.

What if it could sense when your muscles were tense and give you a massage to release the tension.

How creepily cool would that be?

BeeKayRoot said...

Peggy, I like your suggestion, because as some of you may recall, my pet peeves are all related to road courtesy.

Claudia said...

Ding, ding, ding! Way to go BKRoot! Tune in on Friday. That's all I'm sayin'