Strike a match Hoppy

‘Strike a match Hoppy,’ is one of the things my husband says quite often. Neither of us know exactly where the saying came from apart from a vague recollection that it was in a story we heard on the radio about Hopalong Cassidy. ( a cheerfully non pc name for a man with a wooden leg). It came to mind this morning when I was lighting the fire and thought that possibly one day in the near future, matches will have disappeared in favour of the disposable lighter. Think about that for a minute. A cardboard box filled with wooden sticks dipped in red goo versus a plastic tube filled with butane.

Initially I thought that using matches is a no-brainer when it comes to saving the environment but there are a few complications. Trees being cut down for one, and there are chemicals used to create their combustible red heads but when I saw a picture of a dead bird with a bic lighter in it’s belly and thought of how many trillions of plastic tubes there are already littering the planet, I thought I’d be happy to sacrifice a tree that can be replaced. Providing the world survives long enough for it to grow. I’ll let you judge for yourself.

But life is like this now. The weighing up of political correctness is in everything we do. Has anyone read the Famous Five lately? My grand-daughters used to really enjoy our nightly huddles over chapters of Enid’s old fashioned children and their adventures, but jaws dropped when they were introduced to Fatty. They could not believe children could be that cruel. I had a lot of explaining to do. Now poor old Fatty would be labelled clinically obese and in need of counselling whereas in the books he is a standup boy who saves the day on more than one occasion. I agree with the girls – names like this are cruel in today’s world but so is the labelling that we seem to be so good at. Seeing someone not for their race or their flaws but for who they really are, is the only way we can all feel complete.

When we were children and reading those adventure stories, it was a reflection (of sorts) of the lives of the people around me. Parents were distant and useful if we needed food or transportation but they certainly weren’t our playmates and responsible for our entertainment. A cry of ‘I’m bored!’ in our house resulted in no sympathy whatsoever and often being given a job to do. I soon learned to be silent in my boredom and create a world where my imagination had me being and doing whatever I wanted to do. Ballet school – no probs. Circus trapeze artist – watch me fly.

Imagination doesn’t come from an adult inventing, playing or steering the games, and it certainly isn’t found in a cartoon. Yes, in the very young it does sometimes need igniting but once it gets going it is elastic, vivid and alive. And the crushing dullness of having nothing else to do is the best way to set it free.

So many random thoughts from one Beehive matchstick. I must’ve been bored.

Photo by Pixabay on

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