Saturday, July 22, 2006

If It's Not a Duncan

Donald Duncan became a household name when he first marketed the yo-yo in the 1930s. (Shortly thereafter, people began questioning what exactly a "household name" was. Are there some names that are more appropriate for commercially-zoned districts?)

Although this is generally discredited now, it was maintained that the yo-yo was originally a deadly weapon from Southeast Asindosialaysiappines (or very close to it) and the world marveled at how Duncan had taken this device of assured destruction and created a magnificent toy. Duncan didn't exactly invent the thing, but he did add some taken-for-granted innovations such as the "sliding loop" which enabled the yo-yo to "sleep" and the butterfly cut which made the psychotic palm-drilling piece of plastic a little easier to catch.

I think the discreditors and debunkers are right: there's no way in Heffalumps this thing was ever a decent weapon. If National Geographic followed these hunters around you would just see 6 hours of tough guys untangling strings from bushes and smacking themselves in the face.

Remember that Duncan commercial from the late 1980s-early 1990s where that dude is doing all of those tricks with a glow-in-the-dark yo-yo? I always wanted them to turn on the lights all of a sudden: you'd see all of these bodies flung around the room in varied states of consciousness. "If it's not a Duncan, they're probably still crawling back to finish you off!"