I’m a big fan of using mundane stuff in spellwork, because there are always things around your house that you can finagle into a magical application. If you’re a parent, especially, I guarantee you that there are plenty of kids’ toys that are going to come in very useful at some point. To illustrate this, I’d like to share a tale from about fifteen years ago, when my twins (who are now high school juniors) were toddlers, and we had a fairly impressive collection of Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars.
At the time, I lived on a one-way street in a residential area, and because it was the connector between a large public park and a main artery, we occasionally saw cars going the wrong way. There was one local teenage driver in particular who not only went the wrong way A LOT, but he did it at about 55 mph. I repeatedly asked the police to stop him, but because he did it at varied times, they really couldn’t help.
I got a length of Matchbox track, and labeled it with my street’s name. I put little piles of gravel to represent speedbumps at intervals, created several other obstacles, and then I got a red Firebird toy car to represent Jason (that was speed-racer’s name). I also got a toy cop car. Then I put a mirror at the end of the street.
I drove Jason slowly down the street, hitting every possible pile of gravel. I did this with appropriate “Ouch! Yikes! %$#!” When “Jason” got to the mirror, the cop car drove up behind him to dispense justice. There was a little more to this than that, but that’s basically it in a nutshell.
What happened, about ten days later: Jason came flying down the street the wrong way one afternoon as I sat on my front porch. Suddenly, for no discernible reason at all, he slammed on the brakes. He then lost control of his car, and slammed it into a lightpole directly across the street from my house, severing the lightpole at the base. Jason backed up, turned the car around, and raced away in a cloud of dust.
Aaaaaaand he left his license plate embedded in the light pole… which the neighbors and I happily gave to the nice policeman who came to take the report.
The cop came by later and told me that when they went to pick Jason up, he told them he had slammed on the brakes because he got confused and thought he was on the next street over — which has speed bumps.
- Toy cars: $6
- Mirror: 99 cents
- Stopping a douchebag from running over neighborhood kids: priceless.