Wednesday, November 10, 2010
I remember the first time I saw one of these things it was at a friend's house in the suburbs of Chicago. While upstairs, a weird almost cosmic sounding sound started emanating throughout the house and after tracking it down, we found our friend in the basement with a Zube Tube. It is a simple toy that consists of a thick cardboard tube with two plastic cups inset into each end and a light spring connecting them. There is also a hole cut into one end allowing the user to pluck the spring to create some cosmic-like sounds. You can also hold it and shake it like you are about to throw a spear which causes it to make yet another eerie sound. Finally you can talk into one end of it transmitting your voice through the spring to the other end creating very ghostly sounds. Best of all, it requires no batteries or instructions to operate and there was no assembly required.
After playing around with it at my friends house, I noticed that it was made in Fairfield, Iowa, a town not 40 miles from where I grew up. Flash forward 30 years, I found one of these in mint condition at an auction in said town and was trying to rationalize how much I was going to spend to obtain such a significant part of my childhood but when it went up for sale, I ended up getting it and a huge pile of crap for only fifty cents. I carefully cradled my treasure into my arms until my daughter walked up and said she wanted to play with my toy. Tearfully I gave it up to her and it now resides somewhere in the clutter of her bedroom, probably never to see the light of day for another 30 years. At least it was cheap.