Oh, to be a Weeble®!weebles

Remember them? Those little round-bottomed plastic figurines?

If you know Weebles, you probably remember their core philosophy: “Weebles wobble, but they don’t fall down.”

On top of that, of course, Weebles don’t have jobs or responsibilities. They have no bills to pay, no passions driving them to overwork themselves, and no email inboxes. No concerns at all, in fact.

Though, truth be told, I wouldn’t want to live the empty, plastic existence of a Weeble. But I do still envy their ability to stay balanced. It’s something I haven’t yet been able to master myself.

Unlike a Weeble, whose default position is a perfectly-balanced vertical stance, my default position seems to be wobbling—or more specifically, canting wildly from left to right, front to back—and sometimes even diagonally. I’m about as steady and stable as a compass on a record player at the North Pole. (Warning: that metaphor may not be supported by actual science. But you get the idea.)

In a way, some of that instability is representative of the kind of life I want to lead. As I mentioned, I’m not interested in being a perfect plastic Weeble, with a perfectly smooth outer shell, and precisely the right amount of sand in my weighted base. But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to have that EZ-balancing mechanism available to me.

In other words, I would like the ability to achieve a stable, vertical bearing every now and then. It doesn’t have to kick in every time you flick me in the head with your finger, but it sure would be great if it happened more often than not. (Also, you could stop flicking me in the head. I’m nobody’s toy, pal!)

I do actually have a balancing mechanism or two (we’ve discussed my walking therapy, for example), but I think the central problem—the core difference between me and Weebles—is that they carry all their weight down in their big round butts, and I carry all mine on my shoulders, and in my overloaded noggin.

I’m not trying to say I have a big heavy brain. (I do, but that’s not what I’m trying to say.) I’m more talking about how my head is stuffed with thoughts and ideas, and every other manner of head-filling material. Weebles, they got no thoughts—they’re empty as a balloon up there. That’s part of how they work. (And they don’t even have shoulders.)

Me, I’m carrying a giant warehouse up top everywhere I go, with trucks coming by on a daily basis to drop more stuff off. That would be a Weeble’s worst nightmare—if it even had a brain to have nightmares with.

So sure, Weebles can stand up if they aren’t holding anything, but I guarantee that if you put a boulder on top of a Weeble, it’s going lay down on its side, and stay that way until you take the boulder off. Those Weebles are steady when unladen, but they’re not real strong.

Any person would be the same way, of course. One person can’t carry a boulder—at least not with some pretty serious wobbling. And even if they can keep it up there for a while, they can’t do it forever. No human could.

I do have to begrudgingly admit that I am human, and probably bound by those same rules. However…ten people, standing together in a tightly-packed group, would be very hard to knock over. And as long as they were wearing proper protective gear, carrying a boulder wouldn’t be that difficult either.

For that matter, one person with a crane could do a pretty good job of carrying a boulder—and then it wouldn’t have to be on anyone’s shoulders. (Hmmm…I wonder how many cranes it would take to lift a warehouse containing the World’s Largest To-Do List?)

So maybe I don’t need to have Weeble-power to stay upright and steady. If I can just find enough “peoble” to help me out, and save up so I can afford the Crane & Tractor to go with my existing Warehouse Play Set…maybe, just maybe, I can achieve stability without having to develop a perfectly-molded plastic shell and a huge sand-filled ass.

Not to mention that creepy wild-eyed perma-smile. I’d definitely like to avoid that if possible.

I guess I don’t want to be a Weeble after all.

Lance Brown can be found at http://lancebrown.org. Archives of his column can be found here. His podcast Estranged can be found on iTunes or at http://estranged.me.

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Photo credit:
weebles by killrbeez