The “Never Fall Bumper Car” metaphor and toy

by Bernard De Koven on July 18, 2010

It’s called the Never Fall Bumper Car for at least one very good reason. When it reaches the end of a table (your traditional falling-point), it turns away, continuing its innocuous travels in some other direction until it a) finds another table edge and turns again, b) runs up against something from which it simply can’t turn away, or c) becomes fully unwound.

Speaking of winding, it winds very well up (via its headtop peg), winding and winding until it reaches its ratchet point, and then just ratchets, no matter how hard or long you continue winding. So its actually a never fall, non-overwindable bumper car. These two elements combine quite compassionately, making you feel that, pretty much no matter what you do, no matter how hard you wind up, no matter which direction you release towards, you are safe, freed from potentially negative consequence and the possibility of failure (for further explorations of the salutary affects of safety, see this post).

One could take all this metaphorically, should one be of metaphorical bent. However, taking it for what it is – a fun toy – proves, in the long run (which can last several wind-ups) to be much more what it’s all about and for. Especially if you have more than one. Even more especially if everyone has one.

Envision yourselves sitting around a conference table, at a meeting of some creative, brainstorming-like purpose. You sit. You think. You storm. In the interim, you wind. And, just when things seem to dry upwardly while bogging in the downward direction, you set your fully-wound never fall bumper car down, wheels-to-table, and release it.

Ah, release!

And others, who are similarly dried and bogged, recognize the welcome respite, and release their never fall bumper cars. And within a significantly few moments, all these never-falling, hither and yon table-crossing Never Fall Bumper Cars bridge conceptual boundaries, reaffirming the permission to play, releasing the collective potential.

Yes, yes, the wind-up and release, the freeing up, the never-falling never-failing, all so potentially choked with significance. But the welcome release into shared laughter is beyond significant. It’s what thinking together is all about. And many are the catch-and-release possibilities. Many the possible directions, the chance encounters, the exchange of metaphorical implications, the sheerness of the potential fun.

Available from Office Playground.


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