Monday, November 26, 2007

Notes on "Box"-ING

The great thing about being a kid is that even though there are innumerable toys - electronic, plastic, and otherwise - all you need to have a good time is a cardboard box. I believe that this remains true today, despite the number of high-tech gadgets available to even the tiniest of tots.

As a child, a cardboard box had unlimited potential. If a box were big enough - say, a refrigerator-sized box - it alone could be a fortress to play in and around. Many boxes of this size, tipped on their sides and lined in a row, could be a spooky tunnel. Smaller boxes could be stacked upon one another to create any number of structures. There were countless possibilities.

My most recent encounter with cardboard boxes had less to do with creative innovation than with necessity. I was moving and I needed cheap, temporary storage for my many possessions. Cardboard boxes fit the bill.

I collected Dole boxes from the grocery store and booze boxes from the saloon and filled them with crap until they were ready to burst. Each box was masting taped to secure its contents, then heaved into a mighty trailer for transport.

After serving their noble purpose, the boxes - some empty, some full - have come to occupy space in rooms throughout my new house. Last week, I built my first cardboard box tower, albeit inadvertently, as I stacked the boxes that were stapled in the bottoms and would require scissors to render flat. A few days before that, I created a cardboard box wall designed to prevent Ella from escaping the confines of the kitchen. After about 15 seconds behind the wall, Ella made a dramatic escape and the boxes fell to the ground.

I hope one day to put the cardboard boxes where they belong - packed away in the basement, keeping seasonal items safe from dust and damage.

But in the meantime, they will be whatever I need them to as I organize my new home.