The Switch

I’ve seen enough old spy movies to have a suspicion that Vladimir Putin could conceivably follow through with his threat to flip the switch activating nuclear codes.  For that matter so could Joe Biden.  Flipping that switch is an ominous thought, well above my pay grade.  However, it got me to thinking about switches, in general.

Actually, switches of the electrical kind are fun and entertaining devices.  I recently watched a television show or movie that in one scene featured a woman mindlessly switching a light on and off, on and off, to assuage her boredom or was it, frustration?

I once had to run a switchboard on the receptionist’s lunch hour at a transportation company I worked for.  It was a desk-size console covered with switches or buttons.  It wasn’t quite as ancient as the one run by Mrs. Olsen on Little House on the Prairie, with flip switches and a headphone, for listening in, but it was close.  Pushing buttons and flipping switches made that old switchboard a grown-up toy reminiscent of my little girl’s cash register from back in the day.

I’ve never owned a switchblade and probably never will.  But they are bad-ass, huh?  I think it’s not so much the blade, but the sound of switching them open, that seals the deal.  I might like having one just to hear the soothing sound of switching it open.

Or maybe I should become a switch-person at a train-yard.  I worked for Auto-Train many years ago and I will never outgrow the thrill of trains.  I still find train-yard sounds, soothing.  Even the screeching of heavy iron clanking against heavy iron makes me smile and it reminds me of the Proverb (27:17), iron sharpens iron, generally understood to illustrate friendship and accountability.

How many times during a television watching session do you switch channels for nothing but the joy of the switch?  Do you drive a standard shift automobile or truck, because you find switching gears entertaining?

Are you familiar with the flexible, thin branch from a tree, called a switch, which is used as a whip with which to spank naughty children?  I was never hit with a switch, a belt, or even spanked, as I recall.  But, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was required reading by those of us born in what I generically call, 19sensibleshoes.  Tom Sawyer, or was it Huck Finn, was hit with a switch and if I recall correctly, he had to select said switch.

Modern child development and parenting literature teaches us that spanking, let alone switching the backside of children suggests to them that hitting is the way for someone more powerful than you to solve a problem.  Some folks, including ones that were hit as children, would argue that spanking or switching just taught them to behave, or at least not get caught misbehaving.  That’s an argument for others.

Or maybe you know the switch as a metaphor for a device of behavioral or psychological control.  A pointed finger is a sort of switch because it’s an object for pointing out stuff, or why else call it a “pointer finger?”

My husband enjoys a picture of a little girl with a switch pointed at a little boy, that I printed for him from the internet.  This picture which resides in his man-shed as well as on his office desk, is captioned “I’m not bossy!  I have skills…leadership skills!!  Understand?”  Enough said.

We’ve all had to make some unpleasant switcheroos from time to time, say from salt to herbs to add flavor to food; from chips to popcorn; from red meat to chicken and turkey; from size um-um to a bigger size UM-UM; from a little chocolate with our sugar bars to unsweetened 72% or higher cacao/chocolate bars that honestly taste like dirt at first, but I’ve learned to like them a lot.

Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters sang, “You got to ac-cent-tchu-ate the positive, Eliminate the negative, and latch on to the affirmative….”  So, might I suggest that the next time you switch outfits for the fifth time before leaving the house, “accentuate the positive,” and think of it as entertainment.  You just pulled a switcheroo and got away without a switching from somebody, anybody.

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