• The Ideal Versus the Reality

  • Nov 16 2021
  • Length: 5 mins
  • Podcast
The Ideal Versus the Reality  By  cover art

The Ideal Versus the Reality

  • Summary

  • Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots was a plastic boxing match game marketed to kids in the early 70s. From opposite corners of a 14 x 14 plastic tabletop boxing ring surrounded by plastic rope—no chance to “rope a dope” here—two seven-inch-tall plastic robots with outsized fists in molded plastic gloves threw punches at one another when you pressed the buttons on the control lever on your side of the ring. You could adjust the angle and frequency of attack by moving the lever back and forth and pressing the buttons more rapidly with your thumbs. 

    I think my sister Ann and I had one. Or this may be a false memory implanted by years of television commercials on that little black and white set. I’m not sure. I seem to remember pressing the buttons and moving the lever. It must be a real memory as I was never a big fan of those kinds of games. I did not like pinball or later, Pac Man. I’m not a fan of the X-Box. Though I really loved those electric air hockey games whose puck glided on jets of cool air pouring up through tiny holes in the surface of the imitation “rink.” The puck floated there as if magically suspended in time and space between my net and that of my opponent. The sound of the paddle meeting the puck swaks in my mind’s ear as I type this now. 

    These games of childhood come back to me as I contemplate today’s writing prompt: The ideal versus the reality...


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