Monday, February 6, 2012

The Story of Sliding Lock Man

I just published another toy review at Action Figure Times which can be found here:

and I thought perhaps a brief explanation of my nom de plume might be in order.  Years ago, when my daughter Olivia was still a toddler, we went to Hershey Park with my very good friend Gary S.  One of Olivia's favorite rides was the old-timey carousel there.  She even had a favorite horse, which she had named, given a back story, and so forth.  Even then, she was a handful with an amazing imagination.

So we got on the carousel, raced to get to "her" horse, and when the ride was over, we headed for one of the exits.  Now the exits at this particular carousel are several waist-high gates which are held shut by sliding bolts of this simple variety:
The gates are locked during the ride so that nobody can sneak aboard, and unlocked by the attendants as the ride is ending so that riders can exit.

Simple, right?

Now a brief detour which I promise will make sense later:  If you have seen the movie Animal House you will remember a scene at the end of the movie where the Animal House guys hijack the homecoming parade.  One of the guys, Stork, replaces the drum major and leads the marching band down a blind alley.  They get to the end of the alley and just keep on marching into the brick wall and bouncing off before trying once again to march forward like the mindless automatons they are.

As our carousel ride ended, the attendants must have missed unlocking the gate at which we arrived.  I swear, the people were just marching into the locked gate, bouncing off, and marching forward again.  And bouncing off.  And marching forward.  It was ridiculous.  I have never before or since seen such mass idiocy, excepting perhaps at a Tea Party gathering.

In any event, I managed to get myself up to the gate, I threw back the bolt, and my family got the hell out of there.  At which point my friend Gary yelled out, "There's no need to fear; it's Sliding Lock Man to the rescue!"  The name stuck and I have been Sliding Lock Man or SLM to him ever since.  He is the one who introduced me to Action Figure Times -- we are both avid toy collectors, and it's one of the best, and friendliest, collector sites -- and I picked SLM as my sign-in handle.  Now that they've asked me to do some reviews from time to time, I'm kind of stuck with it.  But it has a great "origin story."

And remember my mention of my daughter's vivid imagination earlier?  Well, it wasn't too long before she decided that she wanted to be my superhero sidekick.  The name she came up with for herself?

The Latchkey Kid.

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