Let’s hammer out some ideas

It’s time to get to work, to hammer out some ideas. Whenever I’m trying to hammer out ideas, I always find it helpful to visualize a hammer. Try it with me. OK, poof, there it is, a hammer. It’s nothing fancy, just like a regular hammer, the kind with the wooden handle. I know the plastic handles are cheaper, sturdier, and increasingly more common than the wooden ones, but the wooden hammers are classic. It’s what everyone thinks of when you say hammer. All right, so if you had visualized any other type of hammer, get that one out of your head.

Whenever I’m visualizing things, I always make a “poof” sound, like I wrote before. It really helps me to conjure up images out of nowhere. And if I ever need to get rid of an image, I like to imagine I’m hearing a sound like an eraser being used on a blackboard. It’s hard to think of a word for that sounds, like a word to spell out how it sounds. “Poof” was easy. That’s exactly how it sounds, “poof.” But the blackboard sound? I guess I could try. It’s like a “fwish-oo-fwish-oo,” like if you’re going back and forth on the chalkboard, the forth part would be the “fwish” and the back would be “oo.” But I really don’t think it works. It’s definitely not as effective as “poof.”

And besides, now that I’m thinking even more about it, don’t most classrooms use those dry erase boards now? Like I know when I was a kid it was all chalk. But didn’t some parent groups start complaining about the chalk dust and how it was giving their kids asthma or autism? I can’t remember. Still, I’m slightly off message. I hate it when celebrities make up causes. But their causes always gain a following, at least some people buy into them, even if they’re not grounded in reality.

And that’s why “fwish-oo” doesn’t connect, because it’s really more like the “ree-er” sound of a dry erase eraser on a dry erase board, all squeaky. While the sound is easier to imagine, it’s also a little less pleasant, not soft like soft the fwish of a soft eraser on a chalkboard. It’s this squeaking, grating noise, and more often than not it’s too distracting, interfering with the visualization process. And so it’s like, visualize a hammer. Poof. No, not that type of hammer. Ree-er. Ow. And now you try to poof the correct type of hammer, but that noise, geez, ree-er.

Poof. That’s not a hammer, that’s a screwdriver. Well, I guess you could try it. You could use your imagination. Just try to picture a worker standing over a piece of wood with some nails, and he’s just banging on those nails with a screwdriver. Phillips-head, I don’t know. No, it doesn’t matter what you imagined the worker to look like. Well, OK, if you imagined him to look like Captain America, that might be a little distracting. Try somebody else. I don’t know, does it have to be a superhero? Don’t you think they’re all equally distracting? All right, let’s start over. Ree-er. Aw man, geez that’s annoying.

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