Wanting and Having: Wacky Old Bony Legs

In 1970, while Christmas shopping with my Mom in downtown Chicago, my eyes spotted a crazy-looking battery operated horse by the name of Wacky Old Bony Legs. I was instantly besotted and obsessed, which must've been apparent to my Mom, who took note. Little did I know that began for her a weeks-long search for the buck-toothed equine, as she learned the store where I first glimpsed Wacky was sold out. Now, I wasn't an animal or horse fan, and Wacky looks kind of stupid, but for some reason, his goofy spectacles and buck teeth, his quirky name emblazoned on the sleek red blanket, and the promise of jerky, battery-powered movement -- at my command! -- sent my six-year-old brain buzzing. Imagine my glee upon opening the sizable package to discover what I'd coveted most to receive on Christmas morn was actually in my hands. I could barely contain myself, giddy and jittery while playing with my "flat footed friend," not much interested in the remote controlled dinosaurs my brothers had gotten.  I had Wacky Old Bony Legs!

After a few days, though, the excitement wore off, it seems, and he was broken within a week. I've often wondered since just why I was so taken with this dumb little horse; it almost incomprehensible to me now. But I never forgot the desire and anticipation I'd felt over Wacky, and the lengths to which my Mom went to fulfill my most fervent desire. The experience with Wacky taught me to check myself and wait a bit when I'm excited about a new purchase. There's nothing like wanting something so bad you'd do almost anything to possess it. But there's often a letdown when you actually have it. Sometimes wanting something is more enjoyable than getting it. It's best many times for me, I've found, to establish a waiting period before I buy.  I sometimes find I didn't want a particular thing as much as I'd thought; the moment has passed.

I discovered these photos of Wacky at ebay.com, where the toy had recently sold for $10 plus shipping, and I wanted Wacky all over again. Wow, that's cheap. But I missed my chance -- it's already sold! Will I ever get another opportunity to own him? And should I begin the search? Hmm. I don't know if I will or not. But if I do track him down, it won't be because I want Wacky as much or in the same way I did when I was six. It would be to remind me of that sense of a child's thrill...and a mother's love.