Sunday, August 19, 2007

the secret life of yo-yos

I walked into the bedroom this morning after my shower to find Colin in bed with his computer. A common occurrence. But this time, he shied away and hid the screen from my view.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"Just some research," he replied mischievously and grinned.

"Hey, what are you doing?" I asked again, this time more adamantly and grabbed his laptop. There filling his screen was a giant picture of a yo-yo.

This might be a good moment for me to interject a little secret about my boy: it wasn't until we'd been dating for about a year and a half that I discovered his obsession with professional weight frisbees and yo-yos. The frisbees is another story, but the yo-yo craze originated from 6 months of unemployment with his friend Dan in Northampton, Massachusetts. They had a lot of time to practice. The rest of the story is vague to me, but what I do know is that Col has a lot of tricks up his yo-yo sleeve and if you're lucky, he'll pull them out in close company. And so he did a few weeks ago down in Nantucket much to the surprise of everyone present.

Col's passion for yo-yos goes hand in hand with his love for gadgets. And so, he is always looking for the next best thing. And that's how I found him this morning with the question "what yo-yo do professionals use" in his Google search box.

At this point, I was now sitting next to Col wide-eyed and dumbfounded. I was intrigued. The search eventually brought us to a YouTube video of famed yo-yo star Hiroyuki Suzuki dazzling his audience in a recent competition.

All I could think of to say, over and over, was, "Oh my gosh, what the heck is that? What is he doing? How does he do that?" We were dazzled.

After the video, I realized this yo-yo craze actually has a legitimate underground following (mostly in Asia). And, as it turns out, Hiroyuki Suzuki uses a Yo-Yo Nation Speeder, just in case you were wondering (

"Are you going to get it?" I asked once Col made this fabulous discovery.

"Nah," he said. "It's kind of expensive."

"How much?"

"Forty-five dollars."

"For a yo-yo?" I asked in disbelief remembering my good old $2 red Duncan butterfly (same Duncan whose Freehand MG runs for $499 retail).

I really had no idea.

As we speak, Col's now researching the Duncan Metal Zero--same price as the Yo-Yo Nation Speeder, I point out, but I can see that Col's eyes are already glossed over, hypnotical style. He's getting sucked into yo-yo world faster that I can say, "Rock the cradle!" And I'm letting him do it. Actually, I think it's kind of cool: my boy the yo-yo star.

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