Did I ever tell you the time that I wanted a Tickle Trunk?
I'm being serious here. When I was growing up in a little small town in Southeastern Ontario, I really wanted a tickle trunk all of my own.
Now, I suppose that some of you are probably thinking that I have completely lost the plot here. You're probably wondering what a tickle trunk is, and what it is used for. Some of you are probably thinking that it's something used for naughty activities, and how dare I talk about that sort of smut on this blog!
I dare talk because a tickle trunk is nothing bad. In fact, it's probably one of the most non-threatening things that one could ever hope to have in their home.
But where does the origin of the tickle trunk come from? Well, I have a feeling that people my age and older who lived in Canada and possibly any states that bordered Canada would instantly know what I am talking about. But for those of you who don't, here's a little hint.
The show was "Mr. Dressup", a Canadian television program that ran for nearly thirty years on CBC. And it was a show that I absolutely loved. I loved Mr. Dressup's creativity in telling classic stories. I liked when he hung around with Casey and Finnegan. I liked when he had special guests drop by.
And most importantly, I liked Mr. Dressup's tickle trunk. It was a bright red trunk that sat in the middle of his living room, and it was painted with flowers and butterflies. Looking back on it, it was probably hip and modern back when the show began in the 1960s, as psychadelic patterns were all the rage. At any rate though, the tickle trunk was definitely a piece of television history that I really wanted in my own room.
Now, I suppose you're wondering why the trunk was called the tickle trunk. No, it was not a place where you could sit down in and get tickled to death. Believe me, as someone who HATES being tickled, I most definitely would not want that kind of tickle trunk.
No, the reason why it was called the tickle trunk was because there were some instances in which the trunk would be stubborn, and refuse to open for Mr. Dressup, so in order for him to gain access, he would have to tickle the lock a little bit. If he tickled it at just the right place, it would spring open.
And what was inside the tickle trunk was the very reason why I wanted one.
You see, part of the reason why the show was called "Mr. Dressup" was because inside the trunk was a lot of clothing and costumes. I mean a LOT. I swear, that trunk had a bottomless pit with the amount of clothing items that Mr. Dressup had in there. There were hats, scarves, coats, sweaters, goggles, boots, and so much more.
And did I mention that the tickle trunk was magical?
No matter what Mr. Dressup pulled out of the trunk, whether it was a jacket, a pair of shoes, or a toque, everything fit him like a glove. Everything was a perfect fit! If only our closets and drawers at home were the same way. I probably have quite a few articles of clothing that are either too big for me or too small for me. Only about 20% of my wardrobe would classify as a perfect fit. Not a great track record.
So yes. One perk to a tickle trunk is an endless selection of clothes, with every article being a perfect fit.
But another perk about the tickle trunk was that no matter what, Mr. Dressup could find the perfect outfit to wear for any occasion.
Let's suppose that he was acting out a play in which he had to play the ruler of a kingdom. Would you like to bet that in the tickle trunk, there would be a cape, a scepter, and a crown? Or, if he wanted to pretend that he was a fireman, you can bet that there would be a fireman jacket and a fire hat.
I know that it would certainly make my getting dressed easier. If I was thinking that I wanted to go for a run, I wouldn't have to worry about looking for my running shoes, as they'd be right there in the trunk. Or, if I had a job interview and needed to find my tie, it'd be right there. Seriously, it would make dressing up for the day a lot easier!
But of course, the real reason why I wanted a tickle trunk - and why everyone else should have a tickle trunk in their home? It promoted creativity. Imagination. Fun. It was the very symbol of childhood.