Wednesday, December 3, 2008

yo-yo #'s 3 and 4: eric wolff wooden yo-yo's

pull up a chair, ladies, and let me spin you a yarn about a dick move i pulled...

nc states 2008. i was running it, and we needed sponsors. since forever, i had ogled at eric wolff's wooden yo-yo's and it occurred to me to contact him and see if he had anything he could contribute. to my bewilderment, he responded promptly and said he'd do two for me: one for me to keep, and another for the contest! i was pretty taken aback at this. i mean, really... if i had the ability to make these yo-yo's myself, i'd probably make 20. i'd put 10 in a steel box and bury it in my yard, put one in some sort of rotating display case in my house (with lasers), and play the crap out of the other 9. and that would be all.

and here he was giving me (i mean the contest) TWO.

they came a few weeks later: one cocobolo freehand zero with a large kk setup and one smaller, lighter, speeder-shaped small merc-bearing yo-yo made from indian rosewood. they killed. killed killed killed. and it was rough knowing that the zero (the more beautiful of the pair) wasn't mine. eric had stipulated that it go to the contest, but didn't care where.

the weeks leading up to the event advanced, and suddenly, we were alive with sponsors. yyn, yyf, yyj, yyg, and clyw had all come through and gone big. we got 3 nice metals from yyf (plus all the plastics), a PAIR of peaks from chris at clyw, and the usuals from the nation, the guy, and the jam. all this for top 5 finishers in 2 divisions and what turned out to be about 25 competitors. there had been a snafu with duncan, but they had still donated all of our give-to-newcomers yo-yos. we were in such good shape, deciding what would go where became a seious ordeal. the peaks were reselling for a ton and played like butter, so they went to the top spots in 1a and open. there were still like 6 $80 yo-yo's to distribute. so i did the unthinkable. i kept the metal in the freestyles, put the eric wolff up as the top prize for ladder... and then i entered. i kind of justified it by saying it would encourage people to sign up for ladder, but of course like 4 did... and they were mostly my pals. i wasn't going to freestyle, cause i wanted to help judge. it was just... shady.

the thing about sport ladder is that its all about being consistent with just a few tricks. i've always done well with it, because i like all those tricks (except effing boingy - and don't even start. i've heard from everyone. jesus could come down from heaven and give me boing instructions and jiggle my wrist up and down and give me clever analogies and my boings would still blow. i could meet satan at the crossroads and trade my soul for perfect boings and blues guitar skill, and i'd go home and play great guitar, but when i tried boings be all "goddamn it, satan, these are just as bad as before!" i can do it well enough to get through it on ladder, but i won't be learning "protrusion" anytime soon, and i've accepted that. ringca likens them to a $2.00 hooker; "not pretty, but they get the job done").

so i won... and i felt like a big hairless [boingless] turd. i felt as though, being the contest organizer, i shouldn't have competed at all. i felt like, by winning, i had betrayed eric; as though no one should be able to own two of his yo-yo's. i felt like i cheated my pals... and yet... i wasn't prepared to give it up, because to whom could i fairly give it. i felt like i'd be a good enough caretaker, but it's never really felt "mine". i've maybe played it a dozen times. it has the original string on it. i've never unscrewed it. it kind of stares at me like the big glazed eye in the tell tale heart. no phantom beats yet, and no one under the floorboards... leastways no one relevant to this issue.

hopefully someday, i'll come to terms with having it, and give it its due attention. lord knows, i'm not ready to pass it on, or brandon jackson would have had it long ago. the other one, i've played lots. it's a little light, but well-balanced and gorgeous. yo-yo art.

oh well. not a crime against humanity, per se. i didn't make sweet love to anyone's decrepit mom, but this was not my shiniest moment, either. i expect that when my days are spent and they put me on a shelf, if it turns out to be the worst i did, i'd be surprised... and pretty pleased.

it's almost certainly the most beautiful yo-yo in my collection, and in an unfortunate coincidence, it remains the only yo-yo that i sincerely feel bad for owning...

... so why am i smiling?

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