that prompts someone to play with, prod
, or otherwise distress
physical objects. Said objects usually belong to someone other than the doink
intent on tactile
mischief, and seem to end up broken more frequently than one would expect.
I knew a guy who would wander into my dorm room on a daily basis, seemingly drawn by the sounds of television on my computer (that's a node for another time) and plant himself on my bed, jaw agape. Within moments, however, he would have picked up the nearest small object and begun to muck about with it in a distracted manner. To the best of my recollection, he only destroyed one of my smaller tchotchkes - some toy that had survived the cross-continental trip in one piece but yielded to his persistent manipulations.
At one point he picked up my Leatherman from the desk and began idly toying with it. I am first in line when it comes to championing the wonder that is the Leatherman Survival Tool, but I had to gently remove it from his hands lest he somehow dent, bend, or break it into component parts.
In the end, I found a squeezy football about three inches long that I decreed as his playtoy whenever he should visit. It lived in my room (in a miniature Christmas stocking for some reason) so that he would not lose it in his morass of a dorm room. Upon entering my room, he would pluck the football from the stocking and proceed to screw with it in a variety of creative and semi-destructive ways until he reached a point of media saturation and wandered back out again.
When I moved away, I threw his football in the trash. We don't talk much anymore. He and my ex-fiancee seem to be doing quite well together, though.