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May 19, 2011

Like many good things, the Garp started out as an idea. A boy had been told by his Science teacher to make an instrument involving specific measurements and the number eight. Well, the idea moved around in the mind of the boy for a few days, changing its shape a little, becoming more real and more possible each day. A day before he had to produce the instrument, and show it to his teacher, the boy set to work. He sneaked into his father's workshop and looked around. Gosh, look at all those tools. "I can surely create something wonderful here," he thought. First, he picked out a piece of wood from the many that were there. He put it in the vice, and tightened it. Then, he very carefully marked in pencil the measurements that his Science teacher had given him. Then came the screws. He screwed them in at each point where he had marked the measurements. Finally, he chose eight elastic bands, stretched and looped each one around two screws, creating a stringed instrument. "Yes," he thought, "this looks good." But, when he plucked the elastic bands, there was hardly any sound. Even the most stretched band didn't make much of a noise. He scratched his head. "This wasn't supposed to happen," he thought. He paced up and down the room for a few minutes, going over the steps he had taken, wondering what had gone wrong. He sat down with a sigh. Then, he started to think about stringed instruments that he had seen: guitar, cello, harp, violin. "Ah-ha!" a light bulb went on in his head. All of those instruments have a hollow; the strings are not right up against the wood. Perhaps a hollow will help to create a sound. He considered other materials that were lying around that he could use for a stringed instrument. He came up with a cardboard box from the recycling bin. He removed one side, making it into a triangle. Taped it all together, made the measurements, cut little notches at each measurement, and put the elastic bands in each notch. Surely, this would work.....He ran his fingers along the line of elastic bands, and to his delight heard a 'drrriiing!' Yes, he had found a hollow big enough to make it all work. Happily, to complete his creation, he spray painted it gold. He admired it for a while. "It's like a cross between a guitar and a harp. I'll call it, The Garp." So, that is how it came to be, and that is how he got an 'A' in his Science class.

Grammar notes.

Related expressions: involving, to set to ..., to pace, to take steps.

1. Exs: I'm considering involving Peter in our discussion.

They were in an incident involving a gun and a stolen car.

2. They set out on their journey.

We set to work immediately because it would take hours to finish the project.

3. The lady paced up and down the hospital room; she would soon deliver her baby.

4. The council was going to cut down all of our neighborhood trees, but we took steps to stop them.