Amazing Kids! Magazine

The Rechargeable Nine-Volt Battery and The Revenge of Tickle-Me-Elmo

By: Jacob Lord, Age 10, Sandy, Utah

Being a battery is sort of hard, because you have to give your life to a mechanical device. Being rechargeable, I can live and die, live and die. It’s sort of awesome and sort of weird at the same time. It’s like being reincarnated. Have you ever been reincarnated? Let me explain. It’s like you wake up in a big box with tubes connected to you. Then all the sudden, you hear a “click” sound and the feeling – it’s like all the energy is being sucked out of you. It’s like a 70,000 mile marathon. Not that I’ve ever been on one, but I have watched the Biggest Loser and how those humans act after a workout – they pant, they cry, they even throw up – just like me. No wonder they feel like sitting on the couch for three days, stuffing their faces full of french fries.

I am a nine-volt. I’ve tried many things, like a metal detector, a voltmeter, a flashlight, and a clock. I hated all of those! Why? You might ask. Simply because a battery does the same thing that it powers. When I’m in a flashlight, I feel like I’m glowing, but I’m really not. When I’m in a metal detector I feel like I know exactly where the metal is. When I’m in a voltmeter I can feel when I am low or when other batteries are low. I am sort of like a doctor. And when I’m in a clock, I can tell the time anytime and I feel like I have hands. My very favorite machine to power is the camera… Oohhh, I love the camera. You see, I can hear, and I can see all the pictures and all the movies. It’s awesome! It’s a lot better than sitting in that dirty junk drawer with all the chewed-on toys and worn out non-rechargeables.

But, I did find one I really liked. It was sort of a forced relationship. When I’m not working in machines, and after a recharge session, I get thrown in the drawer with the rest of the batteries, rechargeables and non-rechargeables. There I was, playing cards with an early model 1990’s rechargeable soon to be reassigned to the Tickle-Me-Elmo toy, when the hand reached in. It grabbed my card partner and threw in a piece of slightly chewed gum. I think it was trying to aim for the garbage can. It didn’t aim to well, and instead of hitting the can, it hit me and stuck to me. Then, the hand slammed the drawer shut. It was like an earthquake and tornado all at once and the next thing I knew, I was stuck to a six-volt. She was tall and fat but I loved all of her straight edges and the curly springs on the top. She was not rechargeable (as some of you may know), but I didn’t know that of course. She loved me and I loved her, and she loved to play games, like “Guess the Toy”, “Wiggle to the Corner of the Drawer” and “Try to Roll Even though You Have Edges.” Her favorite was “Battery Tag”. It’s a little-known fact that batteries can zap other batteries. So, at night, when everything was quiet and dark, she and I would jump out of the drawer. The other batteries would jump on her springs to ease their fall, and then the fun would begin. It’s just like Bumper Cars and Laser Tag, combined. You fall down on your front and then you make your positive side turn toward where you want to zap and then you let them have it. Surprisingly, you don’t lose any voltage, because you get some back when you get zapped. She and I had twice the power. I was her backup guy, all because of the sticky gum.

One night when we jumped out, the stickiness died and we came apart. The next thing I knew, my face was flat on the floor. I had never felt this feeling. It was weird. She helped me up, and I tried to get back to the place where I used to stick to her, but when we played I kept on falling off. That meant she had no backup. That night I discovered that I could shoot out of my sides. Now that I had my independence, I zapped her. It was fun; we were still a team, and we got third place. We played “Battery Tag” on many nights. If we were lucky, we got second place. If we were really lucky, we got first place, which was cool. We were still the best team and still the best of friends. One night, I must have been over recharged, and we got first of the first of the first GRAND CHAMPION! Good as gold, fair and square. We got in to the drawer, went to sleep and in the morning the hand came.

I didn’t even see it coming. It took me to the Tickle-Me-Elmo, and it was horrible. All I remember, for those five long months, was a high-pitched, never-ending laughing followed by, “You tickled me – again! Again!” Falling, laughing, rolling, and red, fuzzy fur – it was like that reoccurring nightmare that eternally echoes in your brain. Right when I thought that the furry red monster would never stop laughing, I ran out of juice. I was so happy I could’ve cried, but I can’t cry (because I’m a battery – that would be bad). I sparked, instead, which caused Elmo to laugh one last time. All of a sudden, I heard a twisting sound and I saw light, like a laser beam, enter the compartment I occupied. The hand flicked me out, picked me up and put me in the recharger. Oh, it felt so good. While I was looking, the hand picked out a different nine-volt and put it in the dreaded Tickle-Me-Elmo chamber. The Tickle-Me-Elmo immediately started the hideous laughing, and I knew I was safe as it laughed out of the room while rolling across the floor.

I took about two hours to recharge and then it took two weeks until the hand remembered to put me back into the drawer. Once in the drawer, I was so overwhelmed with happiness and joy. My only thought was “I need to find my six-volt. Where is she?” I asked every battery and I heard the same story: “On a moonlit night, the hand reached in and grabbed her.” My heart sank. I remembered all the good times. The Grand Championship – how could I forget? Then I heard a Thunk in the garbage can. It sounded like the same sound I’d heard over and over when my six-volt would jump out of the drawer on those long ago nights and hit the kitchen floor; but this time, there was no springy comeback; just the hideous laugh of the Tickle-Me-Elmo, mocking my pain.