Cardboard car seat. Really.
While sifting through a thrift store, my carpenter hubby was drawn like a magnet to this book, “Nomadic Furniture,” by James Hennessey and Victor Papanek (Pantheon, 1973). Awesome rambling subhead: “How to Build and Where to Buy Lightweight Furniture that Folds, Inflates, Knocks Down, Stacks, or Is Disposable and Can Be Recycled. —With Many Easy to Follow Instructions.”
There are lots of cool projects, including a drop-down table (it becomes a pin board, when not in use!) and a bean bag bed. Our favorite, though, has got to be the disposable car seat.
We live in an age where children are required by law to be five-point-harnessed into expensive, crash-tested hunks of strategically-padded plastic, whereas our parents were free to simply cobble a booster seat from an old case of Hamms and toss us into it, face forward and seatbeltless.
It brings back fond memories of our family trips, with my little brother and I knocking about in the way-back of the old maroon wood-paneled station wagon. We’d set up our sleeping bags and organize our toys and move about as we pleased. It was a like a giant, speeding play pen.
Those were the carefree days of helmetless biking, knee pad-free skateboarding, and lawn darts with actual metal tips—my god, anyone else remember those emergency room-visits waiting to happen? I know we’re safer now, and that’s a very good thing. But I have to admit that part of me mourns the innocence lost.
It’s quite possible that this is just a new parent talking, but it feels to me that there’s a whole lot to worry about these days. More so than back when a cardboard “car-safety” seat was a completely earnest craft project.Add a Comment