#517 That clicking sound of winding anything up

Mmmm, girl.

You know it and I know it: that zip-zippery sound of winding anything up is a slow building crescendo of anticipation. You crank the plastic walking toy, spin the garden hose wheel, or twist the egg timer tightly until everything locks and loads. Don’t matter whether you’re reeling in a fish, charging a manual flashlight, or preparing a set of chattering teeth to walk across the kitchen table, it all feels great.

It’s the sound of important work about to start. It’s the sound of important work about to finish. It’s the sound of progress, movement, and clicky little baby steps toward a bigger goal. Soon the fish jumps out of the water, the flashlight lights up the campsite, or  the toy teeters across the cold basement floor.

That wind-up clicking scratches a tiny little itch deep in our brain and gives a smirky sense of satisfaction when you’ve twisted ’til you can’t twist no more. Yes, when you build energy up inside whatever you’re winding up, you sure do crank yourself up, too.


Scope the full list as we count ’em down.

— Email message —

“Hey Neil, Clover thinks it’s pretty cool she’s in The Book of Awesome. She said ‘That’s me in that book!’ and ‘That’s sooooo cool!’ I was hoping she’d say ‘AWESOME’, but alas. I read her a few bits and pieces and it led to a conversation about the sound of cutting into construction paper. Thanks again and we’re all (especially Clover) looking forward to the book launch!” – Evan
Photo from: here, here, and here

40 thoughts on “#517 That clicking sound of winding anything up

    1. And yes, I was staying on my computer even though I am EXHAUSTED just to see Neil post #517!

      Ahh, perfect way to end the night <3

  1. I’ve got one! Right here! This baby blue, pink, and purple easter egg with legs sits right here on my desk, serving as both a use for seconds of amusement and a reminder that Mom is there to send me little sumthin’s while I’m miles away at college.


    The first line of this post will go down in history as the best first line yet.

    Made me laugh pretty hard.

    1. That egg is also the manliest thing on my desk next to the fluffy chick toy and the pom pom.

      Wait. I need to masculinize this place…


        I just stepped on my egg…JUST now…

        Not so awesome…Cary is a sad little flamingo.

        1. This was a tragic series of posts to read. What a crazy 3 minutes this must have been.

          Sorry for the loss of your egg, Cary.

            1. That is truly tragic. :(

              P.S. Go Cary’s Mom for sending stuff like that … that’s really awesome. My mom does that sometimes, too. A few years ago, she mailed my then-roommates and me these big clover-leaf headbands for St. Patrick’s Day. Very … stylish.

    2. I love this! What a lovely sound. I think that I should record this and listen to it on a loop when I’m stressed out.

      1. Wow sorry my browser is being slow and my comments are getting confused. That last one was meant for the post in general.

  2. I am also reminded of those toy cars that you have to move backwards and then you let go and it whizzes forward… Funny that they always ended up under the oven or the fridge.

    Love this post!


    Neil: starting any post with “Mmmm, girl.” is bonafide awesome. Now I can go to sleep laughing. :)

  4. I inherited an old clock from my gran, and I love winding it up, hearing everything clicking. Awesome!

  5. You can also get those really really loud clicks if you have the correct type of music box, and then twist the knob backwards!

    Though that may not be good for the internal machinery…

  6. My baby cousins don’t even play with the egg timer anymore, they just hand it too me and start giggling when I wind it up!

  7. I always like winding up music boxes. You get the great ‘click click’ sound and then…music.

    Is that the page for #675~ Wordless Apologies?? I do believe it is. That picture was always one of my favorites

  8. I volunteer in Y daycare center, and they have a few of those little toys. Usually it ends up that the workers are winding them up and watching them hop or roll across the table, smacking away all the little kids’ hands because we are having fun and don’t want to share. Lol. I guess they are kind of addictive.

  9. Awww. This makes me remember my dear departed father-in-law who, when he came to visit us from France, always brought us these fantastic little wind-up toys (even though we were fully grown people) (and we loooooved playing with them … even though we were/are fully grown people …).

  10. I had this little toy top when I was young that had a wind-up situation going on with it … you had to twist the little top part (actually on bottom, hmm – confusing) onto a handle thing … and it made the best clicking noise. Then you hit an eject button and the top dropped down and spun and lit up and played music.

    It was so awesome. The clicking provided such wonderful anticipation of great things to come.

  11. Windup toys are the best. I especially like windup tin toys. They remind me of a Mickey Mouse tricycle that I had when I was 7 and I used to try to straighten it so that it would just go around. I think it’s worth a lot now. I wish I had still.

  12. True, that’s the best sound in the world. My watch has some thingy you can wind up like that, and i do it all the time just to hear it

  13. I have a wind up metal vintage ice cream box, pedalled by a little boy. It’s adorable.

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