Thursday, April 10, 2014
An Afternoon with Primitive Pete
I was a student in middle school the first year they replaced shop class with something called Technology Studies. We used a robot arm to move chess pieces, we talked to truckers over a CB, and we folded prototype paper airplanes -- you know, technology stuff. The only holdover from the former shop program was a video they showed one day called Primitive Pete. I'm guessing we saw it because our instructors didn't have a plan for the day. The premise was that Pete would use tools for all the wrong applications (like using a screwdriver as a chisel or a pliers when you needed a wrench). The video taught me that a ball-peen hammer is used to form sheet metal (and not used to commit insurance fraud on your car after a hailstorm), and since then I've wondered why I know so many people who own ball-peen hammers but no one who owns sheet metal. Primitive Pete raised more questions for me than he answered.