Today’s prompt turned out to be bubble wrap so I know I must have been thinking about how fun it was to pop it when I put that there. What I wasn’t thinking about was how devlishly difficult this prompt would be to illustrate. That’s been part of the fun of using my own prompt list, as I really don’t remember what’s on it by the end. Kudos to those out there still sketching through the prompts in this challenge who have attempted this one! But seriously, who doesn’t love popping bubble wrap? I remember my mom getting something in the mail as a child and I would peek at the box hoping the words “Fragile” appeared. I knew whatever object was inside wasn’t for me, but I had no interest in that. I wanted to get my hands on those little plastic bubbles and pop them one by one. This hasn’t changed much as I really can’t touch bubble wrap without popping it. As a kid I loved the sound it made, like little firecrackers, but as an adult it’s more of a way to relieve stress.
As it turns out, compulsively attacking a sheet of bubble wrap does produce a significant calming effect. A psychology professor named Kathleen M. Dillon published a study in the journal Psychological Reports that showed that undergraduates who got to pop a couple sheets of bubble wrap felt at once calmer and more awake than the unlucky participants in the no-popping group. I mention this so that anyone reading and eyeing a piece of bubble wrap at this very moment should stop reading this drivel immediately and rush over to attack. It’s the only healthy and sensible thing to do. It’s always lovely to learn when something that seems a bit silly and fun is actually good for your health. So many things that you’re supposed to do in order to be healthy are not much fun at all. Though really, I think any time you’re having fun, you’re far more likely to feel healthy.
A box of bubble wrap as a kid was like getting a gift. Like most little kids, I often preferred playing with the box over whatever was inside. But if there were sheets of poppy plastic goodness there as well, then, it was going to be a lovely time ahead. Today, Amazon packs their shipments with giant air pillows that aren’t quite the same level of fun. Unless you use a knife to gently pop holes in the stuff, the bang sounds like a gunshot and only serves to worry the neighbors. No, I prefer the original version. The addictive nature of the stuff that made you giddy and meant you simply couldn’t stop until the last little bubble burst. These are the amazing little pleasures that made childhood awesome and, if we manage to hang on to them, even adulthood rather enjoyable. Just little moments, grabbed and enjoyed to their fullest, like that singular guilty pleasure of popping bubble wrap.
Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!