In the summer of 1997 in a galaxy far, far away an internal power struggle was creating disturbances in the Force. It was a vicious battle of good against good. Jedi tore through back yards, jumping out of tree forts and wielding improvised weapons as we brutally destroyed our best friends. It was the kind of battle that made my mom wonder if I would ever have a boyfriend.
Maybe you thought we had real lightsabers. Well, we didn’t. Not even toy lightsabers; there wasn’t any time to plan. Instead every one of my friends discovered her own weapon among the stuff in our garages—pool noodles, tennis rackets, broken broom handles, stuff like that. Too bad for me that I wasn’t the smartest 9 year-old on the block, because while everyone else was picking sword-like objects, I chose a jump rope that I’d made out of rubber bands. Like this one.
It appealed to me because it was stretchy and colorful with big wooden handles. It looked a lot like a set of nun chucks and, if we’re being honest, martial arts are more practical than using the Force. Unfortunately my friends, who took advanced math and definitely knew a lot more about Star Wars than I did, thought it was d-u-m-b. So as a punishment, they teamed up against me with their superior weaponry.
I’d been running for at least twelve minutes; four Jedi were closing in and I was out of options. The chase was really awful. I had to hide out in swamps. I lost a hand. I learned that my real father was Darth Vader. I don’t even want to think about how bad those times were. I thought, “This is it. My legacy as a great Jedi ends now. I hope my mom won’t be too sad when she hears I’m gone.”
But something ethereal from the edges of time and space told me to start singing. It seemed crazy but just as a pool noodle was about to burn through my rib cage I sang:
“It’s the one and only weapon of a Jedi Knight! The one and only weapon of a Jedi Knight!”
It was a joyous song in honor of the rubber band jump rope that had meant my demise. One part commercial jingle and two parts AWESOME, it stopped the hoard in their tracks. And I kept singing, wildly swinging the jump rope over my head and adding some pretty tight dance moves. They lowered their weapons. They started giggling and that song still gets stuck in our heads.
So I used the Force to win my friends back. Found my hand. The nice man who I always thought was my father came home at dinner time. And much later, I did even have some boyfriends.