It was my great privilege to spend a good number of years in the United States Air Force. While doing so you get used to a few things. First off you are actually working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. When called you answer.
When off duty, it is with permission. Even the weekends are considered a ‘pass’. There are rules and regulations for all of it of course. Truth be told it’s a good life that I recommend to anyone who has the ability to do so. Not necessarily to the point of retirement, but at least one term of service. There are things you will learn that you simply cannot learn in any other way.
I have had the opportunity to make lifelong friends that I consider family. Sure we have a row every now and again, but family all the same. I treasure the time I was able to spend overseas. Not as a tourist, but as a member of the community, at least to far greater extent than just visiting. To be able to immerse yourself in a foreign culture over an extended period of time helps you to better understand a different point of view than your own.
There are also extra duties to be performed along with your assigned field of expertise. With these extra duties, it is often asked for members to volunteer. Should not enough people volunteer, then the choice is made by higher in rank as to who will perform these duties. This is an experience sometimes referred to as being ‘Voluntold’. I always found it amusing and the change in term is meant to be so, in a ‘poke you in the ribs’ sort of way.
It is in this chapter of The Phantom Tollbooth that we find our very own Mr. Humbug being ‘voluntold’ to go on a little trip. After listening to the chapter tell me what you think…would you want to make that trip? Sounds exciting to me!
The box that Milo is given to help him in his journey is one I keep on hand at almost all times. Very few things I’ve found hold as much importance. But the King is correct in what must be done. In and of itself, it is simply a box of tools. Proper use of tools is the only thing more important than having a generous enough supply of them.