MacGyver is Alive and Well

Remember the 1980s show, MacGyver? It’s about a top-level agent who gets himself and others he’s sent to rescue out of trouble by rigging whatever is on hand into makeshift solutions. Sometimes he mixes household cleaners to make a bomb. Sometimes, a shiny gum wrapper becomes a fishing lure (that works). Other times, he uses a paperclip and old string to set off a series of distracting events to give himself enough time to escape.

Because of his antics (or the show’s writer’s keen sense of the way things work — one of the writers, by the way, was Henry Winkler of “Fonz” fame) MacGyver’s name has officially become a verb. The meaning of the word is easy to guess. When one MacGyvers something, one is being creative with whatever is on hand to find a solution. In one of my favorite magazines, Latitudes and Attitudes, an interesting article used MacGyvering in the Engine Room as a title for a story about an industrious use of a bike’s inner tube.

One of the characters in my upcoming book, Leaving Lukens, also MacGyvers his own solution to a problem using clockworks. I guess I’m showing my age, but maybe the old television show was influential enough to plant a seed decades ago.

Do you MacGyver?


Filed under writing

5 responses to “MacGyver is Alive and Well

  1. MacGyver is an amazing show and the fact that it has become a verb… that is astounding. I wish I could say I MacGyver in such a way, but I don’t very much. Maybe this will change in the future; here’s hoping.

  2. Wow, the Fonz & Col. O’Neil in one place.

    It wouldn’t be a good idea for me to MacGuyver anything, I’m bad enough at DIY (this office chair will suddenly lower itself at least 3 times a day), and if I was let loose, that would just be dangerous.

    • I’ve read other things by the Fonz, and he always writes with someone — so he may be the idea man, and someone else figures out the “How to” … that’s what one does when one is The Fonz.

  3. Back in the day, MacGyver didn’t have a computer to look up every answer to every problem; it’s like the new Nancy Drew series — she relies on dear old Dad called on a constantly available cell phone to get her out of jams. In my house, we prefer the old Hardy Boys series, where the boys had to solve mysteries the old fashioned way. Makes me wonder how my son will solve problems in his future.

  4. I loved MacGyver. My husband is better at MacGyvering than I am, but I do have those leanings myself. Thanks for the post, Laura,

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