After visiting a friend’s mom in West Hollywood this morning we found ourselves leaving her house bearing the figurative and literal fruits one scores when parting with any grandmotherly woman.
The spoils consisted of a bunch of grapes, bag of oranges, homemade BBQ sauce, some books on figure drawing, and a cubic meter of toy castle parts. If you are like me and grew up on the ever-so-useful imperial system of weights and measures, you are incapable of visualizing just how much space this bag of toys will consume in your house. Using standard conversion algorithms it works out to about one bathtub full.
The Child was pleased to score a sack of make-believe ramparts, walls, towers and drawbridges so numerous she could make a snow angel in them once spread out on her floor. Let me put it another way: once spread out on her floor, The Child made a snow angel in the castle parts.
Before The Spouse comes home to discover that a third of our living space is now a miniature medieval dwelling we set to playing out a fantasy set in the noble days of yore.
It was about one minute in that I realized humanity is inherently evil and civilization is doomed. As soon as our little city-states were set up we found ourselves immersed in a hostage situation. Her town’s Princess Zelda invited my ruler, Skang the Pig, over for tea. As soon as he was in the courtyard the drawbridge went up and a lion pounced on him. Skang’s grand vizier, Mustachio, demanded to know what was the meaning of such treachery and was given a list of demands from Princess Zelda. If we wanted our “pig god” back we’d have to pay a tribute of most of the blocks (not the plain wood ones, Dad, colored blocks) and some applesauce. Mustachio paid up but was then banished (read: hurled) on to the top bunk bed and ridiculed loudly. The Child, might I remind you, is three years old and not a fan of cartoons with deep political intrigue. (Also, I have yet to read her a Dune novel.) How she instinctively knew to jockey for power in a world populated with Fisher Price Little People is almost beyond me.
I say almost because I remember when my brothers and I played with Legos. The hefty box of them (more of a chest, really) would be upended on the floor and then we’d spend a frenzied minute scrabbling for all the best pieces. Once everyone had a pile of the unique bits, regular building would commence punctuated by barter and negotiations for the needed/wanted materials in our respective hoards.
NOTE TO MY BROTHERS: I still have some benders and a telescope left and I’d be willing to let them go if you’d join forces with me in laying siege to Princess Zelda’s castle so I can get Skang back.