gentry13

Legoland Opened in Florida? Keep Me the Hell Away from There!

In Uncategorized on November 13, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Submitted By: Gentry

Yesterday, while surfing Boston.com and counting the hours until I could put Lydian down to sleep, I found out that Legoland had opened in Florida. Can you imagine? Life size figs. Rushmore inspired brickings of Einstein. Snapped together nods to Cinderella’s Castle and Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

Keep me the hell away from there.

As a child, there were few toys that amplified insecurities like Legos. My friend Shawn had an Apple II that he thought was amazing, but I could never find the damn channel wheel for. So he would sit and play some kind of text based wizard game while I provoked his overbearing mother. She made the no-no-no-no neighbor on Alf look like a portrait of sanity. Little wonder he graduated from Awana to knocking up his college freshman girlfriend.

Another kid in my class named Stephen wasn’t really my friend. In fact, I was forced to invite him to my birthdays so I really don’t understand why I spent an afternoon in his room. Nevertheless I did and this son of an IBMer showed me his toy called the Armatron. It was a small scale Robotic arm that could be manipulated with a joy stick and used to stack fake beakers and stuff. Stephen was able to use the clunky joystick to create towers and rotate blocks 90 degrees at a time. I barely knew my right from my left and didn’t have the motor control to manipulate a pencil, much less a cutting edge plastic implement from Radio Shack. Understandably I felt like throwing Armatron against a wall and never returned to Stephen’s house again.

But as emasculating as those toys were, Paul’s Legos were the worst. After we traded baseball cards and maybe played a game of Hardball on his Atari computer (don’t look up that title via Google btw), he’d run to the shelf beside his bed, grab a green plastic tote, and dump a thousand bricks on the teal shag carpet. For the next hour I would try in vain to create a respectable log cabin while Paul would create a fort that could survive Crossbows and Catapults. Ashamed of my execution I’d try to get Paul to go back to baseball cards, since I had an edge on him in that arena and could probably wheedle a 1980 Ozzie Smith for a 1986 Donruss Dale Murphy. But once Paul locked onto Legos he might as well have been Rain Man impersonating the dough man from This Old House. There was no going back. Unsurprisingly, Paul eventually was assigned a place beside Stephen in the don’t-play-with-bin.

I hate Legos. I hate that even if you follow the stupid instructions carefully – though don’t get me wrong, after the free for all in Paul’s room I am so thankful for that crutch – while snapping a door into place a rear wheel will invariably fall off or while applying index pressure to snap the rotor into place my thumb will snap off the landing skid.

So when Preston wants me to play Legos I usually flick through Tweetdeck instead. I don’t need to remember reading Microserfs and realizing that nerd girls gone gaga for Lego software were as unattainable for me as the very limited supply of girls that were pretty enough to consider and not too pious to steer clear (read it before I realized that, rightly framed, rebellion could feel like freedom for bible college girls). Likewise, when I can’t apply the right amount of pressure on a fire truck, I don’t want to think of my freshman roommate who, rightly, scoffed at my elevation to the honors program because as a history major I couldn’t handle a third of the calculations required of an engineer and could put off college algebra – which would almost certainly undo that distinction – until my junior year.

Much as Preston loves them, Legos snap old insecurities back into place. That’s why when I’m not hiding in the kitchen typing as fast as I possibly can and plying him with PBS kids, I persuade him to play Thomas instead.

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  1. You are beyond pathetic.

    A good writer, though.

  2. Oh, you’re still there! I thought you were already rendered cold and bitter by the Canadian winter.

    Thanks for the nice comment.

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