I got a call from my dad about a week before Christmas. He’d ordered my son, who is nine, a nerf flack jacket because that’s what the boy super wanted, but in the time it took for the paramilitary kiddie gear to get to the house, some fucking lunatic had shot up a school, killing kids my son’s age. While I don’t really think the nerf stuff correlates to violence or whatever, I can entirely respect Dad sending that stuff back and casting about for other options. What about the buildy craft stuff they tend to stock in the vestibule of the book store? Perfect; go for it.
So this is that! And, I can tell you, friends, that Build 3-D Wonders of the World is not aimed at 9-years olds at all. The writing is super bossy, telling you to read everything so you know what’s going to happen and can plan ahead. Shhhhriiiiiight. I realized there must be a whole nerd sub-stratum of people who cut and build paper buildings, like the train nerds or the people who paint D&D figurines all anal-like. In fact, Mr. Sock Puppet went off about how he once built this whole castle out of paper, with a little 3-D crest and everything, and that even though it wasn’t to scale with his little nerd D&D dolls, but he staged them around it anyway. Aww.
Imma let Mr Puppet take over here:
And lemme tell you, those nerd skills came in handy, because there were two parts I had to cut out with my pocket knife (we’re not at home, you see, or I’d pull out my nerdxacto knife) because the die had just scored the pieces rather than punching them for us. There was swearing. This book should use a scale to tell you how difficult the model will be: one swear through ten swears. The Arc de Triomphe was easily a six-swear model, as at one point I recall saying that we should just spread glue over the whole model and let Satan sort it out.
The book does tell you if a model is for beginners, intermediate (what? Punchers and folders?), and expert. What the book does not say is that these levels don’t reference any version of those words except in relative difficulty to each other. Beginner puncher/folders will have at least three or four swears on the Egypt scene, which is mostly already built for you once you punch it out anyway. I mean, how hard is it to make a triangle? But the Sphinx is not a toy.
What’s up, Mrs. Puppet?
This was just a few swears, really none at all. The trouble started when I decided to build the Great Wall of China. At one point, Mr. Puppet asked me how many towers were on the Great Wall, and I was like, fuck if I know. I’m not a godamn historian. He was like, no, in the model. Oh. There are three.
All I can say about the Great Wall at this point is that crenelations can fuck themselves.
Then we considered building the Colosseum, but hell naw.
So we ended up with the “intermediate” L’Arc de Triomphe. This is a multi-swear prospect, even though it’s as boxy as a Saab, because of the so-called cock rings that slip around the columns. So called by Mr. Puppet, of course. Observe:
Mr. Puppet again: It did turn out pretty well, easily the best-looking of the models so far, cock rings and all. You can almost see the French pigeon shit on the roof. All it needs is a snarky French tour guide in a beret and a mime (not included). I learned that Napoleon put that thing up during his world tour. Two birds up!
So, this was super fun in a way, but it way that makes you swear.
Happy New Year!