Life, as we know, is not much more than a huge construction puzzle. Some pieces fit together nicely, others not at all. We see them scattered along life's cluttered playroom, choosing some and discarding others, hoping to build an existence. And it doesn't matter if that existence is a rocket-powered super-sled, or a pirate fortress, or a space-ninja helicopter, because it's never finished. You think you might be in a good place, but wait--what if you added another steering wheel here? Oh, and how about jazzing up the wing assembly with some grills and a computer module? You tinker and fuss until you think you've got it just about right, and then it gets pulverized and you have to start over.
Legos dominate my life now, so it's predictable that they would become the running theme of our trip to Orlando. Whenever we weren't off at a theme park or splashing around in the pool, Robert and I were sitting cross-legged and scanning the floor for the perfect piece to buttress a cockpit. In the airport, we made planes; after Robert got to drive a race car in Tomorrowland, we ripped the wings off and added wheels. After we saw the wicked-cool stunt-car show at Disney/MGM, we smashed our plane-cars into each other and sent pieces flying across the room. We spread the Lego kit all over the living-room floor, and since there were no little brothers around to gnaw on the tires, we didn't even have to clean them up every night. Oh, the decadence.
The apex of the Lego experience came when we stopped by the Lego store in Downtown Disney. I had never been to one of these before, but I left having memorized every store location in the continental US. They have Lego Everything in that place, and the only thing that kept me from coming home with 200 pounds of plastic was the simple problem of schlepping it onto the plane. (There was also the small matter of money; Disney famously touts that its parks are "where dreams come true"--and that's right on the mark if your dream is personal bankruptcy.)
Lego stores have a Wall of Bins, full of cool and obscure pieces that you'd hardly ever see in conventional kits, and you can fill a little tub and take it home for $12.99. It pays to pace yourself, though, and it's easy to make rookie mistakes. For example, I grabbed a bunch of tapered wings out of a bin and only later realized that they're all left wings. So now they just sit uselessly in the bin, daring me to find a use for them. And you can bet your shorts I will, because a man can stand only so much inanimate mockery.
I traipsed around the place for about an hour, but after I had settled up and left the store, I felt unfulfilled. That's when I, a 41-year-old who routinely masquerades as an adult, begged my parents for 10 minutes to go back and fill up another tub. So I ran in and ferreted through those bins and ran to the register and oh-my-god, like, the cashier like totally dropped my tub because it was sort-of-overflowing? So she had to scoop it all back up? And it took like forever to run my credit card? So it actually took more like 15 minutes and like I TOTALLY caught hell for that!
But it was worth it, because now Robert and I have rotary plates and wings and hinges and windshields, and we can totally make the most awesome space-ninja helicopters.