Legos: Best Toy Everer or Satan’s Handmaiden? An Empirical Examination

July 22, 2011  |  Fatherhood, Video Games  |  1 Comment

by Guest Blogger, ERIK PETERS.

In a world in chaos, it is crucial to have unwavering, core principles to bitterly cling to:

Remember the 5-second rule and keep it holy;

Shirtless fat guys dancing = Pure hilarity; and

Jimmy Carter is history’s greatest monster.

Recently, however, the very foundations of my belief system have been rocked by (like?) a hurricane even more powerful than some pointy-headed inna-lectual lobbing faux scientific data over a half assed pay wall. It has compelled me to conclude that history’s greatest monster is not Jimmy Carter, it is Ole Kirk Christiansen.

[Crickets]

Ole Kirk Christiansen. The guy that invented Legos. Follow along:

First and foremost, Legos are responsible for an alarmingly premature decline in the ever-important Respect Thine Parent category. Hearken back to the year 1985. A young Don Johnson was teaching proper stubble razor technique to a nation enraptured by Wham!’s Careless Whisper. On a personal level, I achieved the ultimate Bjorn Borgasm in July, when wielding my Wilson T2000 racquet like the Hammer of the Righteous,© I blasted a second serve past a diving Instruction Guide Manual Senior, clinching an epic 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 victory widely considered among the finest father-son tennis matches ever played.

The first actual athletic triumph over my dad. The King was d-e-d dead. An entirely new world dawned. As I strode confidently to the net, waiting to shake hands until he’d finished lighting his Marlboro, all things seemed possible. I had slayed the dragon. I was 15.

Compare and contrast to the recent purchase of the Lego Ninjago Ice Dragon for official blog older son Know It All Junior™. Upon our return to the family compound, a look of sadness and anger appeared as we pulled into the car hole. His giant head sank when he saw that Mrs. Instruction Guide Manual was gone. Glaring at me, he spat out the words, “Great. Mommy’s not around, so there’s nobody that can help me put this thing together.” He is 6.

Ole, I’ve got enough problems camouflaging my inadequacies as a man, father, husband and human being without getting pantsed every time I open up a set of instructions for one of your little visions. You could at least meet me halfway by adding a narrative to help out. Something contextually appropriate along the lines of “Snap cannon onto pirate ship – not on the red block – put it on the black one. Jesus . . .. And not too hard asshat, or you’re going to break off the bow of the boat that you just put on backwards.”

And get your money grubbing Danish master carpenter’s hand off my wallet. It was bad enough when you ruined the tranquility of a peaceful family outing to Target (a/k/a the place where our second mortgage is paid) with grim pilgrimages to “your” aisle characterized by our mantra, “‘Cause you just don’t get a new Lego every time we go to the store. Because – just because – you don’t – nobody does. I don’t care what Jordan tells you.” Even worse, since Mrs. IGM made the mistake of introducing the progeny to the availability of your kiddie heroin on Amazon and craigslist, I can’t even check Facebook turn on my computer for work without KIA Junior and official blog younger brother Stampy® begging to look at Lego Porn.

Ole, I could try to forget all of this. I could ignore what you’re about to do to spring break 2012 and try to bond with you over our shared Scandinavian heritage (“How’s the pickled herring? Need another Carlsberg?”) But then you did it, you . . . Dane, you. You formed an alliance so unholy, it makes Palpatine hooking up with Anakin look like the Easter egg hunt from Steel Magnolias. You did a bodyshot with the blood of virgins and somehow came up with the idea to put Lego games on the Wii.

I can’t exactly recall my reaction when I learned of this. Yes, yes I can. The combination of your evil creation and the product whose sole purpose is seemingly to turn kids into whiny, complaining, timeout-receiving messes was a stroke of pure genius, designed to benefit no one but you and Satoru Iwata, the CEO of Nintendo and history’s second greatest monster. (Sorry President Carter.)

I suppose I should acknowledge your complete, utter and total victory over me, Ole. Rationalize it by noting that KIA Junior is learning to follow directions and work things out for himself and that Stampy has amassed an army of shark people and ninja pirate aliens who stand ready to do his bidding. (Although, it’s tough to understand his commands. You know, because of the Legos in his mouth.)

I cannot concede, however, because my inability to follow instructions written for children ages 5 to 7 is accompanied by an indomitable spirit. Even now, I plot my revenge. It is a basketball hoop residing in my driveway in a large cardboard box.

There will come a time Ole when the children of the world – my children – are freed from the tyranny of block based play and video games to – dare I say it – go outside. To bond with their fathers over trash talk, games of PIG and the lost art of the mid-range jumper. As God as my witness, I vow to make this happen Ole.

Until then, how ‘bout a little help putting this hoop together – you’re good at stuff like that, right?

ABOUT THIS WEEK’S HANDS ON DAD GUEST BLOGGER:

Erik Peters is a lawyer and writer residing in Maine who was born with a silver spork in his mouth. His ringtone is the theme from The Gambler. He writes The Instruction Guide Manual, widely considered to be the Interweb’s unparalleled resource re: parenting, manliness, the fairer sex and life in Texile. Should you choose to, you can find many fine, writer-like offerings at http://instruction-guide-manual.posterous.com/. Smaller, more deranged musings are available on the Twitter: @IGuideMan. His unauthorized autobiography, Sticky Fingers: The Idiot’s Guide to Masturbation will be in stores this fall. He frequently meditates in his car.