Lego: The Ultimate in Fun, The Ultimate in Home Security
There's a lot I could have been blogging about over the last few weeks, but when you're up to your elbows in moving boxes it's hard to take a breather and retreat to your laptop - especially when your laptop is currently out of memory because you need to go through 13,000 vacation photos.
Sure, I could have uploaded them all onto The Cloud, but the last thing I need is some Serbian pervert downloading 31 grainy, slightly-tilted photos of the same view of "some weird hills in East Texas." My landscapes are popular enough in Serbia as it is.
Currently, the Unpacking Machine of Efficiency that is usually Jessica Atkins has come to a screeching, grinding, pathetic little whimper. Only one bed is in a frame. The four of us are running off of 12 plates, 4 bowls, and 6 cups.
We are experiencing just enough discomfort to say that we are "living small" in a smug Bay Area voice, but the truth is, we are "living small" while navigating around an overloaded Minecraft-scape of crisp, sealed moving boxes piled up to the ceiling.
Because, you see, I can't possibly find the drinking glasses while I am preoccupied with the seven, (7) SEVEN moving boxes full of Legos that the boys have amassed like Scrooge McDuck. There are thousands - many thousands, maybe tens-of-thousands - of dollars worth of Lego sets spanning the last 10 years. While other kids were given video games and bicycles, our sons had a complete and total fixation with Lego toys. Every birthday, every Christmas, every allowance, every "I Miss You" gift from family far away: Legos.
At the time, we worried about the wisdom of allocating so much of our investment capital on Lego Futures, but considering our disastrous forays into real estate, we now consider a loss of *only* 80% over a decade to be quite the rock-solid investment.
Unlike stupid houses, Legos don't break. In fact, Legos can break YOU. And if you don't understand how literal that statement is, you clearly have never walked a Lego minefield in the middle of the night on your way to the bathroom. We didn't even need a security system in Baltimore - we pitied any robber who might attempt what became a Cambodian minefield of sharp plastic foot-slicers.
Yeah, Robber, you think the pain is bad now? Wait until the gangrene comes in. You can rob our house, but the only thing of value is now lodged between metatarsals one and two.
If you want to really step into a voyage of memory of your children's finest moments, go through their Lego bucket. You will find some horrifying mementos.
Because as it turns out, when you tell your kids to "clean up their rooms," what they hear is, "shovel everything you can find into the bottom of your Lego bucket."
And what a couple of 9 year old boys can shovel into a barrel is only slightly less gross than the soupy morass that occurs when those things are left to fester, mold, brew, and ferment for many years.
There is a wealth of DNA: used Band-Aids, old Kleenex, fingernail clippings. There were broken crayons, some incomplete homework Ms. Miklewski sent home circa 2009. Candy wrappers with half-eaten candy still inside - mostly red Jolly Ranchers, which I think is fair.
Based on certain drawings I found, both of my children and the Manchester Twins have some explaining to do. Apparently the slumber parties in Federal Hill had an artistic element that included arrows pointing to stick figures' genitals and the words WINER and WEENER ebulliently splashed across the page.
When I compare the investment we made in these 80 pounds of Legos to the nightmare of real estate, I can't help but think that the Legos were a far better investment. Not only did it give the boys hundreds of hours of fun, and me hundreds of hours of "go to your room and play Lego" time, now we are beginning the process of selling the Legos for only a 80% loss, which, again, seems like a great return after our adventures as property owners.
The internet has so many suggestions for selling bulk Lego pieces. Do we assemble them back into rough approximations of the original kits (using the directions I saved and the pieces that aren't chewed up by Dog and aren't biohazards? Do we separate them by color and sell in bulk? Do we sell them by the pound?
I will no doubt keep the blog updated, along with any photos of robberies thwarted, on the course of the Great Lego Shakedown of 2016.
One thing's for sure - every purchase will come with a free packet of hand sanitizer. Just in case.