Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Plane Disgrace

I’m sure that most of us have a few inner demons hanging around from our childhoods (I’m using the plural form of “childhood” as I’m writing about “all of us,” so if you, in fact, had a touch of the ole Dissociative Identity Disorder as a kid, please don’t take that as me singling you out).  One of the primary sources of angst for me in adulthood is the fact that not once as a child did I ever successfully assemble one of those goddamn balsa-wood airplane models.  (Just to be clear, I’m referring to this type of model, rather than this, though to be honest, the latter type proved quite vexing to me as well.)

Even back as just a wee lad, I already showed signs of the impatience, lack of attention to detail, and complete absence of any sense of pride in my work that essentially defines me as an adult. I would slap pieces of the model together, barely letting the glue set up before attempting to adhere the next. My dad would watch in horror, sobbing, only finding solace in the fact that at least his elder son seemed to grasp the concept of “set tail structure aside to dry” and other such helpful advice provided by the instructions (not that I often acknowledged the existence of the instructions in the first place).

That was then, however, and this is now, and I am completely confidant that my years of experience in dealing with life’s trials and tribulations has finally prepared me to conquer this particular devil.  To that end, I purchased this as a Chriskwanzukkahdam present for myself:

Above:  I will OWN this balsa beyotch!  (The side of the box reads “Guaranteed to fly if instructions are followed!”  Well played, Guillow’s, Inc … well played indeed.)

As of this writing, I have all of the body parts glued together, and tonight I begin the most harrowing process of all:  applying the tissue “skin” to the balsa skeleton, which involves a substance known only as “dope,” and which, to secure, required driving to three different hobby shops, and eventually conversing with a shady character named “Stukey.”  But I can do this.  I can DO this.

I also bought my aforementioned brother a similar model.  Similar, I guess, in that they’re both balsa airplanes.  Whereas mine, however, is of the “Junior Builder” series (I had to convince the store person that it was for my 9-year-old nephew), his has several thousand pieces and requires a Master’s degree in structural engineering to even be allowed to purchase it.  Further, he has a family and a demanding job, while I live with a dog and have plenty of free time.  I figure that with me ruining at least several kits and having to start over multiple times, we should probably finish up around the same time.

Probably Chriskwanzukkahdam 2014.


The Bug said...

LOL - I am similarly impatient. I just tell people that I'm coloring outside the lines on purpose. ON PURPOSE PEOPLE!

Anonymous said...

A Master's degree in structural engineering even to purchase it. When did you get one of those?

Acorn Woodpecker O.O said...

oh really?

The Dead Acorn said...

Bug - I've already felt the old ways struggling to get out. I had to redo the tissue skin on the tail section already. I fear the worst.

Anonymous ... my other nephews go to the U of U ... I got one of their professors to buy it. It reminded me of getting college students to buy beer for us back in the day.

Niamh B said...

"he has a family and a demanding job, while I live with a dog and have plenty of free time" - in fairness though - your dog ain't gonna help matters either... she's like a full time job in herself

The Dead Acorn said...

Niamh B - yeah, she sits next to me and whines/growls, which I take as kibitzing over my gluing technique. Plus, I'm working in the kitchen, so she positions her butt next to the stove and slams her tail against it in a constant annoying drumbeat.

Surly Earl said...

Try assembling without sniffing glue

Pat Slats said...

I've always thought that shots of rye should be accompanied by shots of whiskey. To quote one of many memorable Slats songs "Getting high on whiskey and rye" In fact now that I think of it I've always thought that rye was a fictitious liquor that was invented so that blues singers could avoid using the word "frisky" in their otherwise tough sounding songs.
Did you really throw back a couple of shots of rye?