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:
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.