A million little pieces

My kid loves animals.  I could buy him the most expensive toys in the world and he would set them aside to play with his over-large collection of Sclheich wildlife figurines.

The concept of habitat is fascinating to my boy.  He’ll go on and on about it.  Until today, he would create habitats out of shoe boxes and whatever else he could find.  Today, he got a collection of habitats to house his animals.  Three of the smaller ones (alligator, seal, and penguin) went together in short order.  Assembly on the big zoo, however, was not as expected.

How so?  Well, here’s the short version: It took my dad and me more than three hours to put it together.  My father had a career as a very successful businessman.  I’m a college graduate.  It took us three hours to put together a toy.

Why?  I actually counted the number of individual pieces in the box.  Take a guess.  No, go on.  I dare you. 

Five hundred and one.

Yep.  Five hundred and one individual pieces that had to be assembled before my boy could get his habitat on.


I don’t know the sadistic bastard who thought it was funny to fail to mention the assembly requirements on the damned box, but if I ever meet him, I will punch him right in his pretty little mouth. 

In what free society does a person pay for a product and then have to put the individual blossoms on the decorative flora?  Answer me that.  Just look at the picture below.  See those blossoms?  We actually put every one of those on.


Among the 501 pieces were a few cheaper animals.  The photo below is exactly as the animals came out of the box.  Is four years old to young to start explaining to my son how nature works and that if he ever sees a zebra and giraffe in the throes of passion, he should walk the other way?


So, now I’m exhausted, but the boy has his habitats.  That makes for a pretty good day.  Only two more days until birthday week is over.


Da Goddess, if you’ve made it this far, shoot me an e-mail with your address.  The copy of Kavalier and Clay is yours.


In other news…my wife is pretty.


Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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6 Responses

  1. Dr. Chako says:

    Zebra & Giraffe is now my desktop background.


  2. Drizztdj says:

    I wonder if the giraffe and zebra ever thought about reversing positions.

  3. Da Goddess says:

    1) Your wife IS pretty, but we knew that. Especially those of us who rummage through your Flickr account like it’s manna.

    2) Giraffe and zebra together is like a bad episode of Project Runway. But funny as hell to imagine.

    3) My email is on its way. (Thank you! I’m honored and super excited that I won’t have to resort to schlock castoffs from well-meaning friends who have no literary taste whatsoever)

    4) I love that your son is into habitat. Please tell him for me that without habitat, all our wildlife conservation efforts would be for naught, although I’m sure you’ve already explained this to him somehow. As well, I’m offering my son to you as a babysitter and best big kid companion should we ever find ourselves in the same time zone. He and your son would get along famously. Kindred spirits and all that sort of thing.

    5) (is it five already?) Welcome to the fun part of parenting. Should you ever accept a gift of some big themed Hot Wheels set, expect more of the same frustration and less enjoyment from your child. Stick with the elaborate habitats and encourage your mini zookeeper. He’ll have years of fun instead of just a few hours.

  4. BJ Nemeth says:

    Those flowers look remarkably like LEGO flowers. And yes, you have to assemble those yourself too. (Though that’s the point with LEGO, and you know that from the start.)

    Photo = Pretty
    Wife = Gorgeous

  5. franky5angel says:

    Nice arrangement. I just love the mixing of the different colors. You should start one of them thar flouwer biznesess.

  6. Golden says:

    Your wife is lovely, and you are a very lucky man.

    Question: You didn’t mention the devil man this year at the WSOP, however it’s been reported elsewhere that you spotted him, or he spotted you again. What gives?