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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Lego ladies

I squeezed my eyes closed, I couldn’t look. He opened it quickly and I knew by the dip of his head that the news wasn’t good. It was Friday after school and I was bestowing a reward on my five year old. For a full week of washing his teeth without being asked he had earned a Lego minifigure.  If you don’t already know, Lego minifigures are little Lego people that can be bought singly, BUT and it is a really big but, the bags are not transparent so you don’t know what you are getting until you open it. I have been known to say a prayer when buying them, just a small Hail Mary to hopefully guide my hand towards a zombie, a mad scientist or an alien and away from the pink snowboarder or the smiley cheerleader. On retrospect, I should have felt the bags; any pack containing a weapony shape would have been fine. However, even I didn’t know Lego makes a bosomy tennis player. This is what was standing on our kitchen table. An auburn, lipsticked woman in a tennis skirt, vest and  judging by the boobs, a bad bra. I could see his lip quivering. “I washed my teeth two times every day, he said in an accusing (almost menacing) whisper. I was speechless but unfortunately he wasn’t.
“It’s useless. I hate it.”
He was right, it was useless. When it was taken apart we had;
1.Long hair in a ponytail.
2.Head with quizzical eyebrows and pink lipstick.
3.White tennis racquet.
4.Legs with a skirt on them.
5.Body with ill-supported breasts.

It would be the perfect reward if he wanted to play “mum learns how to play tennis in Bushy Park”. But he didn’t. He wanted to play something like “mutant zombies attack New York” or “the world ends in a huge explosion leaving just two boys alive.”
My gentle, kind friend Mary dropped by. Michelle who loves Jane Austen and poetry, but she has a little boy too, so she understood our predicament.
“Maybe you could use her as someone to attack?” She suggested.
“To take as a prisoner?”
“To kill?”

He ignored her, turned to me and dropped the little tennis player on the table with deliberate carelessness.
You can have it.”  
She lay on her back, the little racquet beside her.

I thought I was being so clever, choosing the minifigures as a reward. They aren’t too expensive; they are much sought after by the under-nines and for me, they have the cachet of being “educational”.
I suppose I should be cross with Lego but I can’t be cross with them for long.  Because I am a huge Lego fan. No other toy comes close. Nothing clicks so satisfying, fits so cleverly, is so absorbing and creative and fun.

Well it’s just as well I am a fan. As I stand and wash the dishes, in front of me on the window sill is my own little Lego collection. My ambitious little tennis player, an ice skater complete with silky skirt slashed to her chunky thigh and a simpering geisha girl with flowers in her hair.

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