Hold that bit of Lego, I need it to save lives
THERE’S a game I sometimes play after the kids have gone to bed, involving the many random homeless objects and tiny bits of toy I’ve picked up and trousered while tidying.
I turn out my pockets, stare at the motley collection of items and think: what would MacGyver do?
He’s the TV action dude who would avert catastrophe each episode by rigging up ingenious solutions from ordinary objects, like fixing the brakes on a speeding train using only dental floss and a mousetrap.
My game’s a sort of reverse-engineered MacGyver; it’s MurphGyver.
I gather all the bits and pieces of kid-related crap I’ve picked up off the floor, under chairs, down the side of the sofa. Then I imagine how to use them to salvage a life-ordeath movie situation.
Here’s one evening’s booty emptied from my pockets: small bendy skeleton, coiled plastic snake, ribbon, $2 coin, pencil sharpener, hairpin, toy car tyre, construction bolt, Hungry Hippo ball, shoelace.
MacGyver would probably use these to disarm a missile, free people from a lift and still have time to do tomorrow’s school lunches.
Perhaps he could build a tiny unicycle, make a deceptively deadly macramé owl or sabotage North Korea’s satellite program?
In the end I settled on staging a jailbreak (hairpin, bolt, shoelace, $2 bribe) by employing witchcraft (skeleton, snake, ribbon) and booby traps (pencil sharpener, car tyre, Hungry Hippo ball).
My handbag also yields rich pickings. Today, apart from keys, wallet, phone and 86 pens I have: a lidless texta, a plastic dinosaur, pawpaw ointment, a child’s sock, earbuds, a string of paper elephants with bells on them, a handful of Lego and a single, battered jigsaw piece.
They say you can tell a lot about a woman from the contents of her bag. If anyone looked in mine, hopefully they’d think: “Whoa! Here’s a lady who’s handy in an emergency.”
Anyway, by the time I’ve amused myself with this game – and realised I really do need to get out more – I can’t be bothered returning all the little things to their rightful places so just tip them into an ever-burgeoning “miscellaneous” basket.
The result is we have the most frustrating toys ever. Jigsaw puzzles with a single bit missing. Incredibly hungry hippos with just four balls between them. Hobbled, three-wheeled cars. A structurally unsound construction kit.
But that miscellaneous basket is MurphGyver gold – buttons, Blu-Tack, dolls’ shoes, dice, screws, beads. I could build a space station ... after I’ve finished these fully weaponised rollerskates.