Bean toys

February 1, 2012

Santa was generous this year—really generous.  In fact, I’m typing on his generosity right now.  But Bean Law being what it is (the Murphys ain’t got nothing on us), there were challenges. . . .

When you’re a budding young athlete with untapped potential—at least according to your suspiciously prejudiced grandmother—the thing you need most in the world is a basketball goal… because the plastic Fisher Price hoop with the missing basket that your Papa found on the side of the road just doesn’t cut it.

Santa didn’t disappoint, although I have to say, his delivery was a little unorthodox.  The basketball goal appeared unassembled in a large box in the driveway three days before Christmas.

Poor Papa had to put the damn thing together amid the gleeful raucous of little Beans. In typical Bean fashion Papa began the project by ignoring the instructions.  And in typical Bean fashion, Papa was, a few hours later, screaming at the little Beans, opening a beer, and sitting down at the picnic table to read the instructions.  That’s when he had his come apart.

“It says right here on the box, ‘no tools required,’ in large block letters, but if you bother to take out a magnifying glass to read the skinny script underneath, you realize that there are no tools required to adjust the goal height.  It turns out I’m gonna need 43 tools to put together the 4,000 pieces, but, by golly, I can adjust the goal height by hand!”

And so muttering under his breath and armed with instructions in three languages and 43 tools, Papa went back to work.

The Spanish instructions were actually the most helpful, not that Papa can read Spanish. He just liked the pictures better.

By the time Papa finished, the sun had begun to set, and it had become chilly.  It was a good-looking basketball goal as far as basketball goals go, and there were only six pieces left over, and Papa threw them in the trash as he made his way inside to make up a pitcher of martinis with extra olives.

As difficult as it was, I refrained from asking if it was just a Spanish thing or had Super Glue and duct tape recently become standard tools in the assembly of basketball goals.

While Jax shot hoops, Moose rode his tricycle and Papa and Mimi sat bundled up like a couple of geriatric alcoholics slugging down their cocktails.

Unfortunately, the assembly wasn’t the only problem with the basket.  Jax became as relentless as Hyacinth on Thanksgiving about the sport and no member of the family—except Belle, who has a gimp leg—was spared the unending pleas to “play just one game.”

Poor Mimi busted up her knee when she went for a lay up—whatever the hell that is—and was hobbling around with a knee brace.  I have gotten more exercise on our driveway—uh, I mean, court—than I have in years, and Buzz and Sissy have put in their fair share of time on the court too.  We’ve played two-on-two and HORSE for hours—whatever the hell those are.

It never occurred to any of us that you could wear out a basketball, but Jax has put it in the realm of possibility.  Things have started to get ugly—the constant bouncing of the ball on the drive is interrupting Papa’s naps… but I’m not sure that’s a bad thing.

At least we’ll have fodder for blogs in weeks to come.


{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Irene February 2, 2012 at 8:11 am

Toys like that have always caused tourettes in this house. We avoided them after a time. I’m a picture person myself. Who needs Rosetta Stone? You can learn Norwegian, Russian, Danish, Swedish, or any Eugopian language you want just by purchasing ANYTHING that requires a manual.

And we’re worried about conserving our resources? Some of these manuals, just to tell you how to insert batteries, are thicker than some cookbooks! How many trees were used just to print them?

Agricola February 2, 2012 at 8:36 am

I wondered what the new noise in the neighborhood was….now I understand.

Jenn February 2, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Irene: I think I’m in the beginning stages of tourettes!

Aggie: Sorry about the noise. At least you’re across the street!

Betsy at Zen Mama February 2, 2012 at 10:58 pm

love it! We’ve had big problems with basketball hoops and weather! The last one crashed in a huge wind storm. That was it… no more hoops! Poor Oliver (the third child) has to walk a block away to play by some tennis courts. He’s kind of lost interest!! Good luck, it’s just begun!

The Pepperrific Life February 5, 2012 at 4:16 am

When all else fails, you’ll always have Legos 🙂

Kristy K. James February 5, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Oh that’s funny! Just remember the next time a 4000 piece, easy-to-assemble kit that requires 43 tools comes into your house…a hammer is the most useful tool there is. Just remember to put it to good use AFTER the kiddos are in bed.

“Papa and Mimi sat bundled up like a couple of geriatric alcoholics slugging down their cocktails.” I’m going to be giggling about that for the rest of the day!

Pamela February 12, 2012 at 10:50 am

You guys are so good to that boy. 🙂

Just think when he is playing in the NBA, all those Spanish curse words will have been worth it.

And I totally kick ass at Horse, so invite me over, please.

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