Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Picking Up The Pieces

I don't know why I did it. Call it an impulse purchase. I saw the thing on a shelf near the main aisle, and I knew I had to have it.

I'm referring to my new Coke can jigsaw puzzle.

Molded in actual size, from a distance the thing looks like "the real thing". "Come and have a sip", it beckons slyly. "You're hot and tired, and you need something to put yourself back together".

Ahem. Constructed from forty pieces which snap onto a cylinder which looks like a Coke can with a buzz cut,  the replica takes a prominent place on the "All That Is Me" shelf, along with my John F. Kennedy School of Government tote bag (No, I didn't go there. Don't you go there, either.), my scale model of the Batmobile, and an autographed bottle of Kenney Sauce. The puzzle has an ejector pin on its bottom. Pushing it releases the first piece so that the remaining thirty-nine can be peeled off like some kind of plastic psoriasis, thereby revealing the aforementioned buzz-cut Coke can.

I tried reconstructing the thing a few times before scoring a small line on the base of the can and another on the piece which mounts directly above the score line on the can. I know that sounds like I'm cheating, but trust me here. Outside of an MIT research group, it's the only way this thing will ever go together again. Besides, I've taken to timing myself with regard to reassembling it, and I'm proud to say that a little while ago I managed an elapsed time of one minute and fifty seconds, so top that, Erma. That's not even counting all the times I dropped pieces on the floor and had to crawl halfway around the computer table to retrieve them. Funny thing about that: you can learn a lot about yourself when you're behind a computer table. I had almost forgotten that I loved M&Ms until I found a yellow one back there, lurking underneath more than a little dust, along with a ballpoint pen and a car wash token. Anyway, retrieve this, bang my head on the keyboard drawer that, and the Coke can went together with nary a hitch.


Turns out that crime really doesn't pay. The "cheat" lines scored in those two pieces mentioned previously were gouged in the wrong spots on the can. I don't know about you, but I learned that "Patent No. 7021675" doesn't go right above the hash mark inscribed on the base of the can. That's something you just have to find out for yourself. The pieces align themselves, somehow, incorrectly on the can. There are two script lines spelling "Coca-Cola" in that fancy style of cursive we've all wished we could duplicate whenever we're requesting vacation time or signing the deposit slip at the bank. Now when I look at my semi-masterpiece, I see two lines of identical script which make me think I should see an optometrist. Turning the can facsimile around reveals huge fields of red which makes me assume it's either the Chinese version of the soft drink or a smoke grenade.

I'm not quite sure how I botched it. It certainly wasn't this badly aligned when I took it out of its container, and yet the pieces still found some mysterious way to fit together in a way which would make President Obama and Governor Christie green with envy.

In all, I'm not disappointed by the purchase. There's always room for neat stuff on my shelf, even if it's a misaligned Coke can replica. 



  1. I have a coke bottle replica which is a radio--somewhere in this house since I am not known for tossing bits of my history without great consideration and I don't remember such an introspective conversation with the inner me.

  2. Do you introspect on AM or FM? AM has more talk shows, you know. ;