Tag Archives: taking things apart

Technicians in Training

Aidan actually allowed Nigel to hang out in his room the other night. It took me a moment to get over the shock of that occurrence, which happens as frequently as snow falling in LA. Then I overheard their conversation while I was walking down the hallway and decided to monitor the event from behind Aidan’s closed door.

Aidan: Are you even going the right way?

Nigel: Yes.

Aidan: You have to be going THIS way.

[Clicking sounds emanate from the room. Mom thinks that they are playing video games, and then she hears this:]

Aidan: Oh, dang it. [Mom gives kudos to son for not cussing in the absence of parental unit.] Now we can’t do anything with the head. [Mom’s eyes widen: What head?]

Nigel: At least we can do something with the ears.

[More clicking sounds, now accompanied by mechanical squeaking. Obviously not video game-related.]

Aidan: Okay, I’m just going to try to pry the plastic off now.

[Does Mom barge in at this point? No, it’s too fascinating to eavesdrop on the kids.]

Nigel: This is the first time you’ve done any type of electronics with AI [Artificial Intelligence] in it.

Aidan: Actually no, I did some with K [Aidan’s friend].

[More clicking.]

Aidan: Ah! There we go!

Nigel says something unintelligible.

Aidan: When I need help, I’ll ask you. Now go.

[Mom runs back down the hallway to her office.]

Nigel, exiting room: I’m going to watch Tommy Boy.

Aidan: I’ll call you if I need you.

Well, Mom thinks from the safety of her office, they’ve already taken apart the SpongeBob Magic 8-Ball, so it can’t be that.

What did they take apart? Tune in tomorrow for the answer to that and many other questions, like, how was Aidan’s first day of middle school? Will he figure out the combination locks for both of his lockers (PE and regular)? Will he get on the right bus to come home? And, most importantly, will he remember to give the required $5.00 to his homeroom teacher for additional school supplies? Or will he use it to buy soda and candy bars at the *wow* vending machines at school?!

A Complex Thing

Last night as I was saying good night to Nigel, I noticed that all of his fingernails were edged in black, as if he had taken a Sharpie and drawn under the nail tips and around the cuticles. “Is that paint on your fingernails?” I asked. He breathed in sharply and froze, alarmed because I had noticed. “It’s from the Magic 8-Ball,” he said.

Then I froze. “You took it apart?”

“I tried to get the fortune thingy out.”

I did not respond because I was wondering what happened to the inky, chemical-filled liquid inside the Magic 8-Ball. I was also remembering other things Nigel has taken apart. Finally I decided that since I didn’t see any stained towels or patches of carpet anywhere, he must have dumped the liquid down the drain and must not have ingested any or else he’d be very sick. So I decided not to stress about it.

Nigel: I wanted to know if it was a simple pyramid or a more complex thing.

Me: So which was it?

Nigel: It was not a pyramid. It was like a prism-pentagon.

So there we have it. I, for one, have always wondered about those things. Mystery solved, and in such a metaphorical way. It had to be a more complex shape. How else could it have answered so many of life’s big questions?