Oh, the humanity.
Santa has visited early this year, and has brought a Lego Advent calendar. There are 24 little numbered doors, each containing a dime bag of Legos. There’s a new toy or doodad to build every day, which, in turn, builds anticipation for Christmas.
I will build these and attempt to discern what they are.
December 16: Fence and Checkers
I guess this is 14% of a chessboard with some checkers and a fence. I’m sorry.
It’s checkers by a fence. And not even a complete chess/checkerboard. I don’t know if that really requires further explanation, but here:
A medical doctor recently made a W. C. Fields reference to me. He caught himself, and said, “You’re probably not old enough to remember W. C. Fields.” Well doc, you’ve got my birthday right there on that chart, and given that W. C. Fields died in 1946, before my parents were born, you could probably guess that I’m not in the prime age range for W. C. Fields fans, but I appreciate the sentiment.
Yet for some stupid reason, I do know who W. C. Fields is. Enough to know that “Hey kid, go play checkers by a fence,” sounds like something W. C. Fields would say.
So if you already felt alienated by this daily Lego recap on a supposed boat log, and then that feeling got compounded by references that would be slightly too old-fashioned for anyone who didn’t live through the Dust Bowl, THAT is how not fun this Lego build is.
Ease of Build ★★★★☆
I put it together.
I considered that it was an Alice in Wonderland reference. I considered that maybe in Denmark there’s a tradition of playing Tic-tac-toe on huge boards outdoors near fences. I considered that maybe the fence is supposed to be evocative of four pawns, and that this is just a model of the concept of “games.” I considered that this was an homage to a long-lost album cover from the band Traffic. I considered that the red and green somehow represented port and starboard running lights, locked in a perpetual game between the freedom of the water and the metaphorical fence of land. I did not arrive at a satisfying explanation.
Extra Parts ★★★☆☆
Who is to say what an extra part is for a thing so wantonly open to interpretation? Is every urinal in the world an “extra part” to Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain? I’ll give it three stars for volume, in that the extra parts (if I’ve even counted correctly on the parts used) include a red circle, a green circle, a black square, and a white square.
When I said that this was 14% of a chessboard, I had to do math. I initially thought that this was 3/8 (37.5%) of a chessboard, since it has three units along each side while a chess board has eight, but remembered that this is area, which goes up by the square of the side, and 9/64 is 14%. That’s how bad Fence and Checkers is as a prize. It made me do math.