Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Mystery Package

The other day a strange box was delivered to my house by DHL. It had my name scrawled in sharpie on the outside and had what seemed to be an excessive amount of tape sealing the box. Having not ordered anything lately, I was immediately suspicious. Always aware of the possibility that I might be a very high value target for Al Queada, other terrorist organizations, Moveon.Org, People for the Ethical Treatment of Asparagus, or other men's crazed & over-bearing wives, I immediately considered the possibility that the box was a bomb.

Shrugging, I flipped open my always-present knife and began cutting into the box. The box made a funny metallic clang, which stopped me in my tracks and again made me wonder about the possibility that terrorists had found me in my safe house. Checking the label, I saw that it purported to be shipped from a business in Columbus called Automation and Control Technology, Inc. "From where do I recognize that name?" ... I wondered in perfect English. Inside was a treasure beyond the imagination: a 1938 No. 8 1/2 Erector Set!

Sorting through the inside of the sturdy metal case, I marveled that it appeared as if nearly all of the pieces were inside, including the electric motor (which I tested... it does work.) and the square girder, which (according to the manual) was apparently a unique item:

My sons both decided it was pretty cool, for old folk stuff, and decided that they wanted to build something. Flipping open the instruction manual, I found this greeting:

Snickering to myself at the myriad of jokes swarming through my head that only a former sex-crimes detective could appreciate, we flipped through the manual for a while.

We haven't had time to try and build anything yet, but I'll post some pictures of my, er I mean, the boys' first creation as soon as it's finished.

Oh, I rechecked the label closer and the box had come from my cousin Brandon. (Actually, I think it's "first cousin once removed" but we always just went by "cousin.") Thanks, Brandon. Drop me a line and tell me where you found this gem!


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