999 puzzle pieces on the wall
999 puzzle pieces
Take one down
Pass it around
I don’t do puzzles. But Friday was “National Puzzle Day” and the wife insisted.
From out of nowhere she produced a 1,000-piece puzzle. It was a photograph of candy wrappers. It was used. I moaned, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”
I’ll be honest. I didn’t want any part of the activity. But as we worked on it, something funny happened. I became fiercely competitive. “You’re going down,” I said to my wife. It was my first puzzle since I was a small child.
My wife said that puzzles weren’t something you could win.
“Losers always say shit like that,” I replied.
We crowded around our wobbly card table which was too small for the task. We sat on metal folding chairs that were extremely uncomfortable. In no time at all I was physically wiped out. I had a headache, a crick in my neck, and my back had one out. I really need to get in better shape.
My wife puzzled organically finding matches all over the board. My approach was a bit more methodical. “Capcom, Assembly. Edge piece placed. Fit is nominal. Proceeding to next piece in sequence. Over.”
I tried but could not find all the edge pieces. One was missing. I adapted and began working the middle. Soon I was snagged again. What the hell? I spent way too much time looking for a single piece.
Many times my wife suggested we take a break. “Oh no,” I vowed. “We’re finishing this thing.”
At 90% complete I found the last edge piece. It was the one closest to me.
Eight hours later it was almost 1:00 a.m. I was exhausted. We were done. And only two missing pieces. I was lived. I prayed for a time machine and a sniper rifle to take care of whomever had done this to us.
We were denied the satisfaction of clicking the final piece. And guess what? It was the very same one I’d struggled with for hours.
Addendum: While cleaning the living room my wife just found the two missing pieces. Oops. My bad. Apparently tight-fighting gear is crucial to competitive puzzling. They were found under my chair. This post still stands, dammit!
Photographs courtesy of Mrs. Abyss.