The blankness of the page. It sits there in front of me. “Touch me,” it says. “Soil me,” it says. “Make me dirty with your thoughts.” The page beckons. Okaaaaay, now that I have that filthiness out of my system, let’s move on shall we?
Forgive me. When I started this, I thought “Maybe I should do the tortured artist thing.” But, when you’ve had a life as easy as mine, it’s hard to be tortured. Here I am, 22 years old, and still playing with toys. No room for filthiness in this mind when you’ve got Star Wars action figures! I haven’t bought any new Star Wars action figures lately. I’ve been waiting until the second wave comes out, so I can get Captain Panaka. You know, he was the captain of the queen’s guards. He’s the guy in the trailer who says “I do not think that this is a battle we can win.” I just think he’s kind of cool. So, when his action figure comes out, it’ll be the next one I get. But, I guess I should hurry up and get to the point of this column.
This Thursday, I had a choice. I could either sit around on my butt, watching the mindless daytime television programs, or I could go into the city with my mother. So, what do you think I did? I went into the city with Mom. But first, we had some fun. Mom had to stop off at her office. She hadn’t been there in a month, so she was eager to see what kind of paperwork had piled up. As always, she said she’d be quick, so I contented myself to sitting in the car, and listening to the radio. I thought it was time to do something I rarely did, so after 20 minutes in Markworld, I tuned the radio from the usual Oldies 1260 to Power 92. It was time to catch up on what was current in the music world. So, I’m laying in the car, groovin’ to the tunes, when I started thinking “Gee, it’s boring in the car.” So, I cranked up the volume as loud as I could, left the car door open, and started sunbathing on the front lawn of my Mom’s office building. It was a nice day. Then, something weird happened. Will Smith’s summer hit Wild Wild West began playing. You know, it’s just one of those songs where it’s impossible to stay still. So, there on the front lawn of my Mom’s office building, in front of busy street, I got up and began dancing. Boy did that group of kids biking by have funny looks for me! But I didn’t care. I was having fun. Next up on the radio, they played was has to be my favorite song of the summer: All Star by Smash Mouth. Since I was to exhausted to dance, I just sang along. Loudly. That’s when Mom came out and it was time to go. People tend to think I only act weird when I’m in public, but you don’t know what I do by myself. But I digress. On to Edmonton!
In the big city, my Mom and I made that deal that we always do: I check out the latest collectible action figures in Toys R Us, while she goes to Chapters and catches up on her reading. There was something in Toys R Us that I had been meaning to get for a while now, and it was finally time to go for it. So, I went straight to the Lego aisle, and I finally got my LITTLE LEGO BIPLANE!!! YES!! Since I really had nothing more to do at Toys R Us, I head over to Chapters, where, fortune of fortunes, I found that a book I had been dying to get was on sale for only $3.99! I’m finding the book to be a fascinating read. It’s called Star Trek Phase II: The Lost Series. Worth it only to see the starship Enterprise as designed by the guy who created the ships for Star Wars. After I found Mom, it was time to head to head up to West Edmonton Mall. I had nothing to do there except finally pick up the soundtrack for South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut. This is one of the best soundtracks this summer, so go get it now! Then, supper with Dad and off to home. I was eager to put together my Little Lego Biplane!
The official name of the Little Lego Biplane was the Bi-wing Baron. When you open the box, the first thing you have to do is get all your pieces together. I had forgotten how smooth and good-to-the-touch new Lego is. That and the smell of a new video have to be my favorite sensations. Anyway, first thing to do was put together the Little Lego Pilot. I assume that this pilot is the Baron of the name. He’s a rather mean looking fellow. He’s got a monocle, a nasty scar on his cheek, and the permanent Lego smile. He’s the first Lego man I’ve ever had with a hook for a hand. I’m serious! A Lego man with a hook for a hand. It leaves me wondering as to weather this is a Little Lego good guy or a Little Lego bad guy. Is he an ally of Indiana Jones or that nasty Belloq? And if you don’t get that reference, I suggest renting Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Now, to build the plane! Surprisingly simple construction. This biplane is a real weapon of war. It’s got all these rifles on the wings. Must be fast too, because it’s got flame shooting out the exhaust pipes. All in all, a mighty winged steed to take a man to the heavens. Never before has their been a more graceful Little Lego Biplane. But I still had problems with the allegiance of our pilot. Is he a hero? Is he a villain? Why does he have all those guns on his plane? What is the origin of that scar and that hook? It appeared that this Little Lego Adventurer needed a back story. The only inspiration I had to draw from was that pilot in The Mummy. He too, was an adventurer who flew a biplane. So, I dwelt on it as I watched Friends. If that doesn’t inspire you to create and adventurer, nothing will.
So, here’s the back story I’ve written for this Little Lego Adventurer. First, you need to know the time frame. All these great adventurer tales seem to take place in the 1920’s, so that’s the time my hero is from. Yup, I’ve said he’s a good guy. Here we go. Franklin von Abernathy, the Baron of Rendar, hails from a small county in England. He was raised in the refinement of high society, where he was becoming some what of a media darling. That all changed in the Great War. Doing the right thing for his country, he signed up for military service, and was given command of a fighter squadron on the front lines. He flew many victories, and won many of his country’s greatest honors. That all changed with his capture. One day, while flying a mission over enemy territory, his plane was shot down. In the crash, he lost his left hand. Surrounded by enemy forces, he was quickly overwhelmed and taken to a prison camp. There, the guards delighted in torturing him. The Baron soon had enough, and began plotting his escape. Under cover of night, he made a break for it. As he was crawling through a barbed wire fence, a guard startled him, causing the wire to snap back up in his face, and giving him his scar on his left cheek. He easily subdued the guard, and fled for freedom. When he made it back to friendly territory, he was once again praised for his bravery. Medics fitted him with a hook to replace his left hand. When the war ended, he returned to high society, but found it changed. Some say that soldiers returning from war seek to renew the adrenalin rush of combat, and that’s where our hero found himself. So, he started doing research into Egyptology, and soon found a map to a treasure known as the Ruby of Tohep. He bought himself a beat-up old biplane, and went down to Egypt, where he has begun his search for the Ruby. OK, I know I borrowed from a lot of sources, but it’s the best you can do when your mind is burned out on countless video games and movies.
So, at long last, I’ve got my Little Lego Biplane. I’m not sure how to end this column. I don’t want to revisit the dirty thought of the introduction, because that’s cleansed from my system. So, I’ll end this with my favorite verse from the song All Star by Smash Mouth:
Somebody once asked could I spare some change for gas,
“I need to get myself away from this place.”
I said “Yup, what a concept, I could use a little fuel myself,
And we could all use a little change.”
Well, the years start commin’ and they don’t stop commin’
I bent to the rules and I hit the ground runnin’
It didn’t make sense not to live for fun
Your brain gets smart but your head gets dumb
So much to do, so much to see,
So what’s wrong with takin’ the back street?
You’ll never know if you don’t go.
You’ll never shine if you don’t glow.