Monday, June 1, 2015


My wife wants to get an above ground swimming pool.

You know when you see an opening sentence like that, you're in for a wild ride.

I'm opposed to the whole idea.

When I was a young boy, I had an unpleasant experience with a neighbor's above ground swimming pool.

As I've mentioned before, working in Special Education does not pay well, so to supplement my income, I sell stuff on Ebay.

This means obsessively checking Craigslist, classifieds, thrift stores, garage sales, streetside trash piles; any place there might be something worth selling.

Legos are an easy flip. They're very popular, and you can quickly pick out the valuable stuff for large profits and sell the rest by weight.

Maybe. I've had a few rough encounters with biker gangs.

There was a woman I met at a party one time. She was super into stuff like motorcycles and bald eagles.

As the night wore on, everyone around the bonfire passed out except us.

I've always waited until I was the last man available to a girl before making my move. It tips the odds ever so slightly in my favor that I might get a smooch, but it makes the rejection sting like the dickens.

I scooted closer to her. She told me about her agonizing motorcycle accident and I shared with her the time I fell off a small skateboard and my dad bought me Mcdonald's.

Nothing happened between us.

She fell asleep against a log. I awkwardly used her metal-toed boot for a pillow.

An hour later, she kicked me awake, threw me a beer, and then called me a pussy because I said I had to go home.

I ran into her at a big Halloween party some weeks after. She introduced me to her new boyfriend, a soldier in the Forbidden Wolves biker gang by the name of Loony Tunes. 

I was in somewhat of an E.T. costume at the time, and I believe that went a long way towards helping Loony Tunes to not feel threatened. 

He spent most of the time drinking Popov vodka from a gigantic bottle and howling at the moon. Around midnight, they hopped onto his Harley and tore off.

There was another biker incident as well. A high school substitute teacher I had; he said he belonged to a motorcycle club. He was a pretty nice guy, but his belt buckles were bigger than my face.

Writing that now, I realize the human face is an odd unit of measurement for belt buckle sizing.

Oh well.

Anyways, people are weird about selling their Legos.

They want to sell them, but they don't; like they are selling off all the hopes and dreams they once had for their kid's potential.

One hot summer evening, I was stuck on the floor of a middle-aged woman's living room for several hours, Legos strewn all around us, as she picked up practically every brick and recounted a memory specific to it.

When she eventually decided on a price, it was so outrageously high that I walked out empty-handed.

The woman didn't want to sell her son's Legos, not really; she wanted a little company while she mourned her newly emptied nest.

I eventually found the seller in Detroit, bought the Legos, and dumped them out on my basement floor.

Having looked through hundreds of pounds of Lego bricks over the years, I've noticed a certain kind of gross consistency in what I find.

There are always Band-Aids, doubled up and twisted. Some with prominent red-brown stains. Animal fur in clumpy abundance. Dog food. Poop (once). Screws and nails. Numerous dirty, oxidized pennies.

And in every crack and corner, suspiciously pubic-looking hairs.

Parents across Southeast Michigan must teach their children that the Lego bin is the proper place for all disgusting things.

My wife arrived home a little later. The back of our minivan was loaded down with a pile of discolored burlap and fifty steel poles.

I guess the moral of the story is that if you want to send me Legos, just let me know.


  1. I thought your costume was actually testicles at first which seemed like a pretty bold choice. I can't imagine that testes would have made the encounter any less awkward though... especially grey ones. I'm putting too much thought into this, aren't I?

    1. Oh no! The whole time I was drawing that, I was telling myself 'less scrotum, more alien', but I failed....drat, there was some concern voiced already that this post was too "gross", and balls on my head would definitely put it over the limit. Failure.

    2. In your defense, the real ET looks pretty scroty(? ballsy? testickley?) anyway - I don't think anyone is capable of showing ET from behind and not have someone think of manly bits...

  2. You are absolutely the only person I know that deals in used bulk Legos. Writing that sentence made me think of the city of Lagos in Nigeria. I have neVer thought of those two words together. Do you ever dream of going to Lego Land?

    1. When I first read the words of your wife in the fourth picture from the end I thought she had said "I got a poo!!!!" and I was confused, because my eyes saw this giant brown pile of something with jaggedy lines coming off from it that I thought indicated odor. I thought, "Wow, she found that on Craigslist?"

    2. Bulk Lego dealing is the last noble profession; there is a kind of quiet suffering about it. I don't think I would do well at Lego land because I am afraid of crowds. I would get fussy and need to take lots of bottle breaks.
      I wish now my wife had gotten a poo off of craigslist, if only to find out why she wanted one and where it was going to end up.

  3. You have now made me think about the huge piles of Leogs we have in a very different way. I shall peruse them at some point for *ahem* hairs and such. (Ick.)

    1. Please mail them all to me, minus hairs, and I will sell them and give you a very small finders fee and a cookie for your trouble

  4. Well, the next time I take vacation, I know what my “out-of-office” message will be:

    “I’m off to go sort pubic Legos.” That will probably spare me the effort of crafting an “I’m back in the office” message, but so be it.

    The above-ground pool is an interesting concept. There are holes all over the place, but we go to the trouble to build one to sit on top of the ground.

    “What kinda engine are you running between your legs?” “Four-stroke. That’s all it takes.”

    Thanks for a great read!!

  5. Note to self: Do not put old Legos in the recycle bin.

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