Look for the Flat Ones

Putting together jigsaw puzzles is a mild form of totally embraced, almost exciting, mental torture. You go from motivated and excited to where you are looking at all these pieces that get all blurred together and that’s when you say to yourself “Step away from the puzzle!”

The mere act of selling these puzzles, let alone buying one, is almost sadistic. Why on earth, or anywhere else for that matter, would anyone want to do this to themselves?!

We decide to buy one and there was no thought of a 200 or 500 – piece puzzle. We’re raised the bar pretty high and got one with 1,000. It’s kind of an old-fashioned gas station with very cool classic cars parked in front.

So we open up the box and there are a million little tiny pieces.  We didn’t actually count them but we both knew it was way more than the falsely advertised 1,000.

We’re working on a table with limited space, so we can’t dump them all out and spread them out. So I took a handful at a time and looked for anything with a flat side since the first thing we do is to put together the whole border. There may be 1,000 pieces, but how hard can it be to find the ones with a flat side? It wasn’t long before we started finding lots of pieces with one side that kind of looked flat but kind of looked curved. And they were really small.

The people that design these puzzles are seriously cynical. It’s a big thing when somebody says something so groundbreaking as, ”Hey! I know. Why don’t we put pieces with sides that are flat in the middle of the picture?! That’ll drive ‘em nuts!

In the grand scheme of things, this may not sound like the epiphany that it is to these creative people for finding entertainment value in a straight line.

So we push on and get the whole border together, only after saying a couple of dozen times, “They shorted us 5 straight pieces!” Of course they didn’t, but what’s troubling is that as you look at all the pieces again and again and don’t find any more of the straight ones, you simultaneously and with increased intensity absolutely know that they shorted you 5 pieces at the same time as absolutely knowing that you just can’t find them. If that kind of shit doesn’t do a number on your brain, I don’t know what does. “This is your brain, this is your brain on jigsaw puzzles. Any questions?”

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