Thursday, April 19, 2012

king of the castle

The other day I was playing Draw Something (again) and it was my turn to draw, for my dad, and I chose castle. I didn't draw Nathan Fillion, though, no matter how much I love him, because I don't watch Castle and I'm not sure if my dad does either. So I drew a crappy castle with a moat and a drawbridge and everything except a rude, French guy shouting insults from one of the towers.

If I had been feeling more adventurous or, I don't know, using an iPad and a stylus and not my phone and a finger, I would have drawn the castle my dad helped me make when I was in 6th grade. I don't remember what the exact assignment was, other than: MAKE A CASTLE, but I think we had to pick one material to build the castle out of. If that wasn't a rule, then I was just lazy. I chose Popsicle sticks and my mom bought them for me ages and ages before the project was due but GUESS WHAT, I didn't start building my castle until the night before. Standard.

(The whole nature versus nurture thing has always fascinated me. I know the nurture bit is important and all but my parents tried REALLY HARD to conquer my procrastinating nature and it just never took. I mean, hell, I was procrastinating all the way back in 2nd grade, when I finished my project on trees the morning it was due, gathering fallen leaves as I walked to school. It was a very Calvin thing to do, only I got a Susie Derkins grade for it. ZING! But I digress. Standard.)

When my dad got home from work that night, I was in the basement, practically in tears, with my hands full of Elmer's glue-covered Popsicle sticks. The Elmer's wasn't holding any of the sticks together and when my dad came downstairs, I threw everything down and sunk into my frustration.

Here's where it got good, though. For one thing, my dad is an engineer. And, unlike me, he has actual real world skills, good for helping his dumb daughter with her due-the-next-day school projects. For another thing, MY DAD IS FUCKING AWESOME.

Soon he had the hot glue gun plugged in, gently explaining to me that the Elmer's glue wouldn't be strong enough to hold my castle together. I'd also been trying to glue the sticks together like this, but he had other ideas:

Which...duh. But whatever, I was 12. So, after a while of me using the hot glue gun (that is some trust right there, you guys) and my dad helping me gently guide each Popsicle stick to where it needed to go, led only by the plan in his head, we had something like this:

This was awesome in and of itself but IT GETS EVEN BETTER. It was practically my bedtime, so I figured we were done. But no, my dad had other ideas. Specifically: a drawbridge. A WORKING DRAWBRIDGE. We glued the sticks together to make the actual door, then my dad rigged a pulley system with some string and I don't even remember what BECAUSE I'M NOT AN ENGINEER. It was so cool. I wish I still had it, but my 6th grade teacher kept it. The closest model I could find was this, which totally pales in comparison to what my dad made (because let's be honest, my dad made my project). And these were the days before you could Google "how to make a castle out of popsicle sticks." Very impressive, no? I know it would be even more impressive if I'd done it myself, but my main contribution was not falling and crushing the castle on the walk to school the next morning so, yeah. I earned that A.


  1. That castle sounds awesome. I never built anything as awesome as that when I was in grade school. I mostly just made shoebox dioramas. Good times.

  2. If I was a teacher and a kid brought me a castle with taunting French guards and flying cows, I would announce it to the world - THE COOLEST KID IN THE SCHOOL!

    Abigail made a really cool cabin. Very cool. EVen though I wrapped it well, the stick logs came apart because we used homemade plaster and stored it in a humid midwest basement. Sad.

  3. Joe, I loved shoebox dioramas! I made one about a sea otter once. That's the only one I remember.

    Sally, sounds like Abigail needs to make a new cabin. Hee.