Charl and I decided it was time to sort the Lego.
There was a massive, landsliding heap of it in our bedroom.
First, we spent ages deciding how to sort it. By colour? Size? Number of studs?
Type of set it had come from? Just thinking about that took the first hour.
Then we got a load of boxes – shoeboxes, toyboxes, ice cream boxes –
from all over the house and labelled the boxes, ‘1 to 4 studs’, ‘5 to 8 studs’
and so on, right up to ‘72 or more’. That took another hour.
Eventually, we got to work.
We discovered that quite a few pieces don’t have any studs at all,
so we started a new box, and learned how to spell ‘miscellaneous’.
Charl got a bit confused between handcuffs and cufflinks,
and asked me if Dad was going to get arrested when he wore his really smart shirt.
We sorted and sorted. The massive, enormous, landsliding heap of Lego
didn’t seem any smaller than it had been at the beginning,
AND the room was much messier than before.
Charl and I got discouraged. Charl called me Envelope Head
because of the dead-straight parting in my hair.
I called him Poo Leg because I felt like it, and nothing cleverer came to mind.
Then we went downstairs together and had a snack.
When we came back up, we had this brilliant idea –
instead of trying to sort all the bits of Lego, we would build with them.
We couldn’t build the models you were supposed to,
because nearly all the Lego was still unsorted, so it was impossible to find
the bits you needed. So we built other stuff.
We built cars that had six windscreens and wheels all different sizes.
We built short skyscrapers, flat mountains,
and figures that were half superhero, half police officer.
We built a farm with a roof made of doors,
schools that had skate ramps instead of classrooms,
and chairs with fourteen legs, some of which were trees.
We built fish-bears, heli-trucks and chimney people.
We built meals and space-junk and hairstyles.
Then we stuck the rest of the pieces together anyoldhow
and said, ‘It’s modern art!’
When we’d built everything, we suddenly realised
the room was a lot tidier than before.
There was no massive, landsliding heap of Lego any more, just
Glorious Monuments to Randomness all over our room.
We were pretty pleased. Charl stood on a chair with a satisfied grin,
and announced triumphantly: ‘Sorted!’
Jude Simpson writes and performs poetry, comedy and music. She also writes scripts and lyrics for musical plays. Having created poems for adults over many years, she now also writes and performs for children. Michael Rosen described her as “funny, sharp, and a terrific performer!” She has appeared at literature festivals, poetry clubs, comedy events and the Edinburgh Fringe. Jude lives in the East of England, in a big house with lots of people and one dog. https://www.judesimpson.co.uk/