And then it finally came. Christmas—which seems to creep up so slowly, with little cat’s paw feet, when you really want something. When you’re giving something, it comes up like crazy—the minute you become an adult, Christmas comes so damn fast you can’t believe it.
Most people have Christmas morning for gift-giving, but at that point Christmas Eve was the big night. The old man would buy wine, we had walnuts in a bowl, and my mother bought pfeffernuesse cookies. We’d go out and come back, and magically everything was all lit up, the radio was tuned in to Christmas music, and there was the tree with all the stuff spread out under it.
This was the culmination of two months of sweaty anticipation. At long last, my Erector Set! I was going to make a life-size merry-go-round that I was going to ride on! A life-size crane!
And there was a big package with my name on it. It had to be the Erector set! I tore the paper off. There was a big white box. It had a picture of a kid standing next to what looked like a windmill with big paper vanes on it. Tinker Toy! Tinker Toy? Oh no! There was no joy in Mudville. I’ve got a giant set of Tinker Toy. Tinker Toy.
SEE END OF TINKER TOY NEXT