Just Lego


The Lego Movie, Warner Bros. Pictures, 2014

From The Fortnightly Review:

SCENE: THE TORCH-LIT office-hewn-from-rock of Skepticus, the principal chamber of his retreat, high above the city. A long work table, strewn with papers, books, scrolls, pens, pencils, and quills; at its center, a laptop computer sits open. At left of the computer, a small pile of Legos, some affixed to each other, but none made into any recognizable object. A low stool stands at attention beneath the table.

The almost-music of an invitation to Skype, quite loud. By its third refrain, Skepticus comes hobbling out of the bathroom, anxiously tugging at his toga as he approaches the computer. He reads the screen and taps the touchpad to accept the call. The chiming stops.

Voice of Fidelis, from the computer: Skepticus, my friend! Is this a bad time?

Skepticus: Speaking to the laptop. His toga falling open. Umbilicus’s mother will call in a few minutes. Would you please stop using Skype to reach me? With all the “distance education” I’ve had to take on, sometimes I feel my whole life has gone virtual, Fidelis.

F: Cover your right nipple.

S: Oh! Shit. Thanks. Pulls toga across his chest

F: You told me he was coming along, sweet boy. He’s six, right? You have him reading The Fables of Aesop?

S: In translation, of course. And next week we start Spiegelman’s Maus books. But I’m worried.

F: Worried?

S: Umbilicus’s mother is curtailing his imagination. It has to stop. And I’ve prepared a tutorial I hope will set her straight.

F: What’s she done?

S: She’s bought Umbilicus several sets of Legos.

F: I love Legos!

S: Is your email open? I’m sending you a picture.

F: Yes, of course.

Skepticus leans slightly to reach the touch pad. He clicks with his right hand as with his left hand he continues to adjust his toga. A brief pause.

F: Got it!

This one is fabulous, Skepticus! The detail is incredible!

S: The devil is in that detail, Fidelis. What do you mean by, “this one”?

F: You know, the toy. The “scorpion”!

S: You said you love Legos. Did you mean to say you love the clever things people make out of Legos?

F: Can’t I love both?

S: Some of the things people make out of Legos are not very lovable.

“Legos, Play, and Narrative”, Daniel Bosch, The Fortnightly Review