Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Extremely Manly Papercraft Adventures.

Disclaimer: This was the first humour article I ever wrote, and is a product of my younger and much sillier self. I include it here only because of its historical significance in my life.


In the early days of my Summer holidays, I found myself faced with the dreaded "buffer" period during which all my contacts have gone on some sort of holiday abroad, but my own scheduled holiday shenanigens are still far off, and with no decent TV on, entering a vegetative state and hibernating the empty days away was out of the question.

Clearly the only course of action to take would be to fill my empty afternoons with dozens of manly activities until the time for eating turkey, guiltily accepting cash presents from relatives who I can't stand and desperately trying to keep my mouth shut while my abominable grandmother ignorantly rattles on about how the country has gone down the toilet since her era, arrives.
I still wonder if the cash presents aspect is entirely worth it.

Anyway, after about a week of such manly endeavors as working out, punching communists, putting out fires and eating hundreds of t-bone steaks, It was pointed out to me by Mrs. Van Vreekazoed (whose cat I had just rescued from a tree for the forty second time), that I may need a hobby.

"Of course!" said I, out loud and in a dramatic and infinitely manly way, before rushing home and putting a shirt on for the first time in weeks. A hobby would mean I could pass the time with minimal effort and I wouldn't even need to leave the house! The hobby would still need to be really manly though, and therein lay my problem: What stay-at-home hobby could be manly enough to fulfill my gender imposed standards?

The answer: PAPERCRAFT!
What could be an activity more undeniably rugg
ed than cutting out images, folding them and pasting them together to make various 3D shapes? Just about anything else you say? I would direct your attention to this promotional poster which I obtained from one of Hulk Hogan's many secret and unreachable blogs and which I totally did not make with MSpaint just now:
And There you have it!

So what would be my first papercraft creation? After all there are countless animals, people and objects that some guy somewhere decided would look a whole lot better made out of paper and subsequently spent da
ys designing a hugely elaborate template so that others may share his dream.
(Dr. Some guy Somewhere also enjoys painting individual sand grains and tallying his own nasal hair)

Suddenly it dawned upon me! Papercraft Pokemon! After all, what could be more manly than this!
And so I embarked on an epic epic online search spanning, like, FIVE web-pages and found a template for making my very own Turtwig, one of the newfangled Pokemon that, along with the online trading introduce in the latest series of games, has destroyed the time-honoured tradition of tackling that brat from down the street with a link cable and stealing his charizard.
After heroically pressing the print button, I retrieved my paper and got to work.
Cutting out the little blighter proved to be my first and possibly greatest obstacle on the road to manly papercraft Nirvahna, carefully cutting out every fold and flap was time consuming as hell, and and mishaps would ruin the final product, thus an air of unbearable tension was created around my latest (and arguably greatest) excuse not to go and do something productive with my life.

Incidentally, the "Helpful Assembly tips!" which I printed out to aid me in my struggle states that, aside from the fact that small (manly) children should make sure they have grown-up help and should refrain from castrating themselves with their safety scissors (as kids are quite prone to do, judging by the HUNDREDS of newspaper headlines telling us "FIVE YEAR OLD LOBOTOMISED WITH SAFETY SCISSORS! PARENTS NOT PRESENT!" and other such realistic tales of woe), the entire project should take roughly 2 hours to complete.


Cutting out the damn thing took damn near an entire afternoon to do (at least if done RIGHT!). The remaining steps which I'll go into shortly took as long combined, leading me to one of two conclusions:

1) The target market for these papercrafts are steroids enhanced versions of Father Christmas' elves which cut and past papery products at speeds bordering on supersonic
2)The corporate hobo's who published the helpful hints are too damn lazy to assemble their own damn papercraft
I'm guessing the latter.

Anyway, after much sweat, tears and scissor induced blisters, I finally had my component parts!
After a tedious half-hour of folding along EVERY GOD-FORSAKEN DOTTED LINE on every seperate part the time came to stick the little tag doo-hickeys to whatever open area the folding directed them to. But horror of horrors, there was no glue or equivalent sticky substance in the house!

"Hindsight is always 20/20," said the snarky bastard that lives in my cupboard and whom I punched quite hard before rushing to the nearest seven-eleven to obtain the sacred and necessary adhesive! (and a soda)

Stationery was clearly not this store's strongpoint though, and despite my subtle legal threats to the establishment, I was denied the crucial sticky requirement needed to proceed in my quest.
Dejectedly, I returned home for one last rummage through my school bag and, as luck would have it (sexually anyway, "it" being dressed in a scaly bikini and eating a cheeseburger, but that's neither here nor there), I found and ancient relic from my primary school days!: A glue stick so thick and dry that you would probably have trouble carving it with a chisel, but glue nonetheless!

After soaking the remaining glue in the sink for a while and sticking it in the microwave, I got it into a semi-sticky gooey state, and fashioned a glue brush from an old pencil. I could finally get to the all important assembly stage of my creation, and assemble I did, easily enough since the pre-folded paper guided the flappy things to their appropriate places. I now had the distinct body parts of my creation, all that remained would be to stick 'em together in some sad mockery of Turtwig's form.
Before you lies a dismembered Pokemon, now there's something the TV program won't give ya!

After gluing what flaps I could to what spaces my not-so-nimble-as-they-used
-to-be fingers could manage, and ingeniously fashioning a few modifications to the design to get the damn head to stay on, my prize finally took shape!
A bit of a far cry from the original idea, but you get what you anonymously download I guess...

My Ultra manly quest had reached it's apparent end, I had spent one more day lying between me and the oh so desirable cash gifts of Christmas-time, But more days lay ahead, and more manly activities were necessary! I resolved to stare at my creation and marvel at it's glory until my waiting period was spent, but as I looked down to begin my long hard look, my eyes met only the bare counter-top, my creation had vanished! Where it is now, we may never know, more importantly, what was I going to without my newest time waster? A new papercraft was needed and it was needed soon...

Tune in some time in the foreseeable future for part 2 of "My extremely manly papercraft adventures!" In which I shall attempt to create a new and previously unheard of critter!

(Unless I catch up to the old one somehow, but I doubt it, judging from this newspaper article that got printed and delivered to my house just as I was writing this and was totally not modified in any way:

Oh my.

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