Father of all broken toy stories
Illustration: Caroline Adaszynski
FOR a Logical Dad the raising of daughters can uncover many conundrums not found in any other environment.
And I am not referring to ideological conundrums, such as the discovery of multi-syllable conversation, comprehending the difference between shampoo and conditioner, nor grasping the fashion theory of ''never be seen in purple and green''. No, the greatest logical conundrums arise in the fixing of broken toys and, as with most things in life, the simplest of toys are typically the hardest to fix.
Barbie's Aero Jet cargo door got jammed this morning, creating a major delay in her itinerary. Not a problem for Logical Dad whose analytical skills were drawn upon in noticing the fuselage was slightly bowed. A quick flex here, a little twist there, and two minutes later Barbie was able to ''do'' lunch with Strawberry Shortcake.
Tying Strawberry's hair into pigtails then presented an interesting Catch-22 conundrum: looping the hair-tie twice resulted in a circumference large enough to pull through the golden locks, but was then insufficiently tight to hold the pigtail in place; looping the hair-tie thrice theoretically resulted in a hair-tie sufficiently tight to hold a pigtail in place, but alas left a circumference too small to pull the hair through.
After much head-scratching and thought, an adaptive use of workshop pliers with chopsticks soon had a pigtailed Strawberry joining Barbie for a tasty-looking club sandwich.
The final fix for the morning should have been the easiest.
On a trip to the city my daughter had obtained a balloon unicorn, fashioned by the ubiquitous Balloon Man. Unfortunately, the hind legs had become untwisted, thus transforming the unicorn into a long-faced seal. Not a problem for Logical Dad. Surely it would take only a few twists to fix.
Forty-five long, internally expletive-laden minutes later I had to admit defeat. The best I could muster was a Picasso-like hind leg, protracting at 45 degrees from the unicorn's body, much like an externally burst appendix.
My daughter recognised the failure in Logical Dad's attempt, pitied me with a pat on the head, and suggested we cover up the unsightly deformity with one of Strawberry Shortcake's long pleated dresses.
Undeterred, I did later redeem myself in finding a fringe benefits tax entertainment deduction for Barbie to claim on the luncheon, and began constructing a new capital depreciation schedule for her Aero Jet.
Hey, Balloon Man, let's see you fix that logical tax conundrum!