Sunday, May 02, 2010

Tiny Tikes, Inc.: You are on Notice

Given the malleable nature of a toddler's brain and a propensity to repeat anything said by a parent, cursing is generally not a a great parenting behavior. The 'oh $h__' daycare incident at daycare drove this point home for us in a big way.

Fine, I can cut back on the bad words. I've had some success until today. That's when the Cozy Coupe manufactured by the sadistic folks at Tiny Tikes entered my life.

If ever there were a device designed for the maximally efficient extraction of curse words from a parent, it is the Cozy Coupe. This big plastic car mesmerizes children, and it is in its 30th anniversary year. My heart shudders to think of the thousands of parents over the last thirty years who faced assembling this hellish contraption. How many tears of rage and how much misery has this one company created? When does it end?

One wouldn't think that a goofy molded plastic car would need 700 parts to piece together. One would be wrong. There are so many parts ranging from stupid little screws to incorrigible plastic bits that just wont snap together to downright evil axles that require the coordination of a brain surgeon who is also a carpenter to hammer into place. My blood pressure began to rise. Red mist entered the periphery of my vision. I think a vein on my head began to pulse ominously. Seeing Michael eagerly playing with the partially assembled chassis motivated me to press on.

Let's discuss the instructions, shall we? The Cozy Coupe is a classic toy, popular the world over. Well, isn't that just great for us! This means that our instructions feature no words, just infuriatingly vague pictograms that would be better suited as Rorshach tests. They actually wouldn't be great Rorshach tests because all the responses would probably be along the lines of "I see Tiny Tikes factory burning down, and I like it." or "I see this heap of dastardly plastic in my garage standing as a monument to follies of industrial engineering, never to be assembled". Every psychiatric diagnosis would be Tourett's syndrome or deep depression.

Then comes the process of piecing this thing together. I swear that each component part had a natural enmity for its supposed partner in assembly. Priscilla Presley and Michael Jackson made a better match than these plastic parts. As I tried to jam the front "A" pillar into place, the stream of profanity began to flow. I was like the dad in "Christmas Story." I was like that stupid oil rig in the Gulf. I just couldn't stop. When I wrenched my shoulder, accidentally bonked Mikey on the head, and then twisted my neck, I reached a crescendo.

I did what any nerd in this day and age would do: I Googled it. My first search was: "bastard tiny tikes piece of crap is impossible to assemble. About to go all Jack Nicholson in the Overlook Hotel." That is a slight exaggeration. My actual search was "cozy coupe impossible." This yielded a plethora of assenting opinions. Eventually, I found some gems that saved the day. It turns out that one must strategically apply cooking spray to the recalcitrant parts to get them actually pop into place. Son of a biscuit.

Armed with this knowledge and a can of Pam, I slogged through the rest of the assembly, cursing all the while. Shannon, I am truly sorry for my language and rage. I was provoked. And to Mikey's caretakers, I am truly sorry if he ends up repeating even 1% of what I said or if he calls you a "red plastic son of a motherless yak vomit pile of moldering cat yuck"
This man just tried to assemble a Cozy Coupe

So, to Tiny Tikes, Inc:  Shame on you for your sadistic design that pairs an irresistible toy with Sisyphusian assembly. Why do you hate parents? Why do you hate our freedom and puppies? What did we ever do to you aside from forking over 30 years of our hard-earned dollars? And to any potential parents: if you must acquire a Cozy Coupe for your progeny, do yourself a favor and request it already assembled or not at all. Don't say I didn't warn you.


Fabi said...

Hilarious!! If I ever get close to that I will be calling that service that does things like that. I bought a dresser several years ago - it was maddening to put togeher. I called them and thank god they put it together. Saved my sanity

Sarah said...

So can we just borrow yours? Was going to get one...but am now terrified.

Chris said...

To top it off, I did a crappy job putting it together. The wheels aren't quite right, and there's nothing I can do about it now.

I'm sure super man Clay can do better than me, but it's not fun at all.

Grampy said...

Should have called Grampy