For his monument project, my youngest son has chosen to build a monument to Chuck Yeager. His concept for the monument is really cool, but it requires building a model version of the Bell X-1 (Chuck Yeager’s plane). Last Sunday evening, we spread out the pieces of the model and he started to build it.
He’s never built a model like this before, so I stayed nearby to offer advice and the occasional extra hand.
Nothing in this model was assembled. Even the little figure of Chuck came in four pieces (two halves of the body and two halves for the head) and had to be glued together.
We’d forgotten to buy model glue, so we were using Gorilla Glue, which is one of those “bond anything in 30 seconds” sort of glues.
The first piece he assembled was the rocket engine. He carefully put a line of glue on each half, then lined the pieces up and held them together.
“You got it?” I said.
“Good, now keep it tight and count 30 seconds. One-one thousand, two-two thousand. . .”
We chanted to thirty thousand, then he let go.
Actually, he tried to let go. His fingers were glued fast to either side of the plastic rocket.
“I’m stuck!” he said.
I couldn’t help myself. I started laughing.
“What do I do?” He shook his hand violently, but the rocket stayed attached.
“Pull it off,” I said, still laughing.
“Not much choice.”
With a determined grunt, he peeled his fingers off the rocket. “Ow! Ow! Ow!” He ran to the sink and ran water over his fingers. “It hurts! And there’s still glue on them!”
“It’ll wear off eventually,” I said, trying to sound sympathetic. I don’t know why someone glueing his fingers together is so funny, but it is.
He came back to the model.
Fifteen minutes later, I noticed him scratching his upper lip. By this time, all his fingers were coated with a crusty thin layer of dried glue. Mine were too.
“Don’t!” I shouted.
He froze. “What?”
“Don’t glue your finger to your nose. You really don’t want to go to school like that.”
He laughed, then pretended his finger was stuck to the base of his nose. “Ow, ow, ow!”
“Big mistake,” I said.
“What’s that smell?” He crinkled his nose. “It’s . . . uck! It’s nasty.”
“Glue,” I said. “You probably have some on your nose now.”
“How do I get it off?”
“You can’t. It’ll come off over time.”
“It’s terrible!” He paused. “Is it poisonous?”
I nodded, face serious. “Completely toxic. You might die tonight. Sorry about that.”
Heh, heh, heh.