It’s all fun and games until it’s Dalmations

Decades ago my mother and I—but mostly her—got really into jigsaw puzzles. The puzzles being tackled grew bigger and bigger, as the size of the pieces grew smaller and smaller. We started buying puzzles that had higher quality die-cutting. …and things started getting out of hand, with me finding puzzles that had large areas of blue sky, or the top half of the image was various clouds. But still, these puzzles were defeated with brutal precision: corners, borders, sort by colors/patterns, divide and conquer.

I think the tipping point was when someone found a puzzle of 101 Dalmations. In a snow scene. It might have been die-cut from both sides with the backside printed solid white. (For you non puzzle-nuts: That means you can’t even tell if a piece is face-up or -down.) I think that’s the only puzzle that ever went back into its box unassembled.

I also think there’s a lesson in there somewhere about escalation and turning something fun into a chore.

Fortunately, I think we learned the lesson before I had to buy one of these,