There’s a time-honored engineering practice called a fit check. You take real pieces of real stuff – even if it’s not quite to full factory specs – and make sure it at least fits together the way it’s supposed to. If it doesn’t, you refine the shape and size and do another fit check. When everything fits, you’re good to go. Even though it was never meant to fly into space, the shuttle Enterprise (seen here) spent a lot of time strapped to real fuel tanks and real booster rockets at Kennedy and at Vandenberg AFB, because it was the only fully-constructed shuttle that could be spared for fit checks.
When I got the Knuckles plushie (that’s a Sonic the Hedgehog character, by the way) in the mail that I ordered for my son for Christmas, I instantly realized: it’s huge. What the heck!? He’s even bigger than Sonic! I had already procured the plush versions of Cream the rabbit and Cheese the Chao (two of Little E’s other favorite Sonic characters) and didn’t perceive a problem. In fact, they were practically the stuff of divine providence! Each one had a hanger string attached to its head! How easy is that? Just hang it from the tree like an oversized ornament in the wee hours of Christmas morning, and boom, baby, no wrapping required! I like that kind of stuff (largely because my ability to wrap gifts sucks).
When I laid eyes on Knuckles, I thought “Maybe I need to test this theory out and make sure I don’t wind up with a bunch of Sonic plushies trapped under a Christmas tree that’s fallen over in the living room floor, as a screaming crying traumatized five-year-old watches the five-year-old version of the Hindenberg disaster unfold. Oh, the plushosity!”
Here, then, is the result of my Sonic plushie Christmas tree fit check. Laugh all you like, this is serious physics at work, people.
Knuckles has to hang from a significantly higher “branch” (in quotes because it’s such an obviously fake tree) in order to avoid winding up in the floor, or avoid bringing the tree down. The other two plushies hung quite nicely where I expected to put them anyway. As Little E comes around the corner from his room, he’ll see them from smallest to biggest, and his head will probably ‘splode.
When I was a kid, I used to look forward to Christmas with a fervor. That ended when my mother died in 1987. When I lived on my own during my 20s – quite a bit of that time hundreds of miles away from any part of my family – I didn’t even bother with decorations or much of anything else (and, with the business I was in, I usually wound up working holidays anyway, which was a convenient escape hatch). Now that I have a kid and I get to buy him stuff and plan these little rollouts, the merry is back in Christmas for me.
15 days and counting. My shopping’s done, how are y’all doing?