Saturday, January 15, 2005

The Devil Went Down to Delaware...

I've been meaning to get this off my chest for quite some time now...

We all know what this is. It's one of the greatest puzzles of the 20th century. For some, it is a cult challenge to become the fastest cube solver ever. For others it's simply a reminder of the 80's. While others yet need more of a challenge and step up to the Professor's Edition. Apparently, there are many coma-inducing products from the mind of Mr. Rubik.

Circa 1985, I became the proud owner of a Special Edition Rubik's Cube. One unlike any other I have ever set my eyes upon. My cube isn't one of those cheap "peel-off-the-stickers-and-rearrange-to-win" cubes. Oh no, it's hard plastic tiles that prevent you from cheating. The center blue one even has a stamped logo of the Rubik's Cube brand.

For the past, oh I don't know, TWENTY YEARS or so, I've been trying to solve this thing without cheating. (i.e. getting steps off the Internet) All throughout high school and college this cube sat on the night stand by my bed and whenever I'd get bored, or need to pass some time, I broke out the cube and went to work, always making progress, and determined to win. It became my own little personal challenge.

After I graduated college and moved to Delaware, I didn't really know anyone, so the cube got more play. Then one afternoon it happened. I had solved the cube. On my own. Without cheating.

I moved the finished cube into my spare bedroom and put it next to some of my framed photography. There it sat as a beacon of hope, symbolizing that I could do anything if I put my mind to it.

Time passed and one day I got a call from an old childhood friend. He and his wife were going to be passing through on their way to Ocean City and wanted to visit. Except for his wedding (which I was in), I had never really met his wife. They only stayed one night, during the week, and I really didn't get to spend much time catching up. In fact I had to work the next day, so I left for work and asked them just to lock up when they left.

I came home that evening and glanced around in their room to make sure they didn't forget anything. Then it happened. I fell to my knees and yelled "WHY GOD WHY????" It was my cube... They had disfigured it. No longer was my precious cube sporting six sides of uniform color. It was like looking at a car accident. You want to look away but you just can't.
I asked my friend about the cube a few days later. He said his wife got bored while he was in the shower. Uh-huh. Devil woman. Baby did a bad, bad, thing...

I have since been trying to remember how to return my cube to its glory but it's been an uphill struggle... This is my progress thus far:
No apology was ever issued. No condolences were ever given.
This is not over.
The Delawarean always plays nice, until you break his toys...