T Minus 19 Days: Ironman, The Killer Pinata, Part 3

It would be so much simpler to just drape Robert Downey, Jr. in wet newspaper, allow it to dry, and then gently snip it off.

Isn’t there some culture out there with a creation story involving balloons and masking tape?

This is Stage One of Ironman’s left leg. Did I mention I am beginning to dislike Ironman? And not just because his legs are longer than mine. But because, as the project continues, I am faced at every turn with several ways to do things right and several thousand ways to do things wrong.

Malcolm Gladwell, in his book Outliers, in which he explains cultural and social reasons for the existence of, say, Bill Gates, and The Beatles, explains that it has been calculated in cases from Mozart to McCartney that it takes a person 10,000 hours of doing something before he truly becomes an expert.

Bill Gates was able to spend about that much time in front of a computer with a modem–almost unheard of at the time–before he turned twenty-five. The Beatles played nightly six-hour sets in a German club before they returned home to change history. And Mozart, of course, if he began composing at the age of four, had about that many hours tucked under his frock when he wrote The Marriage of Figaro.

And so, assuming that I possess an innate ability, if I practice paper mache three hours a day, every day, even on Christmas and when I have a hangover, I should be an expert at Ironman pinata-making by Malcolm’s fourteenth birthday. A sobering thought. Do you force your fourteen year-old to use the Ironman pinata you’ve been perfecting for ten years? Maybe my time (not to mention my Times) would be more wisely spent elsewhere.

I’ve got nineteen days to get this big boy (way too big) ready to hang. I will  not be an expert by then. But I might be 100 hours closer. (And when I put it THAT way, I am really quite unsure about whether I want the crap candy beaten out of him!)

It seems to just keep getting messier.