The instructions clearly stated, “Quick & Easy Assembly.”
Clearly, they were insane.
I upended the bag and no fewer than 63 pieces fell onto the table.
For a kite. You’d think I was building the space shuttle.
Two hours and three paper cuts later, we were in business. Standing in our large yard, with no power lines and the only trees edging the lawn in back.
I lifted the kite into the sky where it caught a gust of wind and immediately soared.
I yelled to my 4-year-old son, “RUN!” and off he went. The kite trailing behind, following him with each turn. Until....
I warned, “Don’t fly so close to the ---.” Too late. “Trees.”
I looked at the brightly colored kite swinging from a branch 30 feet in the air. Then a large gust of wind caught the kite and tossed it downward where it snagged on a lower branch. “Keep it coming, baby,” I whispered with hope. “Keep it coming.”
I told my son to hang onto the string handle and give it some slack, allowing the wind to blow the kite further down. It came to rest on a limb about 10 feet above my head.
I told my son to stand watch and, “Whatever happens, do NOT let go of the string. Got it?”
I strode to the garage and grabbed the sides of the extension ladder, heaving it upward and over so I could carry it out.
That thing is a LOT heavier than it looks and, uh, did that crack used to be in the garage floor?
I leaned over and tried to wrestle the ladder back to a standing position, promptly blew out my shoulder and dropped it on my foot.
HOLY MOTHER OF GOD!
No friggin’ way was I hauling that torture devise across the yard. On to Plan B.
I returned to the yard and saw the kite had dropped even further down the tree.
I jumped, took a swipe and discovered it was only a mere inch from my reach.
“Curse you, gods! You will rue the day - RUE THE DAY - you made me only 5 feet, 4 (and three-quarters) inches tall!”
With one final Herculean effort, I jumped high enough to snag the kite from the tree. I hollered in triumph and waved my prize in the air.
Only to watch my son let go of the string and it shoot to the top of the tree where it was looped over a branch.
Damn physics. OK. Plan C.
“You hold the kite while I run inside and grab some scissors,” I instructed to - well - the dog. Because my son had gotten bored and was gone.
I looked around and noticed a small chunk of tree limb on the ground. I put down the kite, used the limb to anchor it in place and ran into the house.
I was gone for only 8.2 seconds. I know. Because I timed it.
I ran back to see the kite flying off over the fence and into the neighbor’s yard.
“What the hell?!”
Then I noticed the dog halfway across the yard. With the anchoring limb in her mouth.
Insert swear word here.
I retrieved the kite from the neighbor’s yard, cut the string, threw said kite into a crumbled heap and lit it on fire.
Now to get the string outta the tree. I pulled on the loose end, trying to pull down the handle as close to me as possible. It eventually snagged about 6 feet above me.
Two minutes later I was swinging a heavy garden rake above my head, trying to reel in the errant handle.
And, yes, it’s as stupid - and dangerous - as it sounds. Especially when I realized I needed a few extra inches of height and grabbed a leftover landscaping brick and stood atop it.
OK...I stacked three of them THEN proceeded to wave said heavy rake over my head thinking it’d been a while since I’d been to the E.R.
With no small amount of luck, I actually caught the darn thing and pulled down, reeling in the string and vowing the next time my kid wants to fly a kite, he can ask his dad.
But he’ll need a new kite first ‘cuz this one is toast.