Monday, May 24 2021

ultimate red titan, rainbow pizza, and plastic cups

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everybody. Happy Monday. If you're not feeling the work week magic yet, don't worry - neither am I. It can just be our little secret. Why don't we just keep drinking coffee until we're ready to face the world, and if we're still not there an hour from now we can always just have a "zoom camera off" kind of day.

Sip. This weekend was so brief. I miss it already. I want to go back to the long nap I took yesterday afternoon. I stretched out across the couch and queued up a twenty hour long YouTube video that was just ocean sounds over a video loop of a beach. I want to go back to Saturday, when I had the whole morning to spend by myself with a big cup of coffee and a fun gratifying side project. I want to go back to when I first met URT.

What's that? Oh, you haven't gotten a chance to meet URT yet? That's understandable. After all, Rodney invented him only yesterday. Rodney came out of his quiet time beaming with pride, presenting me a large boxy robot he built. The robot was a variation of his favorite themes - large frame, feeble little legs, a dedicated shooter hand for dealing with bad guys, and a tiny insect-like mouth. But this one had a wicked pair of raid horns protruding out of his head too.


"What's this guy's name?" I asked, secretly hoping Rodney wouldn't say the devil.

"THIS is ULTIMATE. RED. TITAN, " said Rodney. He used the robot's hand - the non-gun hand - to give me a wave.

I didn't catch most of the backstory to Ultimate Red Titan. There were too many Rodney fillers in his story. But based on some clues we learned that it was something out of the ever-expanding Ryan's World toy universe. Rodney's robot was based on a real robot from the cartoon named Ultimate Red Titan.


"It's nice to meet you, U.R.T.," I said. Rodney shook his head. "No," He replied. "It's ULTIMATE. RED. TITAN."

Marissa, standing behind us, uttered the word urt to herself.

Even though it peeved Rodney, I called the little robot U.R.T. the rest of the day. But we made it up to him by treating him like one of our own. Ultimate Red Titan got a seat at our lunch table.


I even got suckered into tucking URT into bed for the night. A whole hour after Rodney was in bed, I heard him whimper through his cracked door. "Dada, can you get Ultimate Red Titan for me?" He asked.

"No problem dude," I said. The next moment, I was gingerly walking URT up the stairs, tapping each step with one of his feeble little legs.

"Where's he going to sleep?" asked Rodney.

"He... can sleep in the k'nex bin," I said. I kicked the bin closer to the bookshelf. "He's made of k'nex, he'll probably like that." I surprised myself at how quickly I fulfilled the role of expert in k'nex robot culture.

"Can you get a blanket?" asked Rodney.

"No, he doesn't need a blanket," I replied.

Rodney protested. "But he's going to get cold."

After a long sigh, I crossed Rodney's dark room and retrieved his extra blanket from the bottom drawer. I unfurled the blanket, tucking it around URT's boxy shoulders, his claw and his gun hand, and between his feeble little legs. "Don't forget piggies," reminded Rodney.


Thankfully there was a lot more to this weekend to adopting a k'nex robot. We had a rainbow pizza too. In Rodney's new issue of Highlights, there was a nice story about a family eating a different color food every week, and it all culminated to a final rainbow colored feast on Saturday. The story had a suggested recipe for making a rainbow colored pizza - cherry tomatoes, banana peppers, kalamata olives, etc.

We tried our own version of a rainbow pizza. And even though it may have undermined the whole point of eating foods with colors, I just used mostly bell peppers. You can hit almost half the rainbow with bell peppers alone.


It would have been even better if I remembered that orange peppers were a thing too. But than there wouldn't be as much room for Marissa's red onions.

Just in case the rainbow pizza was a flop, we had a standby cheese ready to go. But the rainbow pizza wasn't a flop. It was delicious.


After dinner we played a game of Jenga. We bet jelly beans and bedtime extensions on who would make the tower fall over.


Yesterday was also a big day for the worms. We selected the five fattest ones we could find and moved them into plastic cups.


Mysteriously, the big worms are the hardest to find. In fact, after we had selected the five brave worms to be secluded into plastic cups with no food or water until they pupate, the other worms immediately emerged to the surface to mock them.

The fattest worm stood on top the fresh slice of carrot, flaunting his luck. None of the worms have names yet, but this particular fatso, for his utter lack of class, has earned the name chump. Chump of the week.

Listen, chump. You act all tough now for being able to hide from me and Rodney, but that was kind of a dumb decision on your part. The five we picked are going to turn into beetles. They'll be moved to a luxury suite where they'll enjoy a cushy lifestyle of eating fresh vegetables and breeding. You think you're so clever now, but you've just doubled your chances of turning into spider food.

Let this be a lesson. When the snake-feeding tongs of opportunity begin to rifle through your life, don't run from them. They're just trying to help.

Thanks for stopping by, everyone. Have a great day.