back when rubik's cubes were the cool new toy

I've learned to hate these things from childhood because they they made me feel stupid. I have never had the patience to solve one.

Then as an adult, after learning to convince myself that i am after all a genius, I met a kid who could solve one of these in nine seconds. I concluded he must either be autistic or influenced by aliens.

I heard that current the world record-holder can do it in less than three. I'm willing to bet he's socially challenged.

Although they are now mostly associated with nerds and geeks, Rubik's Cubes used to be a fad trinket of sorts. They were, for a time, ubiquitous, and came in many different incarnations - the classic cube with bright-colored squares, the pastel variation, the kind with icons instead of colors, a tiny 2-inch cube with a keychain attached. In our household alone (I mean my childhood one) we had one each of all those.

We even had this freakishly difficult kind that had irregular quadrilaterals instead of squares, which was supposed to form into a perfect cube. My mom bought it in 'the States sometime '87 or '88, saying it was the cool new version from that Rubik guy. It never caught on; I guess it was just too impossible.

Each Rubik's cube poked fun at me, reminded me that I was not the genius in the family. So I scratched their stickered surfaces out to rearrange the squares in the proper order to show them who's boss.

(So somewhere around the house we had cubes whose facets had dog-ears and little bite-marks. And elsewhere was a regular bright-squared kind that was taken apart "for study").

Fairly recently I was reunited with my childhood taunter, the classic Rubik's cube, through the talented kid who could do it in nine seconds. The Hubby was entranced with the childhood memories the cube brought, so he borrowed it for a while, showing me how easy it was to solve one. I thought I should take a crack at it, telling myself that I am much older and more intelligent now, these things should be a piece of cake. Boy, was i wrong.

I am now convinced that I must be a genius of the artistic, non-geometric inclination, i.e., not the kind that is skilled at geometric puzzles but the kind that can do a whole lot of other things. Yeah, I'm fine with that.

And Rubik's cubes shall evermore be banished from and disallowed within our home.
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