The beginnings of Lego City are as mysterious as they are trivial, and as mythical as they are stupid. I was there, at the beginning of things, and I am quite certain I shall be there at the end, quite certain indeed, but despite concentrating all of my mental faculties and straining them to the breaking point, I cannot recall it’s founder, nor even when it’s first brick was laid.
Some say the great builder Osferth the Selfish built the first structure, a low ceilinged bunker, resplendent in its multicolored bricks of glimmering plastic, and that it was he who first discovered the mysterious orbs that the settlers later used as a currency. I tend to agree with this opinion. Osferth’s mother works as a secretary at the school where we have camp, and he was always in the room early. He would have had ample opportunity to begin the initial construction, an the drive and willpower to do it.
Others say that Martin the cruel, upon discovering the mysterious orbs, was the creator, and that he used a vast slave army to build the metropolis that he later ruled with an iron first. It is true, I admit, that Martin was and is Lego City’s chief supporter, and that he was among its first citizens, but Martin lacks the creativity and intelligence to begin such a great project, though he does posses the tyrannical disposition to see it through to the bitter end, regardless of the cost. It is therefore unlikely that he started lego city, but he did end up ruling it as Lego Cities Dictator and Grand Generalissimo.
Perhaps it was his south American heritage that gave him the propensity toward totalitarian rule,or perhaps he was simply dropped as a baby. Perhaps he regretted his decisions when the bombs began to fall, and the once gleaming towers of the business district were reduced to so many brightly colored bricks, and his empire crumbled around him, but I doubt it. Repentance is a mysterious, unknown concept to Martin, one which he treats with a sort of bemused curiosity, like one would a dancing squirrel.
Still others believe that the city was constructed by the old ones, in the ancient times before camp had begun, and that all of the lego leaders of the modern era “were merely pretenders, desperately clinging to the past and monolithic structures they could not understand. I do not give much credit to this theory, either. I was there at the beginning of camp. It was Schultz and I who cleaned the room, and put up the decorations, and I do not remember anything being on the fabled Lego table, other than barely perceptible memories of Lego Cities past, like faded ruts in an old dirt rode.
Regardless of its creator, Lego City quickly took the group of second grade boys into it’s room temperature, polymer embrace. Houses, offices and stores began popping up at an alarming rate, like weeds in a neglected garden, or perhaps like overused memes on Facebook.
But things were growing too quickly. Far too quickly. Being second graders, the boys had no concept of economics or conservation, and were unaware that the capitalist society they were nourishing into adulthood required a constant influx of new materials to survive. Growth, it is said, was it’s beating heart, and growth, it is said, would be its doom, but for now, the boys merely built, blissfully unaware of the deadly quagmire into which they walked.
“This will last forever!” Martin cheerfully told Timmy as he added yet another brick to his mansion.
“Yeah!” Timmy slobbered, “We’ll never stop!”
Interestingly, the economy and culture of lego city evolved at an accelerated rate than regular societies. In the early days, Lego city was a lawless frontier, where a ship got you a job, and a gun helped you keep it.
Bank robbing was the citizens main source of income, but there was a sharp falloff in profit when everyone realized that A: Banks weren’t a safe place to keep their mystical orb money anymore and B: they were doing nothing but stealing their own money. Everyone began to build lego safe rooms in their lego houses that had lego drawers that were perfect for holding their lego money. The lego economy then evolved to simply hoarding as much money as possible and not letting anyone else take it.
Things were coming to a head, and it was around this time that the first lego governments began to form. Martin was unanimously elected by himself to be lego president and mayor of Lego City, due to his being the only surviving “founder” of lego city since Osferth left camp for a family vacation, and his constant and unstoppable bullying.
With Martin’s ascendancy to the presidency of Lego City, things took a turn for the worst. His first act was to take most of everyone’s money, which angered all of the other campers. I never found out what his reasons for stealing the orbs were, but I can only assume it went to feed a bloated lego military budget and lego social programs, which he plundered at whim. This happened during the second week of camp, and schultz and I had noticed a subtle shift in the group dynamics. Kids seemed angrier than normal, as if some unseen force was slowly draining all their happiness. By the end of the week, kids were fighting all of the time, arguing with one another and even punching and kicking occasionally.
“Charles!” Timmy complained, running up to me and tugging on my athletic shorts, nearly pulling them off. “Martin’s stealing all of our money!”
“It’s not money! And Stop pulling!” I growled, slapping his hand away. “It’s just little plastic orbs. They aren’t worth anything.”
“They are too!”
“Because we said they are!”
“Do you even buy anything with them?”
“So why does it matter?” Timmy paused, staring up into the ceiling, lost in thought. I can only assume that he was formulating various arguments. He finally decided, after around 4 minutes, in which I just stood there, glaring at him, to go with
“But Martin stole my…”
“It’s not real! None of it is! These orbs are worthless! You here me? They have no intrinsic value! Your getting upset over nothing!” Timmy stared at me again, slowly cocking his head to the right, looking at me as if I were some sort of madman. He took a few hesitant steps backwards, not looking away, and then ran back to the group. I’m not sure if anything was ever reconciled with Martin, but I had a good shout at Martin to share and be nice, and the mere illusion of punishment might have been enough to calm the kids down.
It was at the beginning of week three that the true disaster struck. The Lego mine beneath the table ran dry, and the growth came to a screeching halt. Their lego economy had been built assuming that there would always be an unending stream of legos, and worse still, that they would never have to recycle any from the already built buildings, despite the fact that many of them were not being used. The citizens turned to Martin to lead them through this crisis, and he initially sought help from a higher power, me.
“Um, Charles,” he said in his latin accent, “we’re out of legos.”
“Too bad.” I said. Legos were none of my concern. Trust me, I checked my contract.
Martin then decided to try and redistribute the legos, but it was too late. The other citizens had been displeased with him since his ascendency, and that displeasure turned to dislike when he stole from them, and that dislike turned to outright hatred when he failed to solve the lego crisis and tried to steal even more of their legos. Things were looking very bleak for Martin, very bleak indeed, and so he did what all desperate leaders do when there is no clear solution. He declared war. On Lego China.
Now, let me make it clear that there is no Lego China. Well, at least not in our club house. I assume that Lego has a Chinese branch, and I’m sure there is a Chinese themed set of legos, but as far as Lego City was concerned, they were at war with, well, nothing.
I’m not sure what Martin hoped to accomplish. I suppose he was hoping that he could distract the other campers from the present economic crisis by giving them a “real” enemy to fight. He immediately set in motion a draft of all of the legos campers had at home, in order to build warships, x-wings and light sabers, the staple of any modern army. Supplies, however, were few and far between, thanks largely to the campers’ parents’ blockade of all lego goods leaving their houses. Tempers began to rise, and Martin was once again in need of some outside help. Fortunately for him, Schultz, my co-counselor, had a hatred for Lego City as irrational as it was voluminous.
He had been secretly stealing legos from the campers for days, and had thrown his lot in with the fictitious Lego Chinese and constructed a gargantuan nuclear lego bomb. Schultz warned the campers that the Lego Chinese were none to pleased that the citizens of Lego City had declared war on them, and had prepared a preemptive and unstoppable nuclear attack. He warned that they had one day to evacuate Lego City, before it was burned to the ground.
The reactions were mixed. Some prudent campers, like Chris, Martins cousin and second in command, built lego caravans to carry their vast lego goods out of town. Others were more doubtful that any attack would be forthcoming.
“He can’t blow up our city.” Timmy slurred to Roger, another evacuating camper. “He just can’t! Counselors can’t drop nuclear bombs, right?” Roger shrugged, and strapped another lego bundle to the roof of his lego car.
“Of course not!” Said Martin, standing tall in front of their magnificent city. “I urge all of my Lego Brothers to stay. We are a safe, thriving community! The idea that some “lego Chinese lego nuclear lego bomb” can destroy our mighty lego city is simply preposterous.”
Only about a quarter of the campers evacuated that day. They were they lucky ones. Around 9:07 A.M the following morning, an unusual object was reported to be flying at an alarming rate towards Lego City. The authorities attempted to explain it away by claiming it was nothing but a rogue lego weather balloon, but as the object grew neared, it became clear to all watching that it was not balloon shaped at all but was, in fact, a gigantic cube.
The cube came into a holding pattern over lego city at 9:08. Martin assured everyone that it was nothing to be afraid of, but then the bay doors opened, and Schultz’s cube began to rain unholy lego nuclear fire down upon the decrepit Lego City.
It was a massacre. The populous had been taken completely unaware, and were therefore unable to defend themselves from the lego onslaught. Whole skyscrapers were smashed to their foundations with but one mighty swoop of Schultz’s right hand, while the left smashed houses to bits in seconds. A mere minute later, Lego city was completely gone, wiped off the face of the lego table, and all the blocks had been relocated to the cavernous drawer beneath.
The first democratic and fair lego elections were held soon thereafter, and George, the nicest and most level headed of all the campers, was elected to be the new president. The office of mayor was done away with, and George’s first act in office was try Martin for treason and criminal negligence. He lost, and it was decided that he should face the wrath of the lego firing squad. Martin protested, of course he did, but his pleas were silenced by the the supreme court judge, Schultz.
A short time later, as he faced the lego firing squad of his former friends and subjects, generalissimo Martin was to remember that distant afternoon when he and his friends at camp built a city out of nothing but legos.