The Place to Which the Good Ship Lollipop Goes

Athena had a school assignment in which she had to make a project with exactly 100 pieces to it, and this is what she came up with: A candy island. The land is colored marshmallow, the trunk of the palm tree Rollos and the palm leafs sectioned candy fruit wedges. All on a shoebox ocean. I thought it was pretty clever, myself, especially the part about using Rollos for the trunk. My only concern is that one of her classmates might eat it before the teacher sees it. These are the risks you take in the rough-and-tumble world of second grade school projects.

23 Comments on “The Place to Which the Good Ship Lollipop Goes”

  1. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, father of pangolins

    That’s cool. Really nice design. Paays to stay home with Daddy when you’re sick.

    My kid, yeah, she brings home projects: she’s doing algebra now and she’s 8. Scares the crap out of me as I have no math skills and when the time comes and she’s doing trig in fourth grade, I’m el-screwed.

  2. That’s pretty neat. Of course, that island wouldn’t last long if I were stranded on it. I would literally eat myself out of house and home.

  3. Jim C. Hines – Fantasy author of 50+ published short stories as well as the Magic ex Libris series, the Princess series of fairy tale retellings, the humorous Goblin Quest trilogy, and the Fable Legends tie-in Blood of Heroes. Active blogger. Winner of the 2012 Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer. Lives in mid-Michigan with his family. More at www.jimchines.com
    Jim C. Hines

    The palm tree is particularly awesome.

    I assume this is a 100-day project? I don’t remember 100-day from when I was in school … of course, with my memory, that doesn’t mean much.

  4. stainlesssteeldroppingsonceuponatime – Founder and Proprietor of Stainless Steel Droppings: www.stainlesssteeldroppings.com
    Carl V.

    Very creative! Bravo to her. It would be tempting to eat that tree!

  5. Jim C. Hines | January 30, 2007 01:26 PM

    The palm tree is particularly awesome.

    I assume this is a 100-day project? I don’t remember 100-day from when I was in school … of course, with my memory, that doesn’t mean much.

    John Scalzi | January 30, 2007 01:34 PM

    Yes, I think this is a 100-day project.

    Pardon?

    Are you guys making a political joke? It doesn’t seem like it would take 100 days to do that. (Not that it’s not fabulous). Can you explain the 100 day project to a Canuck?

  6. Many elementary and middle school classes have some sort of celebration for the hundredth day of school– it feels suitably long but isn’t, it happens during the grey nasty months, and for the younger kids, a hundred is an accomplishment, so a hundred paperclips seems huge. I don’t remember any 100-day parties specifically, but we did have a party in fourth grade where we all dressed up like millionaires because we had just gotten to that size of numbers in math (I think we were doing multiplication and division. I don’t remember, though).

  7. You are lucky that you are not in California. The bane of every grade school kid is the California mission where a replica is to be constructed using any available material. An underground economy has sprung catering to this monumental school project which in most cases end up in disaster. I think it is one reason why California school children end up becoming atheist after the traumatic experience of trying to build one.

  8. Man, Florida must as out of the loop as Canada. I too had no idea what 100-day was until i read the comments here. I wish I could have made candy islands for school.

  9. This is a very clever and creative project.

    I had forgotten about 100 days — and about California’s mission model thing. I believe I made my mission out of graham crackers and frosting, because I had always wanted to make a gingerbread-style house for Christmas and never gotten to before :)

  10. I was born and raised in Indiana and don’t recall anything like a 100-Day Project either. Perhaps this means I’m getting old…

    Cute island. Love that palm tree. :)

  11. Very cool island. She should call my teenaged daughter who received for Christmas a battery operated twirling marshmallow fork.

    We have fond memories of the Minnesota Voyageurs project for which my daughter and husband together made miniature birch bark canoes.

  12. That’s a totally adorable island. Since marshmallows are bouyant, I can just see the whole thing bobbing merrily on the sea. Until the first shipwrecked sailor arrives and eats the whole thing.

    Don’t let Athena see The Battle of Helm’s Deep done in candy. She might be (shudder) inspired.

  13. Oh, 100-day projects… Ours wasn’t nearly as fun, elaborate, or delicious as Athena’s, unfortunately. I remember in sixth grade we each decorated and pinned up a piece of paper with a number on it (up to 100) and counted down until the end of school by pulling one down each day. Some of the art was pretty good.

  14. I want a candy island. And a candy ocean (blue Hawaiian punch). With candy fish (Swedish fish!) And a candy sky (cotton candy clouds). And a candy Earth (brownies). And a candy ass.

  15. Ron: The way I understand it is that on the 100th day of school, kids do projects involving the number 100. Like counting up to 100, bringing in 100 of something, Athena’s project, etc.

    It’s very cute. Something tells me she’s going into food styling.

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