Life’s a puzzle – By @currantjones

By Tommy Currant


Life’s a puzzle


My work has recently become increasingly jigsaw based. I thought I might as well let that trend spill over into my SCABs. This is the story of life.

For ages 0 —11

You are unaware of the puzzle as a concept. You think the pieces are nice and may occasionally chew one but their purpose is a mystery you have no interest in solving. Life is good.

For ages 11— 18

You have noticed the puzzle and desperately want to complete it. The issue is you can’t see the front of the box and all the pieces are upside. You see older people having more luck completing the puzzle and but they tell you that filling in the pieces isn’t as important as enjoying the process. You struggle to understand this and desperately shove pieces where they don’t belong. Occasionally, by pure chance, you manage to fit two pieces together and, for a short while, you feel magnificent. One of your friends seems to know much more about the puzzle than you and frequently gives you tips on completing it. These likely came from his older brother.

For ages 18 — 30

You have discovered that no one knows what the puzzle is supposed to look like. The lid was lost long ago, if it did indeed ever exist. You’ve started getting a few edge pieces together and are ignoring the fact that the middle bit looks like a confusing mess that will be incredibly difficult to solve. Some of your friends have taken to just shoving pieces together and insisting that it will all work out in the end. It will not.

For ages 30 — 45

Much of the joy of puzzling is gone. Kneeling down to look for pieces under the table is much more painful than it used to be. You now have a small child who you have to constantly watch in case they accidentally swallow a piece they like to chew. Your life partner frequently tells you that you don’t put pieces together the way that you used to and would like to know exactly how the rest of the puzzle is going to come together. You would like to know this too.

For ages 45 — 60

You believe yourself to be an excellent puzzler. You look with pity at those young puzzlers struggling to get pieces together. Large sections of the puzzle are now filled in and your children have even started puzzles of their own. The sections you have filled in so far look rather like you expected them to, but those remaining are hard to decipher. You have decided to ignore these future sections in the hope that you will deal with them when you get to them.

For ages 60 — 75

The puzzle is much like it ever was but you have much more free time to put it together and people treat you like you need extra help puzzling. You find this irritating because you have been puzzling for much longer than them. The puzzles being done nowadays don’t seem to look anything like the ones you remember. You suspect this is a bad thing but worry that’s what your parents used to say. You spend much more time puzzling alone than you used to.

For ages 75 and up

You’ve stopped adding as many pieces to the puzzle and spend more time enjoying what you’ve made so far. If you are smart, you have realised that the puzzle can’t be finished and that what you were told as a child is true: it’s more about making the puzzle than the puzzle itself. 

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