RICHARD ORD: Winners and losers in great jigsaw lockdown challenge

After hours of ceaseless toil, The German and I completed a particularly difficult jigsaw. Please, there’s no need to applaud.

Never underestimate the relationship testing powers of the humble jigsaw.
Never underestimate the relationship testing powers of the humble jigsaw.

It wasn’t easy and I’m not afraid to admit there were some tense, relationship-testing moments:

She’s a ‘corners and straight edges first’ kinda girl; I’m a ‘sort into colour and shade piles first’ fella.

While she is a perfectionist when it comes to locating and placing the correct piece, I’m firmly in the ‘that’s near enough (you just need to bash it into the space)’ school of jigsaw assembly.

A match made in heaven you may say. Yin and yang, the philosophy of how seemingly opposite and contrary forces can operate in harmony.

Thing is, Team Yang wanted to win.

How can you win at doing a jigsaw? I hear you ask. Well, that means you're firmly in the Team Yin camp. We at Team Yang don’t understand the point of doing a jigsaw if there’s no winner.

The German asked me the same question. “How can you win?” she said.

“Well,” I said, “The person who places the final piece to complete the jigsaw is the winner.”

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She thought about it, the disdain etched on her face. “But what if the other person has done all the hard work putting together the majority of the jigsaw and all the other person does is find the last bit? That’s not fair.”

I explained in as much detail as I could: “Dem’s da breaks,” I told her.

“Well in that case,” she said. “I could just slip a piece into my pocket, let you do all the work, and then come in at the end to place the ‘winning’ last piece.”

“What kind of person would do that?” I said, slowly taking the piece of jigsaw I’d placed under my chair on opening the box and discreetly placing it back into my dark brown pile, adding: “You have a devious mind sometimes.”

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Who’d have thought doing a jigsaw could be so much fun. And it is, for about 12 minutes.

After you’ve got the edges sorted, and connected all the interesting detailed parts of the picture, you’re left with the onerous task of completing the huge swathes of featureless background.

Jigsaws are like lockdown. All very new, interesting, daunting and challenging in the beginning, only to end up an interminable groundhog day of going through the motions.

Still. Wasn’t a complete waste of time. Having completed the jigsaw, The German and I can now sit back and admire our handiwork which tells the world that we are both winners. After hours of ceaseless toil, we hands down win the title of North East’s most boring couple.