The first wave of stimulus checks from the federal government’s coronavirus relief package have started to appear in some Americans' bank accounts and, unsurprisingly, a not-insignificant percentage of that money has already been spent on groceries, gas, utility bills and video games, because eventually Tom Nook comes for all of us.
But if you happen to have an extra $599.95 that you aren't blowing on black market sourdough starter, then Kodak would like you to buy its 51,300 piece jigsaw puzzle. The company says that this is the "world's largest commercially available puzzle," and it will arrive at your doorstep in one 40-pound box that contains 27 individually wrapped bags of anxiety.
"Featuring wonderful, colorful photographs of twenty seven Wonders from around the World, these pictures were taken by professional photographers and then printed using high-performance printing presses," Kodak says of its beautifully packaged reminder that we're all just fragile collections of broken pieces.
This anxiety-inducing product is, in fact, twenty-seven separate 1,900 piece puzzles, which are all photographs of international wonders—The Colosseum! Machu Picchu! The Danish Houses from Instagram!—that none of us can actually visit right now.
Ultimately, the smaller puzzles are supposed to be connected to form the World's Largest Puzzle, assuming that you have a large enough living space, an empty garage, or access to a vacant department store where you can assemble a puzzle that is six feet wide and 28 feet long. "We recommend a floor or table no less than 29 ft wide x 6 ft tall," Kodak helpfully recommends, perhaps failing to understand that 29 feet is twice the height of a highway billboard, that it's the width of the average Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade float, or roughly the length of a six-person human centipede.
"But how long will it take to put this thing together?" you might be asking yourself. "Will it distract me from constantly worrying about societal instability or the effect that this pandemic may have on our national consciousness?" No, of course it won't! But in addition to enduring the crushing weight of fear, you can also spend the next several months trying to decide whether that brilliant blue piece is Brazilian sky or a Santorini rooftop before saying 'Fuck it' and shoving it somewhere in the middle of Barcelona.
One Amazon reviewer wrote that each 1,900 piece section could take between three to five days to complete, and between four and six months to finish the entire puzzle. A second reviewer wrote that he'd finished it in just under five months. But a particularly adept jigsaw assembler known as Andre F. spent 11 months putting a slightly smaller 42,000-piece puzzle together, one that measured 24.6 feet x 5.2 feet. (Andre said that it took two months to separate all the pieces, and another nine to get them all in the right places.)
"What a sense of accomplishment you’ll have knowing that you’ve completed one of the World’s Largest Puzzles for sale," Kodak gushes. Yes, six months from now, you'll have a sense of accomplishment and 168 square feet of jigsaw puzzle to… store somewhere? To live under? To eat? The rest of us will owe Tom Nook one billion bells by then.