Culture

Sorry, But Puzzles Are Trash And A Complete Waste Of Time

There have been a lot of questionable trends to come out of self-isolation. People are obsessed with baking banana bread, making whipped coffee, or learning TikTok dances. These are all… fine. I literally have no opinion on your banana bread. But there’s one iso trend that is actually awful, and I hate to say it but I will: puzzles are bad.

I’m not out to disparage anyone from doing anything that makes them happy during this chaotic time. As long as you’re being safe, there’s no right or wrong way to self-isolate.

But I am absolutely here to judge anyone who chooses to waste their time doing a puzzle.

The thing with jigsaw puzzles is: be art, or be nothing.

Let’s break it down step by step. First: puzzles are not art.

At best, you get a few hours of enjoyment out of a puzzle and then, what? You break it up and pack it away? Solve it again? Leave it on your coffee table and awkwardly sit mugs around it, hoping your cat won’t jump on it and mess it up?

The truth is, you can’t do anything with a finished puzzle. Yes, I’m aware that some people frame theirs and hang them in their house, as if to casually brag that they’re capable of fitting a thousands pieces of cardboard together.

But even then, puzzles just don’t look good hanging on a wall. You’ll always see the lines between the pieces; you’ll never not know that it’s a puzzle instead of a gorgeous art print.

If you want to hang something on your wall, buy some art. Or, even better, make your own art.

Admittedly, there’s something to be said for the simple act of fitting together a mountain of cardboard pieces and watching a picture of a nice beach slowly take shape.

But wouldn’t that picture of a nice beach look better as a framed photograph? Or an oil painting? Or even a lock screen for your phone?

Puzzles are unpaid labour.

You’re spending your free time fixing something that comes intentionally broken, and for no reason.

At least if you make banana bread you get to eat banana bread at the end of it. At least if you learn the Renegade dance you might become TikTok famous. The only thing you get from completing a puzzle is the second chore of putting it away.

Don’t be bamboozled! Puzzles are out to trick you! They’re like the fuckboi who promises he’s “ready for more” right before he ghosts you, and texts you at midnight two months later even though we’re in the middle of a global pandemic.

“It just seems awfully mean. But sometimes, the ends justify the mean.”

There’s a growing trend on TikTok of users messing up other people’s completed puzzles. Usually it happens right after someone’s mum, or girlfriend, or brother puts the final piece into place. Suddenly the person filming will smash it or throw the entire thing against a wall.

It’s absolutely cruel and no one should do it, but I also can’t help but feel that it’s exactly the end that puzzles deserve. Instead of being framed, or put back away, puzzles should be destroyed.

Not out of spite, but because at least they serve some purpose. Better to go out in a blaze of glory than a whimper.

Perhaps my problem with puzzles is that I’m a competitive person, and puzzles are famously very chill.

I asked some friends for their opinions on puzzles and one person said she loved them because “they’re not competitive but everyone can join in”.

Sorry, but that’s bullshit. What’s the point of doing anything unless you can win?

Maybe I hate puzzles because the last time I did one, my friend’s cat ate the last piece and so we could never finish it.

Or maybe, and I think this is the most likely explanation, I hate puzzles because I see through all the bullshit and realise they’re a waste of time, fake art, and the worst trend to come out of self-isolation.

(Lead image: Areaware / Instagram)