Picking up the pieces

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

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For the first time ever, Korean Air’s latest collectors’ edition version of its onboard duty free magazine SkyShop has The Moodie Report puzzled. Well The Moodie Report Publisher anyway…

As regular readers will know, Korean Air Managing Vice President Catering & Inflight Sales Business Division Heather Cho likes to pull off a few surprises with the special covers of her limited-edition magazines.

As reported, the August 2009 cover features a 48-piece jigsaw puzzle, which, when made up, features a bottle of ultra-premium blended Scotch whisky, Johnnie Walker Blue Label.

In an explanatory note to readers, Heather notes: “This puzzle requires the assembly of numerous small and interlocking pieces and also asks the player to be patient to complete the picture.”

But how patient? This writer has never been particularly adept with shapes, but decided to put his skills to test, pitting them against the jigsaw champion of the extended Moodie Report team – Ali Moodie, aged 8.

Man against boy. Surely this would be no contest, I figured. I was right.

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[Picture courtesy of A Moodie]

Amid scenes of sloth-like progress, pathetic adult frustration, cries of “impossibly difficult”, and a constantly imminent tantrum, the senior member of the household completed the task in 11 minutes and 30 seconds, roughly the time it would take to imbibe a large Johnnie Walker Blue Label. On the rocks of course. Just like me.

Ali had the quiet confidence of youth as he stepped up to the plate. All the corner pieces were quickly identified and put in place.

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So were the main letter-orientated pieces (SkyShop, Blue Label etc). After a minute on the clock, he was looking good, worryingly good. After two minutes the game was clearly up.

At four minutes and 38 seconds precisely, with a triumphant slam dunk of the final piece, victory was his, complete with a Usain Bolt-like archer gesture.

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The last time I felt humiliation on this scale was in Hong Kong in 2007 when watching the France-All Blacks Rugby World Cup quarter-final in the company of some unforgivably ecstatic L’Oréal travel retail executives. They’re probably still partying.

Never mind. The jigsaw was fun and did achieve its ultimate purpose. Not only was I a whole lot more aware of Korean Air duty free and Johnnie Walker Blue Label but I actually went and poured myself a consolatory dram while I plotted the return encounter. 

Next time it’s the hammer throw. I’ll have a word with Heather Cho.

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