# Want to know what a trillion of something looks like? Buy Lego

A little Lego has the power to multiply prolifically when you aren't looking

SLOUGH, ENGLAND:

Have you ever looked at the Lego in your life and wished you could tip it all away? If the answer is “You are a monster”, you are a Lego owner. If the answer is “Yes, please direct me to the nearest rubbish dump”, then you are the parent of a Lego owner.

You will, at some point, have picked up an astronomy book, only to read words such as “billion” and “trillion” and thought, “Oh dear, if only I knew what a trillion actually looks like”.

One iron-clad way of discerning the answer to this nagging worry is to invite a little Lego into your life. Once you open your doors to Lego, you will know exactly what a trillion of something looks like, because that is how many Lego pieces will now colonise your home. (Actually, the real answer is that you will now know what infinity looks like, but let us take baby steps here.)

Now, you may say, “What a silly notion. I am a hugely responsible, class-A parent. My child only has two Lego sets that someone bought him/her as a birthday present six years ago, and the box says that it contains only 100 pieces, which is definitely less than a trillion. Or infinity.”

If this is the way you think, then forgive us, but your foolishness and naivete are shocking. Seasoned Lego owners know that two of the identifying properties of Lego (in addition to maiming your big toe in a dark room) are that they:

1. Multiply prolifically

2. Teleport into distant realms of your home where Lego pieces are not found in nature. (e.g. under the TV, behind the washing machine, inside a backpack you have not opened since 2015.)

Fun fact number 1: The majority of these pieces are the size of a proton. Fun fact number 2: These proton-sized pieces come in unhelpful colours, e.g. black or dark grey. Fun fact number 3: If your child has been threatened by a beheading for not playing with a specific Lego in the six years since they got it, s/he will take out a Harry Potter Lego set consisting of at least a gazillion pieces. Crucial to the completion of this project is a proton-sized black piece hiding in an undisclosed location, which no one is ever going to see again. Please prepare to listen to six hours of crying.

We are aware, of course, that yet another thought that may have traipsed along your mind is, “I do not have children, so this example is not only discriminatory, it is also useless and doesn’t apply to me.”

Well, today is your lucky day, because an alternative definition of a trillion is:

1. The number of bobby pins/hair ties/ you have used (or in the case of non-users of these items, seen) in your lifetime to date.

2. The number of teaspoons you have thrown away in the kitchen bin.

And if you are now thinking, “But I am so organised that I would never dream of throwing away anything as important as a teaspoon,” please go away.

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