When I was little, it seemed like every household except mine had that game. I loved it though [who didn't?].
I remember seeing a friend with the game in college, and attempting to pick out the plastic pieces for the first time in over 10 years. Even sober, it was hard, and after about 12 or so attempts, we'd finally give up on the wishbone piece, letting the game buzz while we just tried to dig it out.
Operation was the closest I'd gotten to any kind of "surgery" up until about a few days ago. I loved biology in high school but the sight of blood and scalpels always made me queasy. Besides, I can't do math, don't understand physics, and chemistry gives me a headache.
But give me a wounded garment, thread, seam ripper, and a needle, and I will dig right in. JT at CB gave me that exact opportunity with the snapped brim of his Laek House cycling cap. Given his great compliments on his own pedal strike "Boston" hat, I couldn't say no to his request to get it fixed. Besides, cycling caps always have some kind of sentimental value...not to mention how cool that ELVS stuff is.
So I got to ripping seams. Aggressively but carefully, taking care to remember how it was assembled so I could stitch it all back together once I was done. As soon as I got 90% of the brim free and tore it open, shattered pieces of plastic poured out, cracking even further as I undid the last few stitches holding the plastic in place.
The pieces were swept into the trash can before the hat was washed once for good measure. A solid piece of interfacing was measured out to match the shape of the brim, then fused into place. The layers of fabric were then pinned back together the way they came. The sweatband inside was re-aligned and then the whole thing went under the needle of my machine.
It came out looking like new, the brim clean and whole. And minus the whole washing and drying, the entire operation look about an hour, total. That's probably less time than a game of Operation, and the plastic pieces weren't so hard to dig out.
Don't worry, I'm not entertaining any ideas of entering the medical profession. Blood still makes me a little sick, and my hand-to-eye coordination is terrible. I'll be sticking to dissecting inanimate objects, for now.