I used to work for a construction startup. That’s a saga unto itself, but this item hails from the early days when we were building our showroom.

The man hired to do the carpentry was a Dominican man named Réal. He spoke only French and Spanish so coordinating the build was a comical affair. Réal and I didn’t talk much, but one morning during his coffee break, he wordlessly handed me this object and smiled in the way a grandfather might as he hands a kid a Werthers. (N.B. I was over twenty-six years old when this happened.)

Though it was missing a leg and was clearly something he found kicking around the site, it assumed a permanent place on my desk below my computer’s monitor.

A few years later our project manager (a Briton named Nigel) saw this toy, squealed with delight and revealed its origins to me. I was ignorant of the fact that this is an evil mech from the movie The Incredibles. But of course you knew that.

All that time I assumed it was something Japanese and lecherous.

It’s now missing two legs.