Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

"Your toys are fun to touch. Mine are all sticky." - Ralphie, The Simpsons


Pugsley, looking happy. It’s nice to be two, warm, and surrounded by bubbles in the bath. Me? I never give him the bubbles, that’s a The Mrs. touch. Plus, no boo-boo kissing without blood being present.

I felt a little inspired, since the mood struck tonight after drinking beer and moping incessantly about my lost youth and hair listening to a Chia® Pet™ commercial and decided to do something a bit different. I realize that in the last post, I talked about some of the Christmas gifts I never got, but yet yearned for. Here I’ll wax a bit on the ones that I got that, despite the incredible commercials, really, really, sucked. Enjoy!

Radio Shack™ Space Patrol® Walkie-Talkies - Okay, in the commercial, the kids that had these things looked like they were having a ball, maybe infiltrating a Soviet© command center to steal Steve Austin’s Bionic® pancreas back. Me? No younger brother, my older brother was driving, and there were no other kids growing up within fifteen miles of me. I got the walkie-talkies. And who could I talk to? My buddy Rock while we pulled the flight data recorder from the Soviet MiG that we shot down with slingshots and BB guns? No. I could tape the transmit key down, hide one of them and spy on my parents while they talked about how damn old Reagan was (apparently, very). As long as I wasn’t more than ten feet away.

That puzzle with the plastic sticks and the plastic orb - Hate to tell you, I enjoyed that. I enjoyed watching it burn in the fireplace one night. The box was okay – it held the toys I liked for Christmas pretty well.

Clothing - Okay, I know that I like that stuff now, but back when I was in third grade it was very, very cruel to put those overalls into that big box. I’m thinking that the socks were just adding insult to injury. Doesn’t that pretty much mirror the feelings of children, well, everywhere?

Stretch Armstrong© - Stretch Armstrong® was a toy about a guy that apparently had the superpower of being very stretchy. Which might have been good if he were a Romanian gymnast or a stripper, but in the context of a toy was lame. About the best thing that Stretch ever did was kill G.I. Joe™ in a fight over who got to drive the G.I. Joe© SuperAdventurePatrol®. As I grew up in a place that constantly got to -40°F, I did finally discover the only really cool thing about Stretch Armstrong™, in that if he got to about -20°F or so, the liquidy stuff that made up his insides froze solid, whereupon you could hit him with a hammer and crush the stuff, making a nice, meaty thump. Eventually the stretchable skin breaks on the shards of the frozen, liquidy stuff, and you find out that Stretch is filled with a purple goo. That was neat. He had a wonderful death scene.

Star Wars® Figures - Tiny. Not as cool as G.I. Joe®. The worst part? My parents refused to buy me the six thousand Stormtroopers® (retail value: $48,000) that I said I’d need to correctly recreate some of the totally cool movie scenes. Stupid parents.

Any Toy That Includes Out-Of-Scale-Elements - Okay, this is a general category, but a pet peeve. The Boy recently got a set of toys that included a Saturn V rocket, some astronauts, and the space shuttle. The only way any of the astronauts could have ridden either the Saturn V or the shuttle into space was by hooking their bulky, diaper-covered butts on the outside and ridden them like horses into space. The Boy (properly) scoffed at these, though The Mrs. didn’t quite seem to get it. Carry on, The Boy, I’m scoffing too.

The four-foot-square fuzzy carpet checker board - Mom, Dad . . . really? Checkers the size of dessert plates? What were you thinking, that I was going to play checkers with a race of giant troll overlords that were coming to invade?

Okay, that was about ten years worth of therapy right there. I’ll omit the time I had to negotiate for my sixth birthday present, and then cough up for shipping. Mostly, though, Christmas was a magical and wonderful time. The food was good, too.
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad you were playing with Strech Armstong on the warm days. We would have died without your gathering of firewood on the cold days.

Thanks for the fond memories of Christmas past.

10:12 PM  
Blogger Jeffro said...

Heh! My army men were far too large to ride in their tanks - they must have had midget soldiers to run those.

I'd say my favorite toy was an electric HO slot car set - it was a blast.

9:28 PM  
Blogger John said...

Christmas was generally good, except for the Christmas that the circus clowns invaded my house. Bad scene, that.

Yeah, I would pretend it was a one-man tank before dousing it with lighter fluid.

6:09 PM  

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