As promised, I have plenty of other tales to relate of my strained relationship with “As Seen on TV” products… but Dear Sweet Mama reminded me of my very first foray into the world of retail lies… the 100 Little Dolls.
Imagine, if you will, Little Hoody (maybe 10 or so?), sitting in her room, reading her comic books. Now, back in the day, the very back page of comic books was always a veritable cornucopia of crap you could get through the mail: X-ray Specs, Postage Stamps of the World, Cigar Loads, etc… and one day, 100 Little Dolls.
100… Little… Dolls…
“Can I have $14.95 for 100 Little Dolls?”
And so, despite DSM’s desperate attempts to convince me that “you get what you pay for,” and “if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is,” I diligently filled out the little card and sent in $14.95 (plus shipping and handling) of my hard-earned allowance money (and remember, this is back in the days when your allowance MIGHT get as high as $5 a week if you were especially useful and good) and sat down to await the arrival of my 100 Little Dolls.
Six to Eight Weeks Later…
A tiny box arrives on the porch, addressed to me. It’s about the size of the box you would use to wrap a coffee mug as a present, so I’m perplexed. What could it possibly be? I haven’t ordered anything except my 100 Little Dolls, and the box is FAR too small to contain them!
My $15 worth of 100 Little Dolls was, in fact, 100 little plastic figures (like little green army men, but not as high-quality). They were dressed in what I assume were meant to be “costumes of all nations,” but you couldn’t really tell, because they were all unpainted Dollar-Store-Barbie-doll pink. AND while there were indeed 100, some of them were DOUBLES! I’d been TRICKED!
That’s when DSM imparted to me the great P.T. Barnum’s theory regarding suckers and the rate at which they are born, and a family legend began. Now, whenever one of us is considering an unwise purchase, all the other has to say is… “One HUN-dred Little Dolls…” and order is restored.
Still pissed about those dolls, though.
UPDATE: There have been some additions to the Royal Court! See, kids, dreams CAN come true!