We Interrupt This Important Message

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…

“MAMA!!!!”

“What?”

“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!

It did.

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!

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30 Comments

Filed under Adventures with Dear Sweet Mama, I'm Confused, My Secret Shame(s), The Royal Court, WTF???, Youse Guys

30 responses to “We Interrupt This Important Message

  1. Pictures please! We need pictures!

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  2. You don’t think I still HAVE those ridiculous things??? Well, not since a few years ago, anyway…

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  3. Squee!!!!! Thanks, Hoody!
    One little thing, though….I insist on being called Your Serene Highness from now on.

    I once ordered Sea Monkeys from the back of an Archie’s comic book. Nothin but fuckin shrimp.

    Caveat emptor.

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    • I was also rooked by the Sea Monkeys… then felt AWFUL when I later had actual fish whose food was brine shrimp. I got over it though, stinky little bastards.

      And you can’t be Your Serene Highness, that’s ME. You can, however, be Mistress of Serenity, which kinda sounds kinky.

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  4. Actually, that’s a good story. You learned a valuable lesson at a very young age. Some people never wise up. (Hence the continuing phenomenon of “Sea Monkey.”

    Not that I wouldn’t have been pissed to the bejeezus too, though…

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  5. I wish they wouldn’t show these things to my kids on TV – because, seriously, if I have to hear about bend-a-roos one more time I might shoot myself. And I refuse to tell my kids about my massive sea monkey collection. Because its wrong…just wrong.

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    • It’s the grocery-store checkout line theory of retail — they know your kids will eventually wear you down and you’ll buy whatever it is to get TEN SECONDS OF QUIET!

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  6. Dear Sweet Mama

    I got sea monkeys for Christmas from a coworker one year. The next year she gave me a head that grew grass like hair. I can’t remember what they were called. Once a coworker gave me a bra. I don’t know how I got off on this, but I have gotten some strange gifts. Also, my sister once purchased shoes for the Concubine and I from the back of the Parade magazine. They made orthopedics look good.

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    • Cha-cha chia pet!

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    • My boss once accidentally gave me a thong. We were both pretty baffled.

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    • I got a bright purple Snuggie for Christmas this year.

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      • DSM: I am truly STUNNED that East Coast Aunt would have such terrible taste! She’s usually so good at buying things! And I don’t think people outside your mama and/or significant other should buy your underwear…

        Jana: thanks, that’s in my damn head now!

        Dana: See above rule about who is allowed to purchase your underwear. “Accident” my ass!

        Laura: Were you… pleased?

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        • The Snuggie was from someone I’m not in an obligatory-Christmas-present relationship with, so it was very sweet of her to think of me and go to the trouble of getting me a gift. It’s not the most flattering gift in the world, though, is it? It’s like saying “you seem like the kind of person who spends a lot of time on the couch and who finds blankets too complicated”.

          Fun fact: the Snuggie kind of works as a blanket if you ignore the sleeves.

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  7. Wooohooo! I would like to be Grand Dame Why-the-Fuck-Can’t-I-Ever-Think-of-Anything-Clever.

    Also, do you remember those little plastic figures you could get by collecting cereal box UPCs and sending 40 of them along with $10? I definitely had the entire Rescue Rangers collection, and I still argue that they were worth every penny (and ounce of god-awful cereal). On a side note, I couldn’t bear to eat cereal for the next ten years.

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    • DSM was the Queen of making me eat the shitty cereal I insisted on buying to get the toy inside. And the rule was, you can’t have a NEW cereal (and thus a new toy) until you eat the old one. So it was always a death match between me and the Cookie Crisp to see if it would go bad before I had to eat it. Fun fact: Cookie Crisp never goes bad.

      And by the way, your wish is my command, milady!

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  8. Oh wow, that was a….[fucked up memory]….good learning experience. Oddly enough, I know I had a similar experience as a kid but I can’t remember it. I must’ve blocked it out as a way of coping. I just remember the trauma of cheap plastic.

    My kids begged and begged for those shake-them slurpee maker cups. I resisted, but Grandma did not and lo and behold — we have four of the damn things now. They sort of work, but they require the kind of arm strength that is best left to tween boys. I still don’t understand the appeal of frozen chocolate milk but WHATEVS.

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  9. Chief Entymologist! I’m honored.

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  10. Interestingly, I had these tiny little dolls I called my “weenie teenie cathies” when I was about age 2 to about 4. I later realized they look exactly like the little baby Jesus you find in mardi gras king cakes.

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    • were your parents TRYING to give you shit to choke on?

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      • Hah. Actually, I have two distinct memories with the weenie teenie cathies and being a very, very small child.

        The first one is trying to get my hand back in through the crib bars without dropping my cathy. It was a total monkey trap, and if Mom hadn’t come in, I probably would have gnawed off my arm.

        The second is being in the doctor’s office and him asking if he could see what was in my hand. I showed him and he got this shocked look on his face and asked my mom if she wasn’t worried about me choking. I said, “Why would I put weenie teeny cathy in my mouth? She won’t be able to breathe!”

        Basically, I was a freaking weird kid. And yes, I remember being 2 and 3 years old.

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  11. And the sea monkeys? Remember the ads for them? Talk about false advertising! I never saw a brine shrimp with a face or wearing a crown or holding a scepter with which to rule his underwater kingdom. I never saw brine shrimp do anything. They were always dead.

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  12. Cinema Sugar

    I don’t care what anybody says, Snuggies are Magic Sleeping Cloaks. I got my not so sweet mama a WVU Snuggie for Christmas because I am a wretched daughter. Then after the holiday festivities died down, I saw it lying there just asking to be tried on. I put it on and . . . instant sleep. Those things are so damn comfortable.

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