Saturday, September 23, 2006

little plastic toys from my yoot

The other morning, HubbyDear and I were having one of our mini-conversations-whilst-driving-down-the-hill-to-run-errands. It began as a diatribe on 'kids today'. How 'they have too much stuff and are in training to be the superconsumers of tomorrow'. A timely topic. to be sure - reflecting our 21st century westernized lives. Even more so than generations before them, our youngest ones are falling quick and easy prey to savvy merchandising schemes. Big companies making big money by telling them what they want and need. Not that they (or their parents) can help but succumb...'Consumerism R (play along and pretend this is a backards R) Us'.
Disposable income is status quo for the more fortunate among us. It's the American way. But ohmygosh is it getting outta control.

The conversation morphed somehow from a somewhat relevant chitchat concerning our societal ills - to - well - hmmmm - it basically ended with me realizing that I, as a child, was a .... Little Plastic Toy Mutilator. Whaaaaaa?

Here's how it happened: HD and I got round to talking about toys we played with in our childhood. We had considerably fewer (and simpler) toys and spent more quality play time with what we had. We definitely kept our toys longer than children do now. Long enough for them to get worn out or outgrown. The same toys could keep us entertained for months, sometimes years.

Toys from the Five and Dime were some of my personal favourites: Jump ropes, big bouncy rubber balls, HulaHoops, Duncan yoyos, bottles of bubbles, coloring books, paint-by-number kits and paper dolls. I also recalled playing for hours with little plastic green soldiers, cowboys and indians that belonged to my brother. I especially liked the little plastic horses and the little plastic fences that bro and I used to build corrals.

HD (and his twin brother) also had an assortment of little plastic figures that they coveted. We concluded that these simple toys were indeed the special playthings of our 'yoot'. Whilst driving down the road, looking at the pretty scenery and thinking of good times past, HD and I spent a few nostalgia-tinged minutes considering the dime store treasures of our childhood.

Then - I ruined the moment.
I recalled having a habit of chewing on the bayonets that some of the little green army men had on their rifles. 'Why?' asked HD, rather disapprovingly. 'Dunno' I replied rather sheepishly.

Without realizing I had just confessed to a serious wrongdoing, I went on to say that not only did I chew on the plastic rifle bayonets, but would sometimes nibble on the little tiny hooves of the little plastic horses as well.

C'mon, kids chew on toys.
Well, apparently they never ever did in HD's childhood home!
HD couldn't believe that I mutilated the little plastic toys in this manner. Chewed bayonet tips rendered the bayonets useless to the soldiers, and the poor horses! They could no longer stand up if their hooves were chewed into flattened gnarly ends. Clearly, he was perturbed. [wink]
'Yes yes I know' I stammered guiltily....'I just couldn't help it...the plastic is so delightfully soft and chewy and all...'.

Ai ya!
Repent! Repent!
Though I could see that in HD's opinion, there was no amount of repentance on my part that could make up for all the chewed-on bayonets and horse hooves of yesteryear. [wink again]
All I can say now is 'I'm SO Sorry Little Plastic Toys!'
Mom bought him replacements, but I suppose I should extend a belated apology to my younger brother as well. After all, those were his toys...does he even remember that I treated them so shabbily?

Though my sordid past includes being a Little Plastic Toy Mutilator, and my fond memories of Little Plastic Toys are now a bit tainted for that fact; it won't keep me from recommending a fun movie about little toy figures. Talk about toys that have 'real lives'! Look! an Indian that shoots off real tiny arrows from his real tiny bow! No chawed-off hoof problems for that horse!

However, as most of you already know, the biggest and best (no-guilt) chuckle and (better than I have at this writing) toy memory about Little Green Army Men can be had by watching or re-watching 'Toy Story'.

Moral of story: never never chew on your little plastic toys! It could hinder their survival in the Toy World, and Lord knows, life is already tough enough without having to deal with the chewed upon bits. [final wink]


ducky said...

My stuffed doggie, Bernardo, had the ends of his ears was especially nice to chew on corner with the squeaker.

chew, chew, chew, squeak!

He also needed to be powdered occasionally, not as tasty.

Bernardo had to sleep w. his long ears covering his wide-open eyes. Otherwise how could he fall asleep?

Anonymous said...

Dearest B.

I read with astonishment your confessional on chewing the plastic army men and horses that belonged to your brother. I, too, spent some of the best hours of my otherwise asthmatic-ridden youth playing with little plastic army men and cowboys, Indians, and there horses. While reading your entry, a light went on in my previously mentioned feeble brain: I now recall that many of my plastic horses, over time, developed a heretofore inexplicable ability to stand upright on their four tiny legs. I would forever be spreading those legs further and further apart to compensate for their sudden unsteadiness. Some ended up with their little plastic stomachs on the ground. Most could no longer support a little cowboy or Indian rider (and pity those bow-legged riders, unable to stand on their own as well). Many of the horses ended up permanent patients of the little plastic toys hospital. I always thought that their disability came simply from rough and continuous play. Now I greatly suspect that someone in my household was, as you were and may still be, a plastic toy chewer. Ghastly.


baffle said...

ducky ~ why did bernardo have to be powdered?

AF ~ i...don' :-0

justducky said...

well, b!
Dogs must have their baths, but if placed into soapy water, Bernardo would've sogged into a messy heap, so powder was le toilette (en Fran├žais) for stuffed animals...
sometimes he needed a little fur trim here and there, I don't know why...dogs just do.