Revenge of the Toys

This humor article originally ran on several years ago. The general ideas still apply and I think they always will, because it’s….



Revenge of the Toys

By Loretta Casteen

They scream. They wail. They make noises specifically designed to drive parents up the wall. Are they children? No. Well, not always. It’s their toys.

Now, just who is it who buys these ear-splitting playthings for our dear little ones? Not parents, I guarantee. No, it’s our loving family and friends who buy them. More often than not, these toys come to us from people who themselves endure, or once endured, a house full of noisy toys they didn’t buy for their children.

Gift giving revenge– it’s an ugly cycle. The motto is: “Do unto others, especially if they’ve done unto you or even if they didn’t do unto you, they deserve it anyway because of what I went through.”

How else to explain my mother showing up at my house with a gigantic toy fire truck, complete with realistic siren, flashing lights and built in megaphone?

“He’ll love it! You had one almost exactly like it when you were little!” Mom exclaimed.

“Mom, he’s only four weeks old.”

“Just wait until you hear what I bring him next week!” She cackled with glee and flew out the door.

The procession of noisy gifts has been nearly endless since my son was born.

Just recently, even my darling sister-in-law proved not to be above giving in the spirit of revenge.

“This is for Nicholas!” she said, as she pulled a miniature electric guitar out of a shopping bag. “Rick has one just like it and Nicholas played with it the entire time he stayed with us last Thursday!” She smiled lovingly at Nicholas while she showed him how to work the volume button. “I looked all over town until I found just the right one for you…er…him.”

I plugged my fingers in my ears as my son launched into one ear-blistering riff after another. “I’m really sorry you went to so much trouble. Where did Rick get his?”, I shouted.

Her smile faded and ,for a moment, a small gleam of hatred flared in her eyes. “You gave it to him. Don’t you remember?”

“Oh.”, I said. “Heh,heh. I guess I did. But, but, that was years ago. Before I had children.”

She tilted her head, patted Nicholas on the back and her sweet smile returned. “Yes. I know.”

Granted, some toys are noisier than others, but there is one that stands out from the rest. It is the toy given only by the most diabolical of gift revengers. Famous for bringing even the most patient and indulgent parents to their knees, hands clasped to their ears, begging “Please, make it stop! Make it s-t-o-o-o-o-p!” For sheer nerve-grinding torture there is no equal to………the popper.

Oh, it seems innocent enough at first. Just a clear plastic dome on wheels, a convenient handle, and those little plastic balls inside the dome that go “POP!” “POP!” “POP!” “POP!” “POP!” as a happy toddler barrels through the house.

The popper is the toy voted “most likely to mysteriously disappear overnight” by parents worldwide. If your child plays with it enough, it will soon seem as if those little plastic balls are bouncing around inside your skull.

I know this from experience because my older sister, Pat, has made it her mission in life to ensure that no child in our family is ever denied the pleasure of this wonderful toy. Why? Simply because her son, now 21 years old, was given one on his second birthday.

Pat doesn’t even remember who the original popper culprit was. It doesn’t matter. She suffered. Now all others must suffer the popper misery she knew. She feels it’s only fair.

I, of course, have never given a noisy toy to a child simply to torment his or her parents. No, no, no. My choices are always based on whether or not a toy is truly beneficial to a child’s educational and emotional development. If the toy just happens to operate one decibel level below the scream of a jet engine, it’s purely coincidental. Honest.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Revenge of the Toys « Claiming Creativity

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