A Different Toy Story

Nobody suspects I would have done anything of the sort.  I’ve fooled them all.  Well, at least I’ve fooled the folks I work with.  And that will do.

You see, we have a terrific Christmas tradition at my office.  We have a party, yes, and it’s actually fun because we like each other.  And the highlight of the party is a gift exchange.   About two weeks prior to the party, we choose the name of a co-worker, and bring a gift for that person as if he or she were 7 years old.  We open the gifts and have a great time guessing who gave it to us.  Then the toys are collected and given to a local charity.

We have a blast, it’s for a good cause, and everybody tells their funny childhood remembrances of what we would have done with a toy like they got.

But it was awkward for me this year, because I got a doll.

She was a beautiful, blue-eyed doll with rosy cheeks and curly blond hair just like mine.  Any girl would love her and gently care for her.  Any girl would treasure that pretty doll.  Any girl would have given that beautiful doll to her own daughter to love, too.

Any girl but me.  Because for the most part, I hated dolls.  And for most of my childhood did anything to avoid playing with them.  Except when I was about 7.

Well, I guess I answered honestly when I said that, uhhh, yeah, I would have played with the delicate dolly.   And, yeah, I would have played with it when I was about 7 years old.  So yeah, the gift, umm, fit me.  I didn’t elaborate, though.

I didn’t, for example, tell anyone that the dolly would not have been happy with the situation.

I blame my parents, they bought that particular house.  I blame my brother. Me, I was innocent.  I was led astray.  I was forced to do it.  The fact that it was hilarious and became one of my favorite memories is completely irrelevant.

You see, the house I grew up with was next to the railroad tracks.  And naturally, because it was strictly forbidden, my brother Fred and I used to spend lots of time playing on the tracks.  We’d put our ears to the rail to listen for trains, and, once we were sure none were coming, we’d run across the tracks.

That was fun for part of the first summer we lived there, but hey we were 6 and 9.  We needed growth opportunities.

We flattened pennies until we had enough to lay track from New York to New Haven made entirely of smushed Lincoln faces.  For a while we would wait for a train to come and then hop across the tracks, trying not to trip and die.  Fortunately we both succeeded and outgrew our interest in that particular challenge.  We tried to flip the track switch so that the train would jump the track and go down our driveway instead of on towards New Haven.  But for some reason, someone had locked the switch, and no matter what we did, we could not get the train to go down our driveway.  It was probably just as well.

One day, I got home from a friend’s house to find that my favorite stuffed animal, an orange poodle won for me by my dad, was missing.  Naturally, I accused my brother of hiding it.

“I didn’t hide it, Lease,” he said.  “I played with it.  It was just sitting on your bed,” he said in that brotherly tone that indicates I was stupid for questioning him.

He walked into my room, grabbed another stuffed toy, my stuffed Pebbles doll with the plastic head, and said. “Come on.  This is really neat.”

Out we went, down to the tracks.  We waited and waited, putting an occasional ear to the rail.  Finally, Fred placed Pebbles on the tracks.  Like Pauline, Pebbles looked skyward.  Like Pauline, as the train approached, her feet wiggled.  Unlike Pauline, however, there was no rescue.

The train whizzed by sending the most delightful plume of stuffing up and out, way over the top of the train.  It was a hit.  We rushed back for additional victims.  All my stuffed toys and each and every doll met a sorry end.

We would have let Pauline go, though. Really.

As it turned out, today at the party, my boss had picked my name, and the doll was from her.  “Would you have played with a doll like her?” she asked, no doubt envisioning me dressing her up and playing with her like other girls.

“Absolutely,” I said, weighing the doll and imagining just how high up this particular doll’s stuffing would go.


Filed under Family, Humor, Stupidity

47 responses to “A Different Toy Story

  1. Pingback: Tradition! | FiftyFourandAHalf

  2. Pingback: The Livin’s Easy | FiftyFourandAHalf

  3. Umm, yah, you must have been one of my other sisters (I have four!). And the only thing missing – I know now – from my childhood … TRAIN TRACKS! Why couldn’t I have had them??


    • Four sisters?! Holy Cow!

      And no childhood is complete without train tracks. I think we put far too much emphasis on safety nowadays. Nobody gets to have ANY fun. My son certainly didn’t!


  4. JSD

    This was such a funny post…and all the comments following it have kept me in stitches. Thanks again for a good laugh!!


  5. There weren’t any pieces left, generally. Pebbles’ head landed in a tree, though.

    And I’m glad to know you would have been my friend!


  6. I love that! After the train, I would have assembled the dolls into a horde of the walking undead. Not all girls like dressing up dolls.


  7. I’m glad we didn’t played together as kids, I would’ve been really sad to see my Barbies decapitated along the railroad tracks.
    We lived next to RR tracks when I was 11. Me and my brother put large nuts and bolts on the track hoping to derail the locomotives as they whizzed by. No luck. Good thing! Did make interesting metal flat art though.

    You are a hoot!


    • We didn’t do too much with barbies. Without the plume of stuffing flying everywhere, it wasn’t worth the risk of being caught! Did you keep any of the fun flat stuff? I’m sure I have a penny or two. Toy limbs remained where they landed! Thanks Lori!!!


  8. Great response for your boss.

    I never liked doll babies, but I did love my Barbies and still do a bit…as you already know. Mine would always do horrible soap opera type things and the other moms wouldn’t let their daughters play with me.

    Once I filled a doll’s head with ketchup, put it back on lightly and swung at it with an ax I had made from a stick and some aluminum foil. It was a great murder movie. I wonder where that film went. Probably destroyed by now.


    • Your doll would have been a great addition to the Haunted House we did one year. Only when nobody came to see my brother’s ketchup laden body, he walked outside and laid down by the side of the road.

      Folks driving by were not amused. We thought it was a riot, though.

      Thanks for visiting. I’m going to be seeing if you are as warped as I am or if I win the competition. Oops. Warped as I WAS. I am now a very good girl. Only I keep forgetting.


  9. I didn’t have a brother growing up, but my sister’s favorite method of torture for me was to dismember my Barbies – arms, legs, head – ripped right off. No train could have competed with her! Yikes.


    • I’m not so sure of that. The trains got the heads way far up in the trees. Farther than anybody’s sister could throw. Because, of course, she threw like a girl. Trains, as a general rule, throw REALLY HARD.

      Thanks for looking at my warped childhood! I presume that your only fault was NOT your choice in sisters!


  10. Oh my… I think it was humane of you to pick the time and place of your dolls demise rather than waiting for them to be sold unexpectedly in a thrift sale or eaten by squirrels in the attic.


    • OK. I hereby name you a saint, regardless of your belief system. Anyone who can declare this “humane” treatment is OK in my book. I am going to chuckle about this for a very long time.

      I can’t WAIT to tell my brother!


  11. There is no evidence left. Well, maybe a limb here or there, but they’ll never pin anything on me. No one ever saw me so much as touch a doll.


  12. I’m calling Doll Protective Services right now.


  13. When they found out, many, many years later, my parents were dumbfounded. But I would still be your friend even if you HAD snitched — which you wouldn’t have, I know. But folks did. My brother would look back at my father with his all knowing “do you really think I’d be stupid enough to do THAT?” And I would look up with my big, VERY SCARED tear-filled blue eyes with a “WHO, ME?” look. Between the two of us, we got away with murder. Well, the murder of innocent toys, anyway!

    Thanks for thinking of me for the 7×7. I am going away and will have to think of my choices of whom to choose. Are bribes allowed???~~~~


  14. Goodness gracious…and land sakes alive…(my hands are on my hips)…apparently you never heard it when you were a child so I’ll just toss it out there. Thank the lord you are here to tell about it. Love how you remember this so vividly and brought us right back there. I don’t think I will ever forget this image…stuffing and limbs flying everywhere by the rr tracks. If I had been your friend back then, I would never have snitched on you. PS I gave you a 7×7 nod today at my site.


  15. Brilliantly sadist – so why did I enjoy this post? 😉


  16. This is something I can see me and my brothers doing! We used to launch our stuffed animals out the second floor window. My mom would look out the window the next morning, drinking her coffee and see about 50 of them littering all over the front lawn. If only we had railroad tracks nearby…!


    • Our parents were oblivious, were yours? It never occurred to them that we would do such a thing.
      As I sip my coffee this morning, I’m looking outside for stuffed toys. Sadly, there isn’t anybody upstairs who might have organized an exodus.


  17. Clinton

    do they haunt you in your dreams?


  18. You were obviously an evil, little child . . . I like it! I can’t imagine what great fun that was.

    Loved this post.


  19. winsomebella

    What a great story!


    • There are now fences between our old house and the RR. Mostly we were stupid playing on the tracks. We could easily have fallen and died running across the tracks (and it would have been clumsy young me to kick the bucket).
      But had we been able to, we would have derailed a train. We were so confused when we couldn’t and tried very hard. I shudder to think what might have happened!

      Thanks for writing. And don’t worry, I’m a good girl now. Boring, but good.


  20. i don’t remember much of my childhood, but i shudder to think what might have happened if we had lived near railroad tracks. my doll might have been safe. my brother? i’m not so sure.


    • My brother was wonderful. He let me tag along, never beat me up, showed me where the Christmas presents were AND made room for more by utilizing the tools at hand (the RR). As long as he always got to win, I was his to command.
      It was a good life!
      Perhaps hypnosis would bring back all the times your siblings destroyed your toys! Try it! These are the memories that shape your life!


  21. JSD

    I liked dolls as a girl and it wouldn’t have occured to me to do that (my mother would have killed me). But being in a family with three girls and two boys, I can so totally relate to that kind of weird play and would have gotten a big kick out of it. We just did stupid stuff like play on school roofs and in barns or jumped down a flight of stairs. Yeah, I agree with Paprika that it would have been a You Tube hit.


    • We had the same ratio 3 girls to 2 boys. Fred was closest in age to me, and was my hero. I did ANYTHING he asked. I probably still would, although I have learned to have limits!
      Thanks for your comments!


  22. Fun post! Too bad there wasn’t You Tube back then, you’d have been an internet sensation.


  23. Girls who grow up with brothers are a different species. We like bugs and snakes and flying stuffing. See what your daughter has to look forward to?

    We had a whole lot of fun on those tracks. But I am now scared to death of railroad crossings. I figure I probably used up my luck!


  24. I have to say this is a bit creepy. But maybe it is normal for girls who grow up with brothers. I only had a sister and therefore all dolls and all stuffed toys were to be respected, cherished, given air to breathe, given prime real estate on the beds…. never ever laid on train tracks…. but i guess i see why you are a little dark and twisty….


  25. Some might say warped, but, thankfully not you! It does still make me shake. Can I have some more chocolate milk now????????


  26. Brilliant! What a great childhood memory, and what a fun, unique child!


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