The Territorial Dispatch
Darned if it isn't
another Christmas Whammy!
Wham! Darned if it isn't
another Christmas Whammy! It's gotta be the doings of
Madison Avenue... but how do they sneak up on parents like
that? Probably about as easy as you can sneak up and Tickle
When I was a kid it was a
Betsy Wetsy babydoll. My sister had to have one, one
Christmas. It's all she would say she wanted. I don't know
where she heard about it because that was pre-television in
our house, but all her friends were going to have one and
she had to have one too.
My parents finally
acquired one from the Joseph Horne Company in Pittsburgh
(Pennsylvania) after searching for weeks locally and then
for a whole day in Pittsburgh. They had to order it from the
catalog and hope it would arrive in time for Santa to
deliver it. Dad used to say that some of his most
embarrassing moments were going into department stores in
Cleveland and Chicago (he traveled a bit in his job) asking
for a 'Betsy Wetsy'.
When my kids were
youngsters the closer we got to Christmas the more excited
they got about commercials on the television. They wanted
this... they had to have that.... everyone was going to have
one of those, so they needed one also!
The year of the
Varrroooom Race Car was the cooker for me. All of a sudden
the whole world was going coo-coo. Everyone was trying to
get their hands on a Varooom Race Car for their kids. It's
all I heard for days on end! So I went out to search. I
needed two... three if possible. Ha! Fat chance. I could
order them to come in after the holidays.
Well, the boys all
survived to be fairly well-adjusted, productive adult human
beings anyway. And after that I developed a policy: If it
was hyped and ballyhooed on kid shows on the television they
might as well not ask for it for Christmas, because I would
not get it for them.
Ha! Now they are faced
with such problems. [It's kinda fun being a grandparent and
watching life recycle!]
Couple of years ago it
was Power Rangers. The year was moving along, smoothly, at
regular pace when whammo! All of a sudden the cry went up
for POWER RANGERS! Every kid in the U.S... probably the
world... had to have Power Rangers for Christmas. Most
parents were unaware of their existence. And how to you
search a toy department for something when you don't even
know what it looks like... and absolutely NO SUBSTITUTE will
do in the eyes of your child!
When the Power Ranger
craze hit there were 'war' stories about how people fought
over them in stores and how prices were raised because
crazed parents would pay just about anything for them. If
any were found in out-of-the-way stores someone would likely
buy up a bunch and scalp them in city parking lots.
The kids know exactly
what they want... no non-name-brand imitation will do. Now I
admit, I haven't been an avid Sesame Street fan lately, but
I don't exactly run around with my head in a brown bag
either. So how in the heck did I get 'snuck'... is that
really a word? ...snuck up upon by 'Tickle Me, Elmo'?
What is it about some
particular item that all of a sudden every child in the
universe, all at once, zeros in on and will absolutely,
positively die if they don't get one for Christmas??? That
object immediately becomes a 'collector's item', for real...
not like those things they advertise flat out as
I understand that, once
it gets started, it's a peer pressure thing... like Hard
Rock Cafe shirts, etc. But where is the beginning... what
starts the wave of enthusiasm for things like Tickle Me
Elmo? Or better yet... why can't I invent a hula hoop, or a
pet rock, or a Fear This sticker, or... or... a Buzz
Lightyear to the rescue!!??
That's what I want for
Christmas, Santa... bring me the secret; bring me whatever
it is that will strike everyone's fancy next... so I can go
out and buy up a warehouse full of them and be the first kid
on the block to have one. C'mon, Santa... puhlease? After
all... 'you're my favorite deputy!'
My Christmas Limerick for You
The Holiday Season is here
A time that is filled with
And, as some of us know,
We will Tickle Elmo
And others will tickle Lightyear
Whether you're a girl or a boy
Or too grown up for a toy
I'd just like to say
I hope that your Day...
And your New Year
Runs over with Joy