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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
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Tacky Tunes for Turkey Toys

I had some pretty crappy toys while I was growing up. Some people think that the Slinky was the worst toy ever conceived because it could only do one thing — slink. And slinking isn’t something I’d call ‘fun’. I’m an idiot husband who can’t remember to leave the toilet seat down or throw my dirty boxers in the laundry basket, so I do my fair share of slinking. Trust me on this one.

In fact, the Slinky was deemed so lame that the manufacturer came up with a catchy tune to try and sell it:

‘What walks down stairs, alone or in pairs,

And makes a slinkity sound?

A spring, a spring, a marvelous thing!

Everyone knows it’s Slinky.

It’s Slinky, it’s Slinky;

It’s fun, it’s a wonderful toy.

It’s Slinky, it’s Slinky;

It’s fun for a girl or a boy!’

I ask you, what kind of self-respecting toy needs a catchy song? Did Monopoly need a catchy song? Did the Nintendo need a catchy song? Did Chutes ‘n’ freaking Ladders?

No. Because when you describe those games, the entertainment potential is obvious. When you describe a Slinky, all you get are blank gaping stares.

Slinky Man: Hey, kiddo — want to buy a Slinky?

Fun-Loving Kid: What’s that?

Slinky Man: Well, it’s a metal coil that falls down the stairs.

Fun-Loving Kid: Oh. Then, no.

Slinky Man: But look — it’s springy! Sort of.

Fun-Loving Kid: Uh, no thanks.

Slinky Man: But you can shake it in your hands! See?

Fun-Loving Kid: Mister, you’re scaring me a little.

Slinky Man: Hey, I know! I’ve got this swell song I can sing to you about it!

Fun-Loving Kid: I’m really not supposed to talk to strangers. I’m running away now.

“I’m an idiot husband who can’t remember to leave the toilet seat down or throw my dirty boxers in the laundry basket, so I do my fair share of slinking. Trust me on this one.”

Still, this isn’t about Slinkys. This is about toys that were even crappier than Slinkys — toys so dismal and disappointing they never even bothered to write songs for them.

So I have.

Here are a few of the craptacular toys I suffered through as a child, and the Slinky-esque songs that the marketers might have written for them — had anyone actually given a damn at the time. Join me, won’t you, on a stroll through the toy chest from hell…

1. Jarts:

‘They fly through the sky, they’ll put out your eye,

Or maybe they’ll lop off a toe!

They’ll pierce your ass, like hot shards of glass;

And off to the ER you’ll go!

They’re Ja-arts, they’re Ja-arts!

Sharp metal death overhead!

They’re Ja-arts, they’re Ja-arts!

Clearly, your folks want you dead!’

2. Lite-Brite

‘What takes all day (not in the good way),

And uses up all of your power?

Half the pieces are missed, you just burned your wrist,

To make a pic of another dumb flower?!

It’s Lite-Brite, it’s Lite-Brite!

Where the hell did the red pieces go?

It’s Lite-Brite, it’s Lite-Brite!

I bet this is what set off Van Gogh!’

3. Rubik’s Cube

‘You study the tiles, you read strategy files;

Still the cube is no closer to solved!

You get in too deep, and lose hours of sleep;

How can a toy get you so damned involved?

It’s Rubik’s, it’s Rubik’s!

You’ll feel like your head’s full of fat!

It’s Rubik’s, it’s Rubik’s!

When some kid solves it in six seconds flat!’

4. Sea Monkeys

‘You’ll soon have new friends, with gills and tail fins;

The ads make them look freaking sweet!

You’re no mermaid pimp; those things are just shrimp,

And not big enough even to eat!

They’re S’Monkeys, they’re S’Monkeys!

Three bucks is an ungodly sum!

They’re S’Monkeys, they’re S’Monkeys!

To buy ‘food’ for your aquar-i-um!’

5. Easy-Bake Oven

‘Have you got what it takes, to bake your own cakes;

To a delicious ‘n’ crisp golden brown?

Not if the light bulb inside ‘er, catches on fire,

And sends your whole house burning down!

It’s Easy! Bake Oven!

Bake your cupcakes in only a day!

It’s Easy! Bake Oven!

Just eat the frosting and put it away!’

6. Silly Putty

‘It comes in egg shapes, it’ll stick to your drapes;

Or to your funny page’s bumps!

Press it down on your daily, to transfer Beetle Bailey;

It’s entertaining approx’mately once!

It’s Silly! It’s Putty!

You just wanted to copy Boondocks!

It’s Silly! It’s Putty!

How the hell’d it wind up in your socks?’

7. Weebles

‘They wave to and fro, with no place to go,

Mini-dolls with their fat useless rumps!

Like kids on the booze, or road repair crews,

They just sit there inert on their humps!

They’re Weebles! They’re Weebles!

They wobble, but they never fall!

They’re Weebles! They’re Weebles!

Truth is, they do nothing at all!’

8. Pong

‘The blip will careen, on your black ‘n’ white screen;

It’ll keep you awake days and nights!

But soon, we’ve no doubt, when the real games come out,

You’ll realize just how much it bites!

It’s Po-ong, it’s Po-ong!

It’s like tennis, without all the fun!

It’s Po-ong, it’s Po-ong!

What is this, nineteen fifty-one?’

9. Etch-A-Sketch

‘When the wee slightest jerk, can erase a day’s work,

You know you’re no Salvador Dali!

If one more kid bumps your arm, you’ll do him some harm;

You’ll smack that bitch right in the lolly!

It’s E-etch, A-Ske-etch!

Pictures fade away with a shake!

It’s E-etch, A-Ske-etch!

How much mis’ry can one artist take?’

10. Simon

‘Blue, Green, then Red; get it into your head!

Or Simon will give you a razz!

By the time you’ve played twice, you won’t think him nice;

He can shove blue, green and red up his ass!

He’s Si-mon, he’s Si-mon!

So madd’ning you’ll just want to howl!

He’s Si-mon, he’s Si-mon!

You’d have better luck singing for Cowell!’

Permalink  |  9 Comments

9 Responses to “Tacky Tunes for Turkey Toys”

  1. kerry says:

    lmao! i especially like that you used the same tune from slinky for all of these. somehow that just made them funnier.

    the sad thing is, i had several of these toys and enjoyed them all…

  2. NikkiD says:

    *waving* Kerry sent me, and I’m glad she did! What fun!

    By the way, if you want worse yet, I was given Lite-Brite pages and pegs, but didn’t own the box light. Imagine spending all day poking little pegs through paper, then trying to hold it up to a light without them all falling out again!

  3. Elisson says:

    Haw! Good ‘un, Charlie.

    I myself remember many (if not all) of the miserable toys, gimcracks, and gew-gaws you mentioned.

    Remember “Wheel-O”? That rivaled Slinky for the “Toys Designed To Keep Feebs Amused For Hours” award. Aieee!

  4. Jenn says:

    “What the fuck is wrong with Pong?????” (says the girl who has an Atari 2600 still hooked up to her TV)

  5. Mo! says:

    Very nice. Check out this top 40 blog list. You are #14. Ahead of Christian Finnegan from Best Week ever. Congrats and keep up the quasi-pathological Slinky hate.

  6. NuggetMaven says:

    Loved this post, especially the jingles for the other toys (loved the one for jarts!)…

    This reminded me of something I once read:

    Some people are like slinkies, they make you happiest when you push them down stairs…:)

  7. kerry says:

    *waving back at nikki*

  8. Roofie Raccoon says:

    I love you today. I had – and loved – almost all of those. I even had a Weeble Circus or something. My God that’s lame.

  9. kerry says:

    saw a link to this on a friend’s site and it made me think of this post.

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