Saturday, December 5, 2015

Hello, Dolly!

Speaking as we were the other day about the Island of Misfit Toys, I have a few things to add. One is that, like a lot of kids, I probably identified more than was healthy with the misfits seen throughout Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. That remained true right up through high school.

This is basically me and my friends; just add beer and a boom box playing prog rock.
A lot of people have wondered about Dolly, or as some have tagged her, Dolly for Sue. Everyone wants to know what made her a misfit. Train with square wheels, boat that sinks---those are dealbreakers. Spotted elephant---what's the big deal? Since the 1960s we've seen the rise of ugly stuffed animals and even stuffed pathogens. But maybe a spotted elephant was too "out there" for the early 1960s. As for Charlie in the Box, Santa could've slapped a name change petition form on Charlie like the Wizard hitting the Scarecrow with a diploma, patted him on the cheek, and said, "All right, you're Jack now, capisce? You're beautiful, kid, now hit the road."

"Mind? BLOWN."
But let's assume that all these problems for every toy were equally misfitational, and somehow Santa Claus was still able to find homes for these toys just as they were, which even Santa Claus couldn't have done for me and my high school friends. The question remains: What was wrong with Dolly?

The word is that Dolly had psychological problems, "psychological, caused from being abandoned by her mistress and suffering depression from feeling unloved." So in that regard she would have fit right in with my crowd, at least as we saw ourselves. Not sure if she could handled the beer.

The Rudolph special is as heavy-handed as DeAndre Smelter, but it's always resonated with all little kids. Maybe all kids feel like misfits sometimes---they want to be good but they don't know how; they have so much little-kid lunacy in them and they can't control it. I never knew a kid who said, "Fireball is my favorite; he knew a freak when he saw one." And yet that's how so many behave when they get older.

Fireball is an ass, but at least he doesn't sit around feeling sorry for himself all the time. So maybe everybody has issues. At least at the North Pole.

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