Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Doggie Doo and the Ghost of Christmas lists past
This Christmas, my son had a short but consistent wish list from Santa. He asked for trains, Star Wars and pirates. He came home from pre-school with a drawing that said “For Christmas, I want trains, Star Wars and pirates.” One day while eating lunch, he saw a pen on the table and asked if he could write his list for Santa. He is only four and still learning how to write, so he asked me for help spelling the words. When we were done, he had written three things: Trains, Star Wars and pirates.
As Christmas approached a new item got added to the list. Due to his changing tastes in television (Yo Gabba Gabba and Go Diego Go aren’t doing it for him anymore) my son is now watching channels that air commercials. This makes him say, “Daddy look at that. We should get that.” My standard response is, “You should ask Santa.” Most things he quickly forgets about but there was one commercial that was repeated ad nausea. The commercial was for Doogie Doo. I’ll let my son describe it.
“Daddy, we should get Doggie Doo. He’s a dog and you feed him and he poops.”
This commercial was on every eight minutes from early November until Christmas. Every time it came on my son would ask for Doggie Doo. I told him to ask Santa. He did. He wanted it bad.
Now, clearly I don’t understand this thing. It's game with a dog. You feed him. And he poops. And you have to clean it up. The winner is the one who cleans up the most poo.
This is fun? I'm sure there is a place somewhere that needs some real dog poop picking up. I'm sure you could make a game out of that.
Sadly, Santa didn’t bring a doggy do to our house. Fortunately, between the rest of his Christmas take, my son didn’t seem too disappointed that he didn’t get a Doggie Doo. Even now, he still has some toys from Christmas he has yet to play with.
This got me thinking back to Christmas when I was a kid and a toy that I wanted more than anything. Every year in late September, the Sears catalog would show up and my mother would pass it around the house, asking us to make a list. Of course, I turned right to the toys-- what loser kid ever asked for clothes for Christmas. I would quickly find the G.I Joe toys. Not the twelve inch dolls, er, action figures. I was a child of the 80s, we grew up with the three inch plastic G.I Joe action figures with movable arms and cool guns, and the Snow Cat, helicopters, and other cool vehicles. And what I wanted, more than anything, was the Cobra Rattler airplane. It was the coolest G.I Joe toy, it was blue, had a rack full of missiles and bombs and a swiveling turret gun. I wrote it, highlighted it, and circled it with starts. I did everything to hint to my mother (or Santa) that if I only got one present for Christmas, this was the one I wanted. So on Christmas morning, I was expecting a G.I Joe Cobra Rattler plane with its pilot Wild Weasel. And I didn’t get it. After wading through present after present, there was no miracle gift pulled from behind the desk, like in a Christmas Story, the last minute, best gift. I was bummed. Really bummed.
And I was even more bummed when two of my friends both got the Rattler and my other friend got the Aircraft Carrier. The good thing is that I was already a Cubs fan, so I just waited ‘til next year.
Sears Catalog shows up in September. I highlight the Rattler. Come Christmas, I don’t get it. Disappointed, sure, but I'm eternally optimistic. Santa wasn't going to stiff me three years running.
Year three. Same request. Same result.
Year four. One more. Still no Rattler.
By now, I was getting too old to ask for G.I Joe toys. In fact, we had one last giant battle at my friend Mitch’s house the summer before high school. We were going to finish the next day so I left them at his house. I haven’t seen them since.
But man, it still bugs me that I didn’t get that Cobra Rattler. I could probably go buy one right now on ebay. But I can't afford it now. Well, I probably could but I couldn't even imagine spending $700 on a toy. Plus I don't even want it now. I wanted it then.
So, if my son is still looking for Doggie Doo next Christmas, I’ll make sure that Santa gets the hint. Thirty years from now I don’t want him writing some rant on whatever technology replaces the Internet about how he didn’t get a Doggie Doo even though he really wanted one. Of course, by then we might have a real dog and once you have a real one, who needs a toy dog that poops?
PS- The thing my children played with the most from Christmas? A cardboard box.
Thanks for reading.