12/23/20: KRAMPUS AND THE ISLAND OF MISFIT TOYS

MONOLOGUE WRITTEN BY CLYDE LEWIS

In all honesty, I must confess that this year – I am just not feeling Christmas. I am not a in a bah humbug mood, quite frankly I would love to have some magical sense of childlike wonder to infuse a little Christmas in my soul. But there is just too much gloom in the air thanks to all the experts that want to keep shoving science down our throats. The whole science technocratic mind set has really taken its toll on the season. We can blame COVID-19 and all of the watchdogs that have infantilized us and have scolded us and discouraged us from having any cheer as we are limited to who we can see and may of us have thin bank accounts, unable to provide the toys or even gifts you can buy at the dollar store to stuff a stocking.

At the moment we have been told that a more contagious variant of COVID-19 has arrived in the United Kingdom. Prime Minister Boris Johnson decided to implement a draconian Tier 4 measures on London, the South East and East of England, admitting “bitter regret” at axing family get-togethers.

He just up and canceled Christmas.

Coincidentally, England has been rebelling against the lockdowns and the government there has been over dramatizing the threat and it even tried to destroy the Christmas spirit.

The National Health Services thought it would be a good idea to scare children into obeying safety restrictions by showing a public service announcement showing Santa in intensive care being treated for COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Dr. Fauci assured American Children that he personally gave Santa Claus his vaccine.

Fauci was answering questions from children during a “Sesame Street” town hall with CNN when the concern arose.

“Will Santa still be able to visit me in coronavirus this season?” 6-year-old Paxton from Illinois asked. “What if he can’t go to anyone’s house or near his reindeer?”

Fauci officially declared Santa an essential worker and so in order to save the day – Fauci claimed that he took matters into his own hands.

“I took a trip up there to the North Pole,” Fauci said. “I went there and I vaccinated Santa Claus myself. I measured his level of immunity, and he is good to go. … Santa Claus is good to go.”

As if Christmas couldn’t get any worse—the narcissism oozes form Fauci and it just sickens the Dickens out of me.

I am really curious as to how many joyless people find the Fauci story cute or charming – probably the same people who will have their Christmas gatherings on a Zoom app.

I wonder when people are going to get fed up and learn to live their lives with the various risks that plague them every day – as Santa says toy be a good girl or boy and you get the blessings and fortune of a good year – if you are bad, and you play stupid games – you get stupid presents and maybe you will get a good beating from Krampus.

He is a menacing demon like figure, an eight foot tall monstrous form, covered in shaggy brownish-black hair with wicked curving horns on either side of its man-goat like face with its flicking lolling tongue hanging. His cloven hooves replace the prancing of little reindeer paws.

Over its back is an old burlap sack, and in its right hand, as switch. In its left hand, held in wicked claws, is a chain lined with tiny rusted brass bells.

You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, because Krampus has arrived and he has now been made into a horror icon that is becoming a part of the festivities at Christmas parties in the United States.

Not that Krampus is anything new. He has always been part of European Christmas tales. As Andy Williams sings in the song, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”

“There’ll be parties for hosting
Marshmallows for toasting
And caroling out in the snow
There’ll be scary ghost stories
And talks of the glories of the
Christmases long, long ago.”

Yes, you heard right, caroling and scary ghost stories have been a part of the old time Christmas charm for many years before America turned it into Hallmark cards, boxes and bows.

It appears that Krampus is now the spirit that has cancelled Christmas – a whole new kind of way to look at the cancel culture, protecting the snowflakes from melting into a puddle of water because of the slightest microaggression or the gift of what they see as an insensitive misfit toy.

Recently, there was a story about a young Boy that was left in tears  after a mall Santa said he wouldn’t bring him a Nerf gun. A video went viral on the internet that showed 4 year old  Michael DeCarlo telling a Santa at an Illinois mall that he wants a Nerf gun for Christmas.

“Nope. No guns,” the Santa responded. Michael’s mom, Sabella DeCarlo, stepped in and told the Santa the boy said “Nerf gun,” thinking he had misheard her son, but the Santa still said:

“Nope, not even a Nerf gun,” the Santa responded, saying the boy’s dad could get it for him and offered to bring other toys. Michael soon burst into tears.

In an interview with Fox News, his mother said she was “in shock” at Santa’s response. “I thought he was joking. I thought he heard just ‘gun,'” she said. 

“I know for some parents they don’t allow Nerf guns into their homes. It’s a personal choice,” Sabella DeCarlo told the network, adding that “it’s not his job to tell my son no. It’s my job to tell my son no.”

The mall, Harlem Irving Plaza in Norridge, Illinois, responded by saying the Santa who denied the boy the toy had “turned in his resignation” and sent out another Santa to the DeCarlos to give the child his gift.

I could think of some worse toys that the kids could have received this year.

Speaking of Misfit toys there were a lot of toys that were horrible that were available for kids for Christmas but some of them were either dangerous or down right inappropriate for kids.

There was a toy that was available only for a short time that was said to be a fun and educational toy where kids could lean about diseases like the flu and yes COVID-19.

The Airborne Microbes Screaming Diseases toy were said to be fun to spread.

These stretchy toys are wickedly disgusting with their slimy looking tentacles. They are actually designed after microscopic images of real germs including E. Coli, which looks more like a giant creepy crawly with hundreds of legs all over its body, and the Common Cold which is green and lumpy. Both of these highly contagious diseases come with a stretchy band that is perfect for launching them off your finger and throwing them as far as you can. As they fly through the air, the toys let out little shouts like “cough cough” and “achoo!”

Even if you get the COVID vaccine, there is no reason not to catch the Airborne Microbes Screaming Diseases.

Earlier in the year, there was a film that was released that was one of the first blockbusters to be screened at home—it was called Trolls World Tour.

In three weeks of digital release, this Trolls sequel made more money for Universal Pictures than original did during five months in theaters. Eager to cash in on the success there was a line of Troll dolls that were set to flood the market and hopefully wind up under the Christmas tree.

Hasbro made a line of these dolls. One particular dollThe Trolls World Tour Giggle and Sing Poppy doll was the subject of controversy.

The doll had separate buttons to make it laugh and sing, one was on its belly – but the other was placed in an area that had mothers angry. It was placed between its legs – and when it was pushed it would giggle and gasp.

In a video shared online, one mother said that after her daughter received the Trolls World Tour doll as a gift, she thought it was just a normal toy, especially since the box only advertises the button on the doll’s belly. However, when showing her husband the doll, she noticed the other button was “on her privates.” As she explains in the clip, “She makes, like, a gasping sound. And I know some of you might not think this is a big deal but… especially since I have had kids… this is wrong. It makes a gasping sound when you touch her privates, and to me it’s just like sexual sounds. It’s so disturbing.”

The question is why would anyone put a button in that private area at all. Hasbro said that the button was there so that when the doll sat down it would giggle, Mothers were outraged saying that it was sexual grooming tool.

In one video posting, Jamie Nelson Cornaby, from Utah, displays the doll her child received as a gift, shows how it works and also notes the button located at its “private parts.”

“As you all know, stuff that’s been going on in the world about the sex trafficking in kids and things that are thrown in our kids’ faces to kind of groom them and make them kind of a little bit more oblivious to things that are really happening,” Cornaby says on the three-minute video.

Jessica McManis created the Change.org petition calling for the doll to be pulled from store shelves and banned. The petition got over 500.000 signatures, Hasbro heard the outcry and pulled the doll off toy shelves.

There have been a number of toys that if memory serves have been pulled from shelves or have been recalled because they have been deemed inappropriate for children.

Back in 2008, the newest version of the Elmo doll had a feature that where it could learn names and call out to kids when it was played with. The Elmo Knows your name stuffed toy frightened the mother of little 2 year old James Bowman. His mother claimed that when she replaced the batteries of the toy it suddenly started saying, “Kill James.” Melissa Bowman of Lithia, Florida, reported: “It’s not something that really you would think would ever come out of a toy. But once I heard, I was just kind of distraught.” The manufacturer, Fisher-Price, said that Bowman would get a voucher for a replacement doll, and would investigate the model to see whether other dolls had the same malfunction.

In 2009, two grandparents in central Ohio, Jerry and Judy Hunt, claimed the Elmo’s World Record & Play Phone Center reportedly asked, “Who wants to have sex?”. A local news station contacted Fisher-Price, who responded that the toy was supposed to be saying “4, 5, 6”.

Back when I was a kid I remember that toys weren’t as intricate and there were no mechanical malfunctions that would shock us – only that many of the toys we got could poke an eye out – give us serious burns and expose us to scary occult topics.

Of course, we were told that the Ouija board was a board game – and later we realized that we were using it as a switch board to contact spirits. I has a friend that had a game called Ka- Balla – it was a game that I vaguely remember where you used what was similar to magic eight ball or the eye of the Zohar and tarot type cards to predict the future.

Does anyone remember playing Screech? It was a game that were encouraged to play in the dark. The game consisted of cards that had scary images on them – it also came with a large plastic owl where you would spin his head look into his eyes and you would match what image was in his eyes.

Does anyone remember making creepy crawlers? You made them by making a special formula that would make mixture called plastigoop that you would put in a hot plate shaped like a spider or a snake. There were other toys that were similar where you could make monsters or shrunken heads. It would make a smell in the house that was so bad it used to bother my dad’s sinuses.

The danger factor not only included noxious fumes, but an exposed hot plate which kids were supposed to heat up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

There was also the game Cootie. I remember my grandmother had that game where you would assemble a bug. Cootie is now this cute cartoon looking bug but when I was kid cootie looked like a real plastic cockroach looking type creature.

When we were kids we used have those SSP gyro cars. If you remember they had a huge gyro gear in the middle and you would start them up by pulling a rip cord.

They were fun and one of the really cool toys was smash up derby – the only problem is when the toy cars would smash they would sent car parts flying – well my baby sister got a old of one of the tires to the car –and swallowed it – but I continued collect SSP cars – one variant of the SSP design was the Evil Knievel Motorcycle. It had an Evil Knievel doll on a motor cycle that you would crank up and it would take off—he would jump over anything. When the real Evil Knievel decided to jump the Snake river canyon in 1974 – we decided to reenact it – we strapped bottle rockets to the doll and then cranked up the motorcycle – the toy motorcycle stayed on the ground but Evil was sent up about 12 feet and then burst into flame.

Yes we would experiment with our toys to make them more interesting – I am sure many of you had a stretch Armstrong doll that you cut open to find out why he was so stretchy. If course he was full of oil – which was sticky and gross.

I remember Whamo came out with super elastic bubble plastic – which I always thought when I was kid could not be safe – it was a tube of sticky rubber that you would shape on a straw and then you would blow into the straw making these huge plastic bubbles . The smell would make me feel high and whoosy.

The bubbles contained chemicals like polyvinyl acetate (found in glue) and ethyl acetate (found in nail polish remover). And if you inhaled it, you got a mouthful of toxic fumes. It was banned of course—but not until the 1980’s.

One of the most dangerous toys we owned were Jarts. Jarts were taken off the market back in 1988. The Consumer Product Safety Commission banned the sale of the metal-tipped lawn darts after numerous head, eye, and ear injuries, especially in children. Another semi dangerous toy were clackers. Clackers consisted of two are acrylic balls on the string that would clack together . Eventually they would clack farther and higher apart and with a twist od the wrist you could clack them both downward and upward. While the toys had been originally marketed as a way to teach kids hand-eye coordination, the fact that they could turn into a projectile was enough for the Society for the Prevention of Blindness to issue a warning. I remember getting bruises when one of he balls would hit my forearm.

They would also explode and shatter after long use.

Yes, we all survived our dangerous toys – even though mommy said they would put an eye out or give us a rash. We lived but now we face the dangers of a virus. It is enough to cancel Christmas.

Experts are saying that people pass coronavirus around “within their peer group” – and that Christmas is “uniquely designed to mix young and old”.

It is the gift that keeps on giving – and makes us wonder when we will all start living.

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