There are a lot of children’s stories about toys that yearn to become real. There’s the classic Disney flick Pinocchio, the melancholy children’s book “The Velveteen Rabbit” and the heartwarming and erotic Mannequin, starring silver-screen legend Andrew McCarthy.
These stories are all aimed at children, though some seem more appropriate for really, really dumb children (Mannequin). And there are plenty more in this vein. Oddly, there aren’t many toy-based stories for adults (unless you count porn).
But the lack of such stories for grown-ups makes sense. As a parent, it’s not often that I wish one of my son’s toys would become real, though it would be fun to pummel the life out of a flesh-and-blood Elmo.
On the other hand, I do occasionally wish my son would become a toy. At least there’d be less shit to clean up.
What if my son were a toy? What toy from my childhood would I want him to be?
Let’s run through a few options before I tell you my answer:
Marionette: I know no one plays with these things anymore, but I couldn’t resist the idea of turning my son into a puppet on a string, like the aforementioned Pinocchio. The irony is rich, as he already controls my every move. The ostensible benefit would be getting alerted to his lies via his growing nose, but my son is only two-and-a-half; he can’t lie to save his life (in fact, he’s an easy mark). So this would be pointless.
He-Man: One of my favorite toys growing up, but a non-starter here. Why would I want my son to transform into a shirtless warrior who has a creepy, S&M-tinged relationship with his cat?
Cabbage Patch Kid: Dolls weren’t really a boy thing when I was growing up, but Cabbage Patches were such a craze that I knew a few who had them. Not me, thank God, but there’s no denying they were a huge deal for a while in the early ’80s. As I write this, I’m actually starting to wonder if these dolls aren’t to blame for the mainstreaming of tattoos. How many girls do you know with ink on their asses? I’m not so sure this Xavier Roberts pervert didn’t beget the tramp stamp.
Mr. Potato Head: Weird body shape aside, this is the clear winner. What parent doesn’t wish they could remove their kid’s mouth when he talks back, or pull off his arms to prevent him from reaching for stuff he shouldn’t touch, or from smacking someone in the face. Plus, it would be totally hilarious to put an arm where his eye should be!
I’m pretty confident in my choice – even if I’m cool with my son staying human for the time being; at least until he’s a teenager, when he’ll become a monster without any help from me.
I may have missed some options, so if you have a better idea for a toy in which to imprison your child’s soul, let me know in the comments!