I have to tell this ~spooky~ story every now and again, and it’s always been one of my go-to-narratives for how messed up my views on popular culture were as a child.
Most things we weren’t allowed as a kid were, coincidentally, popular and expensive things that parents would want to buy their children based on marketing malarkey. While boy toys were generally left alone – I was still allowed Transformers and toy guns and GI Joes and whatnot. Well, I was allowed the cheaper knockoffs of those (and some branded ones, and some secondhand ones). Anyway, weirdly, the toys I remember the most blatant weirdness about were toys I can only really think of as girl toys.
One of the toys we were told you cannot have, you could not own, you could not let your daughter own, was a cabbage patch doll.
Because, in America – and in America was a catchphrase you knew could justify any lie no matter how ludicrous, because that place was so very, very odd – a cabbage patch doll had been witnessed floating across the room, and strangling children. It would whisper to you in your sleep. The doll would strive to open your daughters’ heart and possess her.
You see, it was about how the dolls were made. All cabbage patch dolls were distributed with a little tag that indicated the ‘birth day’ of the doll. The thing is, that date marker was a lie – that wasn’t the date the doll was manufactured, that was the soul of the unborn baby that was trapped in the doll was aborted! It was, it was! And all the dolls were manufactured, in one day of the year, on Halloween!
I remember sitting under a kitchen table, playing with my transformers – quite scared – as I heard the adults talking about this, ardently. Seriously. Basically I grew up reared by people who thought Child’s Play was a documentary.