New Toy 1: Corn Popper

Image by harttmlp via Flickr

We all remember the first one we received and how fun it was – and then we also remember the first time we received the same toy for our own child – and what a pain in the neck it was!  You know the toys I’m talking about – the ones that make lots of noise and will NEVER STOP WORKING! 

Today, most toys are run by a computer chip or a small battery and eventually just stop working – or you could accidentally drop the darn nuisance into a bowl of water – or even the toilet – and it will short out.  Your child may be upset for about 10 seconds before he or she moves on to something else – but you have achieved a certain level of nirvana and are once again able to think without Ariel’s song or Buzz Lightyear’s voice searing into your brain!  What joy – oh, I mean – what a shame for the little darling!

However, there are those toys still out there that have thrilled small children for years and irritated parents have not found an easy way to make the insanity stop.  The number one toy for this type of infernal torture would be the Corn Popper.  You remember this toy; it is wooden, with two small wheels and a plastic dome to hold the little colored balls.  As the delighted and overjoyed child pushes the toy, it causes the mechanism to make the balls ‘pop’ against the plastic dome.  This in turn makes a wonderful noise as the child wheels it around the house (or drags it with him – the toy does not care which direction it is going!).  Add to this the fact that the toy is often given at Christmas – a time when a lot of people can not throw the toy (and child) in the backyard because of the cold weather – this is not to say that the thought hasn’t been considered by every parent who has had the joy of being presented with this toy!  By the end of the second day, parents who do not have a hearing problem or who have a little bit of sanity left are trying to find ways for the toy to self-implode.  Believe me when I tell you this – THIS TOY CAN NOT BE DESTROYED!  I’m pretty sure this toy was invented by a sleep-deprived mother who wanted to punish her grown children by giving this to their children!  I also think the factory where they make the toy is staffed by the same type of individuals!

Other toys which fall into this category include any ‘pretend’ workshop where you hammer the wooden blocks through the holes.  Your child can ‘thump’ for hours on that damn thing and never get tired of it!  It doesn’t help to loose the hammer – the inventive little tykes simply find another item which will do the same job – your shoe, your favorite knick-knack and sometimes your regular household hammer.  The added joy of this toy is that the hammering doesn’t just stop with the toy – every child soon learns that you can hammer and smash anything into oblivion – and sometimes even try it on each other to see if it hurts!

And last, but certainly not the least offensive toy to inflict damage to adult eardrums would be the fake musical instruments such as a xylophone, toy trumpet, toy guitar and drums!  I truly believe that people who give these gifts to children hate the parents.  Somewhere, somehow these individuals were wronged by the unsuspecting parents and they have been waiting for their moment to exact revenge!  What better way than to supply the means by which the decibel level in the house can be raised above the legal limit by small, adorable children whom everyone wants to make happy!

So – what am I giving my grandchildren for Christmas?  A corn popper, tool bench and drum set – it is payback time for all of my sleepless nights, my gray hair, my worry wrinkles and my hearing loss!


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