Thursday, December 09, 2004

I Can't Hear A Thing

What? Did you say something? WHAT?! Sorry, you'll have to speak up a bit.

Must every toy be bastardized with the installation of a siren or the sound of an airplane taking off or the high-pitched voice of a cartoon character or some other cacophony-producing subwoofer that causes those in neighboring homes to duck for cover, believing perhaps that we’re being invaded by Canada or Mars or the cast of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy? I mean what the fuck?

What ever happened to quiet toys, like coloring books and matches and unopened bottles of Bicardi? I long for the days of yore, when toys made no sounds and we were inspired to produce them ourselves. I remember playing with my little Star Wars figurines and trying to approximate the voices of Yoda and Darth Vader. I remember fondly playing outside with a magnifying glass, lording over a colony of red ants on a sunny day and promising to fry those little bastards if they came anywhere near me.

Those days are long gone, friends. Nowadays my kids want nothing to do with a toy if it doesn’t rattle their eardrums or produce a vibration that causes Hot Wife and eye to bleed from our eyes and lose control of our bowels.

My in-laws came over last night for Hanukkah dinner and presented Left-Handed Power-Hitting Son with a replica airport – complete with toothless fat women working at the metal detector and a secret room near the employee lounge where innocent vacationers from the Middle East are forcibly disrobed and subjected to a full body cavity search by a 300-pound FBI agent named Bruno. The airport came with a series of vehicles, including a bus, a tow truck, a police car and, of course, a big ol’ jet airliner. I noticed a compartment on the bottom of the plane where batteries were to be installed, so I plugged in two double-A Duracells and was subsequently serenaded by a weeyoo-weeyoo-weeyoo-weeyoo-weeyoo alarm siren at a volume so tragically loud that one of my fillings shook loose.

My son has also become a fan of the Rescue Heroes, a troop of firemen, policemen and other stereotypically macho characters who market a series of toys that make sounds one normally associates with being in a crisis situation but which now serve as entertainment for four-year-old boys. There is a helicopter that has a rope line that can be lowered with a crank – a crank that sounds like a jackhammer when turned. There is a military jet that sounds like the beeping ping-ping-ping of a hospital heart monitor. And there is of course a fire engine that emits the requisite beeping, pinging, sirening noise one associates with real fire engines. It’s just that those sounds don’t normally come from the living room.

I’m at a loss. One of the great struggles in my life is finding three minutes of peace every day, and as each day of Hanukkah passes, my son unwraps another toy that stacks the odds of my finding those three minutes higher and higher against me. I can’t hear myself singing in the shower anymore. I have to scream at the top of my lungs to apologize to Hot Wife for whatever wrong I’ve committed during the day. And even when I have an electric toothbrush vibrating in my mouth, the orchestra of beeps and talking Barney dolls and crashing race car crunches is loud enough to drown out the buzz of a Sonicare that is only an inch from my ear drum.

9 Comments:

At 12:07 PM, Blogger Mrs.Strizzay said...

Don't you know that you should give loud ass toys to people you rarely see?? I love to do that to my SIL. BUT, you have to watch out...next year they may try to one up you.

 
At 12:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha!! We have that helicopter. And many more loud-ass toys that drive me batty. Good thing my boys usually destroy a toy in under 2 seconds. This year... no noise-makers. Things like soccer goals, tricycles, and the like.

Happy Hanukkah,
Carol

p.s. Love the Sonic Care.

 
At 12:45 PM, Blogger christy said...

Do you get the phantom noises? Even late at night when there are no screaming banshee children awake and all the toys have been summarily banished to the toy box I can still hear the sirens, the beeping, the pings. It's starting to freak my shit out.

 
At 2:37 PM, Blogger honestyrain said...

when batteries run out in our house they run out forever.

i bought that Hot Wheels Volcano nightmare i told you about. can you believe i did that? i bought it even though it is stupid beyind belief. and i did so because The Boy was asking every santa from here to enternity for it. what kind of a mother would i be if i let him wake up xmas morning and NOT find a valocano sitting there?

a piss poor mother, that's what.

 
At 2:59 PM, Blogger Shiz said...

"Must every toy be bastardized with the installation of a siren or the sound of an airplane taking off or the high-pitched voice of a cartoon character or some other cacophony-producing subwoofer that causes those in neighboring homes to duck for cover, believing perhaps that we’re being invaded by Canada or Mars or the cast of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy?"

YES.

(Weeps)

 
At 6:29 PM, Blogger Shira said...

This is why I'm glad I'm deaf. And childless. Buy earplugs, it helps to drown out the annoying Xmas songs too.

Love the blog. :)

 
At 5:37 PM, Blogger gef said...

A friend of mine puts duct tape over the speaker part of all of her kids' toys. It's very "Hints from Heloise," and it totally works.

 
At 9:13 AM, Blogger Jason Mulgrew said...

so damn intense!

love,
jason mulgrew
internet quasi-celebrity

 
At 12:13 AM, Blogger Jim Naka said...

Cool blog you have going here, I will check in often! I have a similar site about teen toy. It pretty much covers teen toy related stuff.

 

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