Get your feet wet

Tink’s Box

As any new parent knows, a volume switch on a toy is your best friend, because musical/speaking childrens’ toys are categorically obnoxious and the sole variation in how desperately a toy makes you want to jam an ice pick in your brain is how SCREAMINGLY it wails the alphabet, or “Old MacDonald,” (and Christ, do I pity you poor bastards,) that shiv-me-now Barbie theme.

Unfortunately, a number of toy manufacturers not only neglect to offer this option but seemingly believe your wolf-eared tyke came into the world with the hearing of a geriatric stump; with enough listening, perhaps they soon will!

Which long ago led to my crusade against shrieking toy voice boxes, and my magical antidote: PACKING TAPE. It’s clear (with proper positioning, the kiddies are none the wiser), and you can layer it to achieve your desired volume control. I can’t tell you how many toys I’ve pulled apart and slapped that shit on just to dampen the wail and whine of tinny music, demonic dolls or that insidious Fisher-Price harpy.

So imagine my surprise when Eliot received a Tinker Bell doll that would. not. SHUT THE FUCK UP — and the voice box was impossible to find. . . I mean, it’s a DOLL, right — how hard can a stupid voice box be to find? And I’m looking in her back, all along the legs, all the obvious places, and NOTHING — and it’s this perpetual howl of “FLY WITH ME!!” and “FAIRIES FLY!!” until I pretty much want to send Tink flying into next week, and just as I’ve decided the voice box is internal and there’s no speaker, I do one last body check:


And there you have it: Tink’s box is Tink’s FUCKING BOX. Oh, Walt Disney Corp., you sick, twisted bastards: not only did you make Tinker Bell’s only means of communication THROUGH HER SNATCH, you then forced me to SILENCE IT WITH PACKING TAPE. Way to help me send a gender-positive message to my daughters, assholes.

(Somewhere, I just know Eve Ensler is giving me the disapproving finger wag. . .)


  • cardiogirl

    September 9, 2009 at 8:30 am

    You, my friend, are fun as well as educational.

    I’ve wrestled with too many children’s toys that have no on/off switch. In the past my solution was to make that toy disappear after an appropriate amount of time. However I have a brand new roll of clear packing tape, so I think I’m good.

    Now do you have a solution to these cartoons that feature crying babies? The people producing those shows must be strung and quartered. I can hear my own kid cry on demand any hour of any day.

    Arthur has a mouthy little sister named Kate who cries. Dora’s got some sibs who cry. And occasionally there’s a crying kid on Martha Speaks. It’s annoying but I guess that’s what the mute button is for, right?

  • Tracy

    September 9, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Ah, the disappearing toy. . . That’s actually so common in our house, I’ve claimed it as a verb: “Hey, whatever happened to the Laugh & Learn Puppy?” “I *disappeared* it. . .” 😉

    And the crying kids’ shows already! Shit, if I wanna hear an hour of wailing, screaming and crying, I can send Mike out for dinner with the girls, then take a long hot bath with a glass of wine and wonder what the hell I’ve done with my life. . . Our solution? Magical TiVo, which only records shows with NICE CHARACTERS. Whiners? TiVo’s having none of it. Barney? TiVo’s never heard of ‘im. Crybabies? AXED! That TiVo’s a fickle bitch, and why it only seems to like kids programming MOMMY likes, well, ONLY TiVo KNOWS. . .


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