Oh my giddy shit. There I was last week, bumbling about in Smyths, the toy store, when I came across something so hideous that I had to regain my composure by rocking back n forth in a hastily constructed nest of Duplo bricks. Sod the toy guns, the knee-deep pots of finger paint and 1000-piece baked bean jigsaws because what did it for me were the baby doll shelves.
Jesus, turning into that particular aisle of fuckwittery was the equivalent of being accosted by a machete wielding Gina Ford. It was rammed with gawping plastic babies, dressed in sickening shades of pink and blue. If Willy Wonka’d become a pro-lifer he couldn’t have done a better job. And of course, you know exactly who this lot was aimed at.
You know that quote about the NHS taking care of you from the cradle to the grave? Well in this instance you could apply it to the horrific indoctrination of the nation’s females. Fuck luring girls into engineering or space travel or Olympic sport. All of that receives a kick in the knackers from the moment a child of the female persuasion skips along said aisle.
Apart from the fact that seeing all these dolls made me buy my daughter, Kraken Junior, a tool box instead – someone has to redress the lack of balance in a girl’s life – it also made me realise how hysterically inaccurate baby dolls actually are. The boxes are covered in bollocks about the dolls being just like ‘real’ ones but come the fuck on. Real? So not only are the globe’s manufacturers getting a head start on telling girls what is socially acceptable of them, they’re also screaming the message that looking after babies is a bundle of fun.
Well, I beg to differ. Looking after a baby is about as fun as having your toenails removed by a JCB driven by Helen Keller. But of course, that’s a big secret until you’re knocked up and it’s too late to do anything about it. That’s when you realise how deranged the manufacturers are for claiming that their dolls’ mewlings are the same as real babies having six hour rages over colic.
That’s why I propose showing the nation’s girls what babies are really like by providing them with dolls so accurate that they’ll actually come with their own charts for diagnosing PND. So not only will said dolls have faces like over-ripe sprouts, when they’re opened on Christmas morn they’ll be accompanied by searing pain and quite possibly the chance that the recipient will shit on the carpet.
Following that the plastic baby will be stared at until someone says, “What in the fuck do we do now?” and the recipient of this ‘gift’ will be wheeled into a room full of other kids with dolls until she is deprived of so much sleep that she starts hallucinating. That’s when things start to go downhill because the baby will start feeding and shitting so voraciously that the exhausted recipient’s lungs will start to fill with swallowed tears. But as this doll has been given to her, and no one else, it is only she who has responsibility for it.
Yes, the little girl will turn the doll over searching for the ‘off’ switch but to no avail. That’s when she’ll turn to the instruction booklet in a desperate search for sanity, freedom and peace. Problem is that the booklet will be six inches thick and so loaded with instructions, suggestions and assumptions that it’ll fell her long before the colicky screams of the doll does. And the troubleshooting page? Well, that’s been left blank.
So how’s that for a doll that drives girls to succeed? I reckon it could be a winner. Spend a Crimbo night and Boxing Day with one of these and girls across the land will be joining NASA’s space programme in their fevered droves. So perhaps baby dolls do have a place in a girl’s life after all. Just make sure you have a nest of Duplo bricks to hand to let her recover from it.