She is trying to unwrap a twisty-tie. She twists it this way and that way, and as she does, the twisty-tie multiplies, hydra-like. Soon, she is trying to make her way through a forest of twisty-ties in the misty darkness, stalks wrapped together in a variety of manners, some bent over and wrapped around themselves, some twisted one way then the other, some linked with multiple other twisty-ties in the distance. As soon as she breaks her way through one thicket, another looms before her. And all the time, OmegaDotter is calling, from far far away, “I waaaant it!”
Then, she is smushed inside a stiff hermetically sealed plastic package, being shaken up and down. A giant above her is stabbing at the package with scissors, and OmegaMom can’t escape, as the scissors come stabbing…stabbing…stabbing. The giant shakes the package in frustration, then finally the scissors find a surface to start cutting, and icy, glasslike shards of plastic begin falling like snow, swirling around OmegaMom and the giant. One of the shards impales the giant, and a drop of dark red giant blood starts falling in slow motion, then splashes onto OmegaMom, then forms a film between her and the plastic packaging.
Back to reality here. Yoohoo! Reality calling!
No, OmegaMom did NOT have nightmares like that, but it’s not for lack of trying on the part of toy manufacturers.
Those of my vast array of readers <::snerk::> who are not parents will not comprehend the terror that toy packaging inflicts upon parents at Christmastime and birthdays. Those of you who are parents know exactly what that nightmare above is describing.
Those of you who are soon-to-be parents, take heed:
Toy packaging is the instrument of the Devil.
Take OmegaDotter’s new baby doll. It had twisty-ties around the arms, legs, and neck. The baby-bottle had a twisty-tie around the neck. The plastic bib had two twisty-ties. The baby jacket and baby hat were SEWN TO THE PACKAGE (yes, sewn).
The Chinese New Year Barbie? Twisty-ties around each leg, each arm, the neck, the hair, tape over the bent-over twisty-tie ends, and a fiendish hash of tape that attached the mysterious round black thing to the back of the package. (Mr. OmegaMom, in a blaze of genius a day later, realized the mysterious round black thing was actually a stand for Chinese New Year Barbie to be displayed upon. Alas, there was a necessary part that somehow got lost in the Christmas shuffle, so Barbie is doomed to not be displayed, merely played with.)
The Spirit horse set? Each horse had four twisty-ties (one for each leg), plus a long flat plastic doodad with holes (akin to a flat yoke) to ensure that the four twisty-ties would lie flat and stay together.
The Creative Zen Touch? Hard plastic hermetically sealed package. Wait! Not just one, but two, snuggled inside each other like nesting dolls.
Each of these presents (with the exception of the Zen) was accompanied by an almost 4-year-old wanting to Play With The Toy NOW. (The Zen, which was OmegaMom’s, was not opened right away; OmegaMom simply wanted to clutch it to her bosom and croon happily.)
May I ask the toy manufacturers just what deadly combination of shoplifting prevention and marketing display requires this much packaging?
Is it secretly a ploy by anti-American forces, striving to drive one-third of the nation insane on Christmas Day?
Or is it a psychological test? Are we secretly being monitored through heating vents so psychologists can research how long it takes before parents and children become so frustrated that they fall upon each other like rabid weasels?
Maybe it’s an IQ test.
In any event, parents-to-be, take note. And take notes. This, too, shall be in your future.