Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Haunting of Old McDonald

Remember how in Big you know the fortune-telling robot machine is possessed by Satan because it works even when it's unplugged?

A couple years ago we got a toy tractor for our kids at a thrift store. There are buttons on the steering wheel that are intended to make animal noises and play music when you press them, but by the time we bought the toy, the sounds had been reduced to a drunken mutter. Happy to have less sound produced by our children's toys, we never looked into replacing the batteries or anything.

But then a couple months ago, after the tractor had been left out in the rain one too many times, it started making animal noises and music loud and clear, except not when you press the buttons--just whenever it feels like it. At first we found this amusing, but this morning at five o'clock when outside my bedroom window I heard


louder than should be legal and over and over and over again, I was not so amused. After the ninth or tenth time and a good half hour of not being able to sleep, I stumbled out onto the patio with a screwdriver, took out the batteries, and then stumbled back into bed.

And without the batteries it didn't sing anymore, which I suppose means it's not possessed by Satan. But still, that wasn't very comforting at five o'clock this morning.


Rebecca said...

There was this boy I babysat in NJ, and he had a totally functional, non-ruined-by-the-rain toy that would occasionally decide to burst into song when no one was even remotely near enough to activate it. The thing freaked me out a couple of times.

I hate all noisy children's toys. If they aren't possessed by Satan, they were at least all designed by him.

Scott said...

When our oldest two were young, they had a set of five stuffed animals that made sounds when you squeezed them.

Four of them were about what you would expect: a dog that barked, a cat that meowed, a cow that mooed, and a frog that ribbitted.

The fifth was a rabbit with a maniacal laugh. (wtf? Since when to rabbits laugh?)

That itself was bad enough. But we hadn't had them long before the rabbit started laughing when nobody was anywhere near it. And the laugh got creepier as time wore on and the batteries started to fade.

I'm not sure where that rabbit ever ended up, but it wouldn't surprise me to learn that it's returned to whatever circle of hell it came from.

B.G. Christensen said...

Rebecca: I can support that conclusion.

Scott: I'm going to have nightmares just thinking about that bunny. I believe maniacally-laughing stuffed animals belong in the fifth circle, if I remember my Dante correctly.

Kristi said...

We have a few puzzles for our little girl that make the objects' sounds (farm animals, jungle animals, or vehicles) when you place the puzzle piece in the correct spot. Pretty cool, right? HEhe - yes, until we discovered that our light switches affect the puzzles. If any of the pieces aren't in place and we turn lights on/off (or if our tenants in the basement do) we get noises. I was taking a very needed nap one day only to be disturbed by a cow mooing. And then a sheep bleating. And then the horse. Apparently all the pieces were scattered and my nap was just plain ruined because I couldn't find the last piece. Ugh.

The puzzles were confiscated shortly thereafter.

B.G. Christensen said...

That sounds like a nightmare. Confiscating the puzzles was a good choice.