By Gwen Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3
My favorite humor writer, Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist Dave Barry, is famous for the line “I am not making this up.” He uses it when writing about things that are so absurd that any sane person would assume he’s taking creative liberties with his description when, in fact, the description happens to be ridiculous AND true. I thought of Dave’s famous line when my daughter spotted a toy recently and brought it over to the shopping cart to show me.
“Mom, this is kind of weird… and gross,” she said, holding it up for inspection.
The toy is called “Poopsy Pets,” and it’s part of the Moxie Girlz line of dolls made by the MGA Entertainment company. The package includes a doll holding a leash attached to a small pet. In the upper left corner of the package, there’s a speech bubble near the pet that says, “I poop JEWELS!” If that’s not quite descriptive enough for you, there’s also an up-close photo of the pet’s behind where you can plainly see small pink jewels protruding from said pet’s plastic anus.
“Kate, where did you get this?” I asked, wondering if this might be some kind of practical joke doll. She pointed to a low shelf, and, lo and behold, the Poopsy Pet had friends. Another doll had a bunny that said “I poop GLITTER!” The third one was a unicorn pet who proudly proclaimed: “I poop RAINBOWS!”
Now I’m not above a little gross humor. As the mother of two boys and a girl all under the age of 13, I’ve heard and enjoyed my share of funny bathroom jokes. But glitter-pooping bunnies? Unicorns defecating rainbows? Have toy-makers lost their collective marbles?
To be fair, I have heard of actual dogs pooping out jewels in the form of engagement rings that were accidentally gobbled up like treats. But I can guarantee they didn’t look as pretty coming out the back end as they do in those Poopsy Pet photos. And are rainbows still special if they come squirting out your pet’s behind? I think not.
But what amazes me most about these unusual poopers is that they made it all the way from the “crazy idea” stage to actual store shelves. Maybe it happened like this: Desperate product engineer walks his dog one day and stops to pick up the dog’s “deposit” in a pet poop bag. He thinks to himself, “Wouldn’t it be great if the dog pooped diamonds instead of this crap? Wait a second…EUREKA!”
Then that same guy sits in a brainstorming meeting at work and says something like this: “So what if we make a line of dolls with fantasy pets who poop jewels, glitter and rainbows? Wouldn’t that be awesome?” And then, in an equally stunning turn of events, the other people around the table say, “Oh my gosh, YES! That would be freaking awesome and not the least bit gross or disturbing. Feces is the new frontier of toy-making!”
It takes a relatively long time for a new toy to go from concept to product launch. How is it possible that Poopsy Pets made it through so many stages with no one slowing down to say, “This is kind of weird… and gross”? My 7-year-old knew it at first glance.
And let’s not forget how literal young kids can be. At this very moment, some of them are digging through poop piles in the backyard and the cat’s litter box, searching for the “jewels, rainbows and glitter” that must surely be hiding there. Imagine how disappointed and disgusted they and their parents will be when the search turns up nothing but a big pile of poo.
Sure do wish I was making this up.
Gwen Rockwood is a mom to three great kids, wife to one cool guy, a newspaper columnist and co-owner of nwaMotherlode.com. To read previously published installments of The Rockwood Files, click here. To check out Gwen’s new book, “Reporting Live from the Laundry Pile: The Rockwood Files Collection,” click HERE.
Photo credit: Lisa Mac Photography