Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Saddest Place on Earth

Mrs. LIAYF and I were Spring cleaning this weekend, so we decided to load up some items from our overstuffed garage and take them to the local thrift store to be donated.

And, whenever we drop items off, we always have to go in and look for books. While Mrs. LIAYF started perusing those, I took Lukas back to the furniture dept to see if we could find a couple of vintage school house chairs (an ongoing search). It was there, next to the furniture section, where it seemed an invisible swirling vortex - in an instant - sucked the smiles off of our faces as well as the joy from our hearts.

We are all aware that Disneyland is considered the Happiest Place on Earth, but at that moment I suspected we had quite possibly discovered Disneyland's long hypothesized and sought after counterbalance, The Saddest Place on Earth.

We had arrived at....the Goodwill stuffed toy bins.

It would be difficult to adequately describe the overall level of patheticness of the toys which resided in these bins, many of which seemed as if they had been sitting there staring, with hope in their hearts, out at the uninterested bargain hunters since the Nixon Administration. A quick once over revealed:

A black and white penguin, with a large and obnoxious red and white plaid bow tie, which by all accounts seemed to be screaming "WHHHHY?"

A grungy panda bear holding a big read heart bearing the words "Love You" between his paws. Obviously, this was not the enduring symbol of lasting love that some poor sap had figured it might be.

A dirty and crusty Nemo fish doll which seemed to be experiencing one of those 'alternate realities'. One in which being flushed down that toilet in that Finding Nemo movie hadn't lead him to the ocean, but rather through a winding maze of sewer systems and ultimately here to this bin.

A once white harp seal pup which, if could be brought to life, would probably plead "Please club me or something already, but just make the pain stop!"

A large mint green stuffed martini glass complete with toothpick, olive, and fuzzy dice which read '"Feeling Lucky?" on the side. I'm sure it had once held out hope that someone would come along who would answer this question in the affirmative.

There was also a stuffed Brian, the dog from The Family Guy complete with a tuxedo and top hat, who had a look of utter resignation on his face. As if he somehow knew he was doomed to sit there in that musty smelling bin for eternity.

And those weren't all, there were also many, many other stuffed beasts. Some so ridiculous they would have simply made me laugh out loud upon seeing them, if it hadn't been so unbelievably sad to see them shoved in tight with all their grubby compatriots.

Somehow, I don't see Fuax Leather Copper Bear or Strange Red Beast finding a home anytime soon. Sad!

In fact, this place was so unbelievably depressing, it could make The Island of Misfit Toys seem like just another Love Boat cruise ship stop in the Caribbean.

Trying to look on the bright side for these stuffed toys, I do suppose this Island of Sad Toys did come with a pre-made Martini. And who knows, if I had been brave enough to dig around, I might have even found a stuffed Issac the Bartender doll amidst the other dingy occupants.

He might even have been holding a sign that read "Climb aboard...We're expecting you."

11 comments:

SciFi Dad said...

This? May very well be my favourite post of yours. Seriously.

Chris (@tessasdad) said...

Very creative post man. I avoid the toy sections at the Goodwills cause the toys are always pretty depressing.

Lady Mama said...

You see, this is exactly why I lovingly purchase these poor, sad, lonely stuffed toys, then take them home and hand them over to my dog who promptly rips them to shreds (but has fun doing so).

Mighty M said...

My daughter has so many stuffed animals! I'm a sucker for them, I kept a lot of mine from childhood because of their darn pleading faces....

Keith Wilcox said...

I am afraid we have quite a few old stuffed animals who just might find there way to the pathetic pile. But, to their credit, they don't come close to a stuffed martini glass or that copper bear for sheer sillyness :-)

DC Urban Dad said...

I'd keep your eyes open. One of these days those toys will stage a revolt and then we are all in trouble.

FilmFather said...

You may have visited The Saddest Place on Earth, but you had me laughing out loud at the baby seal "Just club me already!" line.

Knatolee said...

This was EXCELLENT!! I laughed out loud! And also funny because I go to thrift stores and look at stuffed toys from an entirely different viewpoint. I am there to find cheap toys for my dogs (and cheap books for us)! I am somewhat discerning: squeakers lead to instant disembowellment, so such toys are ruled out instantly. Anything that can be ripped off, swallowed, and lodged in an intestinal tract,necessitating $3000 emergency veterinary surgery, is also verboten. But crusty, old, slightly dank, inexplicably weird? NO PROBLEM! Come to me, Strange Red Beast, I have just the home for you! Although I have to cut off your eyes first (see previous comment on intestinal tract.) All the better for you not to see the dog fangs coming at you.

Slamdunk said...

It sounds like another sequel in the Toy Story movie series...

handstowar said...

Ever read "The Velveteen Rabbit"? Pretty good kids book about an old toy rabbit who longs to become "real". I don't if any of those toys might have felt that way. I'm sure you wouldn't have minded if the Martini was real!

But seriously... read "The Velveteen Rabbit".

john cave osborne said...

i was thinking "land of misfit toys" the entire time! LOL. great minds, right?

"nobody wants a charlie in the box."