saucy's playhouse

Scrappy Jessi is hosting a "Remembering Your Childhood Toys" event. Welcome to my playhouse. This is me, circa 1972.

Because this was my favourite TV show. I've always been a sucker for orphans, handsome older bachelors and gay (British) butlers. But I didn't want to be Buffy.

I wanted to be Cissy. I mean, seriously. A name like Cissy says something. Buffy says something else. Cissy says, "I'm really cute and I'm a teenager and I wear eyeliner and a jaunty cap and carry a bag and wear boots with my miniskirts and in one episode I will date a rock star". Buffy says, "I am the cute factor for this show and if this show runs longer than three seasons the producer will find a way to bring someone even younger than me to up the cute factor the minute I get my first zit or enter my awkward phase".

Regardless, The Fan had her own infatuation with that show and my hair was spun into two tight little sausages and off I went. For some reason utterly unbeknownst to me, The Fan took The Hog on a plane ride to The Big City and I got left behind. Who needs a plane ride? Besides, The Hog got stuck with holding this beauty all the way home in his lap, sans box.

Why? Because the box wouldn't fit in the luggage, so Mrs. Beasley had to come back carry on. Heh-heh. Score: Little Saucy 1, Big Brother 0.

And so I had my own Mrs. Beasley, sealing the deal for me to be a Buffy for the rest of my life, never a Cissy. I dragged that stuffed polka dot granny around... and I still have her. She taunts me over the rims of her square frames when she sees me prance out the door wearing boots and a cap as if to imply that she knows my secret: I am no Cissy.

In the late sixties, Little Kiddles were all the rage. Oh, my... they were so cute and tiny and you could hold the entire body in the palm of your sticky little hand and her head would poke out. They had delightful fruity scents and if I close my eyes I can smell the raspberries, strawberries, the rubber cement, sawdust, darkroom chemicals.

Why? Because, often, The Fan would go shopping. Sometimes she went to smoke long, long brown cigarettes in holders and drink black russians. I suppose legitimately she was also at PTA meetings but I imagine even those to be smoky dark rooms where Bob Dylan music played and there were spotlights on the president of the association while she spoke. I also imagine it to be very Harper Valley but that's another story for another day.

When The Fan went out, I was left with The Secret Weapon. I didn't own any Little Kiddles of my own. But The Secret Weapon, why, he had a few of them. If I came down to the darkroom while he processed film, or sat on a stool in the woodshop while he worked, then and only then, could I hold one of his Little Kiddles. It took me years to figure that one out. This was toy-bribery-babysitting.

Only The Secret Weapon knew where the Kiddles were stashed. Many a glorious afternoon spent clutching the glorious plastic while he worked at his goldsmithing table and me foolishly not playing with the loose diamonds.

One of my fondest memories, dear old Topo Gigo. What the hell is a Topo Gigo, anyway? Hybrid mouse-elephant-human? He spoke Espanol, I remember that much.

One day, The Fan stepped off the bus - which stopped right in front of our house - and I watched her sachet up the driveway with a parcel from Eaton's. I knew that inside that bag was something I coveted oh so badly: Miss America Barbie. She was brunette. She had quick-curl hair. She wore a tiara and a sash and carried roses and had a funny golden stick in her hand to beat off guys with. In short, she was awesome.

Unfortunately for Miss America Barbie, the only guy she had to beat off with her fancy gold stick was Malibu Ken. Something had to be done about Malibu Ken because Barbie had her eye on someone else.

My little brother Bug had a terrible baby-fever-hot-stinky-mess-sickness. I gave him Malibu Ken to ease his pain. He promptly stuck Ken's head down his throat, inducing the delightful gags that produced copious amounts of white-sticky-chunky-baby-vomit. It got stuck in Ken's mouth crack - and here is the best part: between his neck-turning device, rendering him unusable. Thus, Barbie was rid of that slick Ken.

She didn't need him anyway. She had speaking engagements, scholarship funding, and charity work to do.

But for some reason, she wanted to go camping. She desperately wanted the Barbie Country Camper, just like Wenda Osterhold who lived on Mills Crescent had. Even when Barbie went to Wenda's house for play dates clad in one of her fabulous gowns of satin and gold brocade, she loved getting in that camper. Wenda's Barbies had fashions crocheted by Mrs. O, and Wenda announced that Miss America Barbie was overdressed for camping.

Miss America Barbie knew that she would only find peace in the emancipation of having her own camper. She begged for one, but The Fan, ever the Gloria Steinem or Susan Faludi of the smoky PTA meeting, presented Miss America Barbie with the next best thing: The GI Joe All Terrain Urban Assault Vehicle.

Why, it was made from the same mold as the Country Camper but it was camouflage in colour and instead of having barbecue accessories, it came with guns and nets. Can't you see that? And, it was on SALE at the Eaton's Warehouse!

No matter. I told you, Barbie already had her eye on somebody else:

Chapter Two: Sesame Street Fever

I remember when Sesame Street premiered. What excitement. I played this record over and over on my Fisher Price record player. Bring your children close to the computer screen to see the LP. The Secret Weapon had worked many years at the TV station. He watched the show with us and just like Jim Henson, he fashioned us puppets made of socks and googly eyes.

Then, The Secret Weapon went on a plane ride to a convention back to The Big City. The entire family anxiously awaited his return. At the airport, we all held our breath: surely he would bring us presents. And he did. He emerged from the gate with three Sesame Street puppets, one for each of us! Oh, the excitement of it all!

The Baby, being the smallest, most vomitous and googly-eyed of us all would have the first pick and of course he took the Cookie Monster.

I got the next pick, being next smallest and the girl, and so I picked lovable, affable, Ernie. I loved the way Ernie always got the better of that stick-in-the-mud-dud, Bert.

Once again, the plane ride left The Hog with the short end of the stick:

Heh-heh. Score: Little Saucy 2, The Hog, still zero. In truth, the Great Puppet Dispatch of 1973 was a driving force in the affirmation for each of our future personalities.

At least, that's what The Bug and I tell The Hog, we take great delight in seeing the redness rise right from under his turtleneck collar up, up, up past his unibrow to his forehead.

What were your favourite childhood toys? Spill it.


Mrs. G. said...

This is a Saucy Greatest Hit post. I, too, loved Cissy. And you had just the right sausage curl pony tails-I would have worshipped you in grade school. Even then, hair was important.

Favorite toys: my Cher doll, my lemon twist, my spirograph and my skateboard.

wrekehavoc said...

love this post!

i actually broke out my Mrs. Beasely doll last weekend. sure, her mouth is stained permanently from my mom's lipstick, and she has been legally blind since the '70s because my brother and i got into a fight and he ripped her glasses off. oh, and i guess she's mute, too, since her little stringy thing is stuck.

but she's my mrs. beasley!

i also loved my crissy dolls (remember, their hair could grow longer or shorter), my barbies, my dawn dolls, and of course, any sort of ball, especially a baseball. (i grew up with all brothers.)

but i always wanted an easy bake oven.

Scrappy Jessi said...

you are so funny! boy did this bring back tons of memories.
i had a ton of those kiddles dolls.
and that barbie. fantastic! i had a camper too!
thanks for coming to my toy party!!

Scrappy Jessi said...

You were a gorgeous little girl!
still gorgeous today!

Junie Moon said...

Oh my, this was such fun to read. You are such a riot! I wasn't all that big on toys as a child, something weird about me, I guess. But I did have a doll that I loved, but my brother cut off her fingers and toes--it only made me love her more. Mostly I loved playing games outside with the boys because I hated being treated like a "silly girl" so I'd try to outdo them at their games. I did have a favorite coloring book, though. It was Shirley Temple (which ages me) and I'd try to emulate each and every page of the book with whatever activity she was doing.

Melissa said...

This post ROCKS! My best friend had the Miss America Barbie (note my green and envious font as I type this) and this took me back...I lusted after the Barbie Dream House and all the pretty clothes she owned. I had my own dolls, but none measured up to her Miss America--with the crown--except, perhaps, Ballerina Barbie, which she also owned!

Rosa said...

The famous Mrs Beasley!. I used to love to watch Topo Gigio's show. I thought he was the cutest thing ever! Thanks for reminding me of him.

Lori said...

Fun post, great toys! Now I know what started my infatuation with bearded men! G.I Joe!!!! Such fun! Thanks for posting, P.S. love the ponies!!! Come visit, Lori

Janet said...

well, I'm older that most of you guys, and more twisted; my favorite toy was "Creepy Crawlers" made by Mattel in the early '60s. You poured this goop into various bug molds, "cooked" it, and voila! A slimy, wiggly bug! It gave off a lovely chemically smell, too, as it was "cooking".

I can't tell you how many times I burned myself with this "toy"! But I loved it nonetheless.

Saucy said...

Oh girls, I forgot all about Ballerina Barbie, I just loved her. I slept with her and her hair got all mussy.

I wanted the turquoise EZ Bake oven BADLY. Oh, the smell of baked cake on a light bulb!

Oliver Rain said...

I love this post! I can remember an especially fun weekend when we were on a road trip as children and my brother & I fought the whole time over a Big Bird Doll. I'm sure my parents were very fond of Sesame Street by the end of the trip. My favourite toys were Barbies & baby dolls. I added some pics to my blog to show off some of my formally prize possessions.

I would love to do a swap with you for the jewelry roll. I need a few weeks though, but I've got some fabulous ideas. Leave me a comment with your jewelry comments (ie. you have 50 cocktail rings and you need 10 ring holders) and I'll put something together. We can trade particularly later.

Stephanie said...

Funny post, fun memories!

Thanks for sharing! Please come visit my toys when you get a chance!

Angelic Accents

bluemuf said...

What a fun post, I enjoyed going down memory lane with you. I just love the Kiddles.


mendytexas said...

Oh my gosh...did I have fun looking at your photos! I also had the doll in the amazing. I had your Ken, and just about all the others too. LOVE your photos! :)mendy

Anonymous said...

Oh Saucy - don't you remember your little red convertible - it had push pedals and doors that opened and a horn! Every night, we'd walk around the block - but your wee legs tired quickly, so The Secret Weapon fashioned a pole so we could push you!!!!xoxoxo the fan

Twyla and Lindsey said...

I loved that about wanting the camper! I have been suprised by how many bloggers I've seen so far that owned one. Yours sounds like it was better though!

Sherry said...

I always wanted curls like that, I'm so jealous!! I always just had plain straight hair. I had one of those little cola dolls too. They were so cute!

Mrs.Agbalog said...

Cissy - OH YES! How I coveted her boots (and rejoiced when I FINALLY got some in high school colorguard...)My mother actually confessed to me that SHE thougth Cissy was cool, too!
Kiddles - TONS of them. Sorry, but I could afford them with my allowance and that's ALL I ever bought!
I had hand-me-down Barbies, but I DID have that coolio Camper. Sorry again. I used my wiles on my Grandpa and he bought it for me...
ANd I had the turquoise Easy Bake OVen, too. Until my little brother shoved my Ken doll in there and baked the living daylights out of him.(Oh, the indignities Kens all over the world have suffered at the hands of little brothers!)Totally ruined my EBO. Brat.

Thanks for the memories, Saucy!

MJ said...

I'm green with envy. I don't recall many nifty toys from early childhood. What great memories you have!

fated follies studio said...

those little kiddles are adorable! how muh fun didyou have?!


Alisa said...

LOL!! This is the funniest post I've read in a while. Thank you so much for sharing it.

Tiffany said...

OMG - You crack me up! Love the picture!

I had the Barbie Camper! Of course, it came to me in the traditional "little sister gets the hand-me-downs" form, as my sister is 8 years older than me. I also had the Sesame Street record (previously owned by my sister and brother who is 6 years older) complete with skipping during favorite songs.

But I have to say that despite having the hand-me-down camper, my Barbie road in style...she had the blue Tonka Truck version of a Jeep and Barbie ALWAYS drove...with Ken mooshed into the backseat and her dog (a toy I stole from my brother) ridin' shotgun! My Barbie rocked!

Angela said...

Hi Sasha!

I can so relate to the Buffy vs. Sissy crisis (my hair would never curl like that). That brings back such good memories for me!

I asked my son, Jordan, if the girl (you) in the first picture was the same as the little girl in the second (Buffy), and he emphatically said, "YES!"

Hope your reno is going well! Can't wait to hear all about it!

Angela said...

What a beautiful picture of you on your header... my.. just lovely.
And it looks like Uncle Bug has been playing around with the background... very fun!

Can't wait 'til your back!

Barb said...

I just found your blog, so I haven't read much and don't "know" you very well yet...but I'm thinking we must be close to the same age. I still have my Liddle Kiddle paper dolls. Loved them! Especially Bunson Bernie. I also have my Buffy doll...who had her own miniature Mrs. Beasley.

A glance at my world said...

I love seeing Topo Gigo on old Ed Sullivan re-runs :)

jkddz said...

Childhood toy is a hard one... but I guess it would have been "littlest ponies" you know the ones that didn't look like they were starved(today's ones look so skinny) and my Wrinkles dog - the puppet one... and well I was in that whole cabbage patch rage! but my mom could not find one so I got one the next year...just wasn't as cool anymore...

michelleb. said...

Ohhh that Barbie Camper!!! I had one as did one of the 3 girls I played Barbie with. Funny story (not so funny then). The 4 of us would gather at Debbie Dupree's house to play on the back patio, when we went home we would all lug our wardrobe cases and vehicles home. Debbie left hers out one night and when we went out to play the next day, her lovely, GIANT (great dane)of a dog left her a huge present on top of her camper. Needless to say we ran screaming to Kitty's back yard and we would never allow our Barbie's to visit Debbie's Camper again.

Sheila-rita said...

You brought back some great memories.

FichenDich said...

You wrote, The GI Joe All Terrain Urban Assault Vehicle.

Why, it was made from the same mold as the Country Camper but it was camouflage in colour and instead of having barbecue accessories, it came with guns and nets.

You are mistaking GI Joe's vehicle with The Big Jim Sports Camper. GI Joe's UAV had eight wheels, not four.

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