According to a British Newspaper, a German toy manufacturer is to be making and selling soft toys that suffer from so-called mental disorders and come with their own medical history, a referral letter and a treatment plan. (I kid you not). Another company, however, proposes expanding on the idea.
To: Odius Exploiten-Kinder, CEO Psychokiller Toys Inc.,
From: Ruth Less, CEO Ruth Less Promotions Inc
As you are no doubt aware, the efforts of one of your competitors to market toys with psychiatric illnesses has fallen rather flat and I understand this has given you reservations about your plans to market your own toys with similar problems.
At first glance it would appear that the aforementioned marketing drive sank like the Titanic with ASAD (Aversion to Staying Afloat Disorder) because most three- and four-year-old children are as yet sadly unaware of what a mental disorder is or, indeed what a treatment plan is.
I am sure you will agree this is a sad state of affairs that the nation’s toddlers should be so deficient in basic education and so naive as to the ways of medical science that they insist on cuddling the brain-diseased playthings and dressing them up with hats rather than sticking to the treatment plan and giving them their medication as recommended by such psychiatric luminaries as doctors Klaus Offishead and Heinrich Straightenjaket. After all, how can anyone in their right mind expect a toy to fully recover if you just play with the loony little critter?
Clearly the nation’s toddlers are all suffering from PID (Post-Infancy Depression), or even UTBB (Unaware They Have Diseased Brains Disorder) and our friends in psychiatry are taking steps to remedy that epidemic. Their laboratories are working overtime to research both the appropriate press releases and modern ways to make benzodiazepines and other psychotropics taste like sweets.
There is some concern that such medications may be a little strong for small brains (although the evidence provided by the untimely death of 10 000 000 adults is merely anecdotal) and some are suggesting the children are eased into a lifetime of drug dependency and madness by starting them off with something less dangerous, such as sugar cubes coated with heroin or LSD.
Be that as it may, whatever is decided we can look forward to the kiddies receiving a hands-on education in the near future that will dispel their deplorable ignorance of our modern and enlightened approach to controlling their behavior (and by “controlling” we mean, naturally, “impairing”).
This will of course enable mentally impaired cuddly toys to be marketed into a much more enlightened and receptive demographic.
This then will soon provide Psychokiller Toys with a new opportunity to successfully launch its own brand of mentally ill toys, although we feel you can steal a march on your competitors by making your range even more realistic.
Here are some suggestions as to how that can be achieved with your existing range.
Buzz Spaceyear: to be renamed Buzz SpacedBrain. Diagnosed as suffering from post-manufacture depression, agoraphobia and sex addiction. Change his famous catchphrase, “UP, up we go!” to “Oh God I feel depressed.”
Woody the Cowpoke: to be renamed Woody the BenzoAddict. Diagnosed as suffering from bi-polar disorder and woodworm (a physical thing, granted, but that never stopped people (or toys) receiving psychiatric treatment before). Change his catch phrase of “Hands up you varmint!” to “Hand over the serotonin uptake inhibitors!”
Jolly Bill the Rastafarian Sheepdog: to be renamed Anxious Bill the Rather Nervous Sheepdog. Diagnosed as suffering from Religious Mania, anxiety and fear of toy cupboards. Change his barking sound when squeezed to realistic vomiting noises.
Hissy the Cuddly Snake: rename Hissyfit the Irritable Snake. Comes suffering from anger issues and so should also come supplied with real venom. Recommended treatment: sedatives and anger-management classes. To affect realistic anger management sessions, the toy should come complete with a list of unhelpful platitudes the child can read to it. Alternatively, it can be sat in a group therapy session with all the other cuddly toys and be encouraged to make sarcastic remarks about the other toys or blurt out its masturbation fantasies.
Henry the Happy Hedgehog: change his name to Henry the Hateful Hedgehog. Suffers from a hatred of children, therefore his soft woolly spikes should be treated with hair lacquer so they are straight and stiff and taper to sharp points. Treatment: sedatives and antidepressants and a degree in psychiatry (certificate supplied).
In the name of complete realism, of course, one has to go beyond the mere issuance of a course of treatment and extend the scenario into the usual side effects. The toys should therefore:
Occasionally go on a mindless rampage and kill all the other toys (batteries and Kalashnikov supplied)
Commit suicide (psychiatric medications supplied with the kit can, of course, be used for that purpose)
Inexplicably die (Premature Death Disorder).
Get worse due to the brain damage caused by the drugs and become convinced they are the victims of Venusian head termites (protective tin-foil hats provided) and eventually be committed. A small realistic padded cell and colorful straight-jacket can be supplied with every toy.
Receive ECT (Electro-Convulsive Torture). For this purpose we propose selling a realistic ECT kit that will enable the cuddly toy to be wired to the mains and have its head fried (we recommend non-flammable stuffing to avoid the inevitable fire risk).
Other side effects such as: stuffing leakage from the anal area (each toy will have its own aperture); terrible acne and sores (velcro spots and rashes provided); fall over (each toy can be appropriately weighted so it won’t stand up).
We here at Ruth Less Promotions Inc wish you every success in your endeavors and your friends in Psychiatry appreciate your efforts to shepherd the flock in their general direction.
Dr Wantme Hedexamind of the Brain-U-Like Institute sends his regards. He wants me to remind you that your next appointment is on Tuesday and has asked me to convey his reassurances that there are no plans by psychiatry to label the tasteless exploitation of children as a mental abnormality. It will be classed along with political torture, sexual abuse of psychiatric patients, terrorism, manufacturing and selling weapons of death and mass destruction, warmongering, ethnic cleansing, drugging children and firing missiles at civilians as perfectly sane and acceptable behavior.
Author’s note: I am reliably informed that a rival firm will be issuing its own alternative line. This will include: Cuddly Joe the Nutritionist who will provide the other toys with wholesome food and vitamins and thus prevent them ever getting mentally ill in the first place and Harry the Human Rights Activist who will point out all the diagnoses are of made-up illnesses, tear up the treatment plans and send his fellow toys to a Dianeticist for some proper help. He will also send Nutty the Psychiatrist to Wise Owl the Judge, who will then convict Nutty of fraud and lock him in a cell. Thereupon all the other toys will cheer and say “We feel better already!”