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I don’t remember how difficult it was to get a Cabbage Patch Doll, but I remember being over the moon that I’d been given one. And that L’il Sis and Crazy D also had them which meant we could play dolls together because previously (and probably after, too) we’d done the usual mishmash of Barbie, GI Joe, and some stray Lego guys. Which was all fine and well but there was something nice about the idea that everyone’s dolls would be the same size.

The Mom, in a strange way, has become my purveyor of pop culture. I don’t watch TV here (I have the inter webs, and skip the adverts) and often times whatever famous person or It-thing doesn’t translate quite so well over here.

Anyhow, in our recent Skype conversation…

“No, it’s called Hatchimal,” the Mom said in that tone that reminds me she’s losing interest because I’m not catching on fast enough.

“Is it Japanese? Like a Tamagotchi?”

“I don’t know what those words mean. A guy in Toronto invented it.”

“Can you invent a toy?”

“Can you be less pedantic?” The Mom retorted.

“Almost certainly,” I replied. “So how do I spell it?”

She must’ve known I was typing because I was making my typing face very close to the video camera: mouth ajar, squinting at the screen at a very close range (for no reason whatsoever actually, my glasses are just fine so I don’t need to squint or be close. Sometimes though, I just like to feel like I’m really involved in my searches).

Anyhow, I asked Mr. Google and he came back with some rather garishly coloured images.

“Wait, it’s like a duck that comes out of an egg?”

The Mom was quickly becoming exasperated. “No, it’s a little pet of some kind. And it hatches. That’s the thing.”

“It hatches and people are losing their minds?”

The Mom nodded.

“Huh,” I said. “How do you make it hatch?”

“You have to pet it for half-an-hour.”

“That’s all?”

Again, she nodded.

“Seems easy enough. Then what?”

“It grows like a baby.”

“Does it cry and whine and shit itself?” I asked.

“I don’t know, they didn’t say about that on the TV.”

“Interesting. Well, they’ve got them at Argos, are you saying you want one?”

“What would I want one for?” she asked.

“You did quite like that chicken that poops out Easter eggs.”

“Poopadoodle!”

“Yes, that chicken,” I said, thankful that I wasn’t at home just then so she didn’t have to go and get it to show me yet again how it shits out an egg. I mean, it’s not that I’m unimpressed, but I feel it’s more of a one-trick pony. “anyhow, do you want one of these things? It’s £60.”

The Mom considered it. “Nah, probably best not to.”

“Yeah, I would be bummed if you got it and then it was disappointing or you neglected it or something. Say, what about the girl child over the road? Do you think she might want it? We could get it for her and then observe.”

This is the way I get around becoming too involved in things. I get them for other people and make them play with them, asking in return only for updates and top tips. I am still frequently disappointed because people are not testing these things out thoroughly or with any kind of rigour. They are also taking piss poor notes.

“Nah,” The Mom said. “I don’t think she’d care for it.”

“Why? You seem keen. And you both like the egg-shitting chicken. A lot.”

Honestly, they have been known to spend entire afternoons putting the egg in and watching it come out. I can’t even…

“We do, but I think this isn’t science-y enough for her.”

“Like, not enough with the Bunsen burners and dangerous chemicals?”

“Something like that dear,” The Mom sighed.

Anyhow, in the end I didn’t get The Mom the Hatchimal and I think she was telling me about it just to tell me not because she wanted one. Though, if anyone out there does have one or get one, I would be delighted to hear of your progress!

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