There is no discussion with these – Muncie Journal
By John Carlson—
I am of that generation who, early in life, got used to being addressed by inanimate objects. Well my little sister Patty is anyway.
Do I mean television or radio? No.
I am referring to a certain doll that Patty received for Christmas one year. Was it Whizzy Wanda? Peein ‘Petunia? Little Baby Poops-a-Scoop or something? No wait! It was Betsy Wetsy! That was it!
Going out with their chapter of the Betsy Wetsy Fan Club, my sister and her girlfriends would repair the bottles on their Betsy Wetsy dolls before putting them down for a nap. In no time at all, the contents of the bottles would flow from their pouty little doll mouths through their plastic kidneys to their soggy play pants.
Then, if I remember correctly, the girls would pull cords from the back of the necks of their Betsy Wetsy dolls, which erupted into mechanical comments like, “Guess who tinkled her pants.” Again, Mum?”
Or maybe it was Chatty Cathy?
Who knows? Anyway, after that, Patty and her pals gladly wiped their dolls’ soggy buttocks off before grabbing another bottle.
This highlighted a real difference between boys and girls at the time. As a boy, I never understood the attraction, always feeling like I had enough of my own urine-related responsibilities to watch out for without adding a doll. The point is, very early on, Patty got used to an inanimate object that spoke to her of fake urine, even though I didn’t.
Recently Nancy and I acquired another talented inanimate object, a fancy Detecto bathroom scale. I find this remarkable on several levels.
The first one? We have owned a number of scales in the past, none of which were capable of weighing more than 300 pounds, and we have made every effort to stay that way. Sure, I’m a little paunchy, but I’ve never weighed 300 pounds a trifle. It was even during my years of quitting smoking when, giving up cigarettes, you would never see me without a Concannon jelly donut hanging from my lips.
The Detecto scale goes up to 400 pounds!
It’s like it challenges me to be this heavy, and it makes me think. Corporate titans of the American Scale Empire – men whose careers have been devoted to the never-ending battle against man boobs – they say now, man, don’t hesitate to put on a hundred pounds more if you feel like it?
Who knows? But if so, who am I to argue?
Which I could do, by the way, because here’s the other notable thing about our new muscle scale.
It talks about.
No, he hasn’t rapped his favorite tracks from the musical “Hamilton” for me yet. Technically all I’ve heard him say so far is my weight plus “Goodbye” when I come down. But if cutting-edge research on scales in the United States can make one that says “Goodbye,” the technical means are there for renegade bathroom scale workers to start making scales that turn bitchy when you go down and you say: “Good riddance, fat!”
Not that it will happen overnight. The scale will likely be friendly at first, suspecting that no one will bring home a bathroom scale that is kind of a mouth jerk.
When shopping for Libra, she may even try to work her way into your affection with lies about your beauty. “Wow, my friend,” the scales might tell you. “You have to stand up… what?” A gangly five-foot-six? At this height, you should be able to beautifully carry 400 pounds! “
Will the schmoozing continue when you get home?
“Seriously, I have never seen such a beautiful bathroom like this! Is this shower curtain made of true vinyl? And check out this chic two-ply toilet paper! None of those rough Russian sandpaper imports that make your buns bleed! “
But you’ll know the honeymoon is over one morning when out of the blue he greets you, “Hey! Moby Dick! What are you saying we’re going a little easier on the hostess cupcakes this week? “
And things can only get worse with familiarity.
“Oh my lord, if you don’t pull on some pajama bottoms right now, I’ll go for it!” A ladder could threaten.
But, of course, things will work out eventually, with the ladder thinking she might as well clean up her act. Reluctant respect may even arise between the scale and its owner, who, as a friendly gesture, might end up greeting her every morning as their favorite dog.
“Hey there, Freddy! Awww, who is a Well ladder?”
“Hi, boss,” the Detecto talking scale might even respond, leaving the past gone. And with no one else to fill the bathroom in the morning, the owner may even begin to think of Freddy as an outright friend. You’ll know you’ve made a real turning point in your scale relationship the first morning he empathizes with you.
“Is there a lot going on today, buddy?” “
“No,” Freddy will note. “I hope a lot will happen.”
John’s Weekly Columns are sponsored by Beasley & Gilkison, Muncie’s trusted lawyers for over 120 years.
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Former writer and longtime columnist for The Star Press in Muncie, Indiana, John Carlson is a storyteller with an unwavering appreciation for the wonderful people of East Central Indiana and the stories of their lives, no matter how funny, poignant, inspiring or all three. . John’s Columns appear on MuncieJournal.com every Friday.