My family has a tradition: whenever possible, scare the bejesus out of someone. One of my earliest memories is my dear old dad, banging on my window with a devil mask tied to the end of a rake. Corpses in the pantry, snakes in the toilet, the good old-fashioned Boo!…it makes us happy.
This weekend, I was visiting the Princess in Boston, and we happened upon an antiques store. We love antiques and weird old things. This was a wonderful antiques store, because it was bursting with stuff, from old lace to Japanese artwork to furniture and jewelry.
Dolls have a bit of a history in my family.
When my sister was four, she fell off the kitchen counter and split open her chin and nearly bit off her tongue. She was stitched up at the hospital and given a little puppet to distract her from the pain. A hideous thing, really…something rejected by the carnival for being too creepy, I think. The next morning, as my mom used the puppet to try to get my sister to take sips of grape juice, my sister kept saying, “Stoppy. Stoppy!”
In hindsight, she was probably saying, “Stop it! Stop it!” but we thought she was naming the puppet Stoppy.
Whatever. Hilary got better and Stoppy was relegated to a messy corner of her bedroom.
A few months later, our aunt was babysitting when my sister woke up to a scary sound. Our aunt investigated and found our Irish setter chewing on Stoppy’s face, puncturing it with her strong teeth. “It’s still nice,” our auntie lied, and Hilary loved Stoppy more than ever. Someone had to.
So anyway, there we were this weekend when I found an utterly terrifying Santa. (This picture doesn’t really do him justice, because you can’t see his deformed, tube-like, alien head.) Princess texted my sister with my message: “This hideous Santa reminded me of Stoppy.”
My sister responded a minute or two later: “Oooh. Stoppy is raging mad right now. I can’t guarantee your safety.”
Terrified at the idea that my sister’s deformed, hideous, wounded puppet would somehow come after us, the Princess and I staggered around the store, laughing and trying not to break anything.
One floor later, we retaliated, saying we had found my sister’s Christmas present—this horrifying doll. (Who would keep this? What kind of monster would try to SELL this to an innocent person?)
Having clearly met Stoppy’s match, my sister begged for mercy, which we only quasi-promised if she’d remove the Curse of Stoppy.
She sent us this instead.
Ah, love! Family! Laughter! Creepy antiques! There’s nothing better.
I hope you had a nice weekend, too, gang.