Epidemic of Mentally Ill Toys Shock

by Steve Cook

Some time ago a British Newspaper (I think it was the Sun, so it must be true!), reported that a German toy manufacturer was planning to make and sell soft toys that suffer from so-called mental disorders. To add authenticity, each toy will come with its own medical history, a referral letter and a treatment plan. (I kid you not).

Presumably this is so that children can learn all about the mythology of mental illness and the role that making things up plays in helping grown-ups cope with the task of extracting money from other grown-ups – although how a five year old is supposed to get his innocent head around concepts like “treatment plan”, “medical history” or “referral letter” is unclear.

Another company, however, proposes expanding on the idea, as evinced by the following letter, which accidentally fell into my pocket at three o’clock one Sunday morning when I accidentally broke into the head office of Psychokiller Toys Inc., in Loon, Wyoming.
To: Devius Moneygrubber, CEO Psychokiller Toys Inc.,
From: Ruth Less, CEO Ruth Less Promotions Inc.
Dear Devius,

As you are no doubt aware, the effort 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 and, like our friends in psychiatry, of what the “order” is from which the dis-order is a departure.

I am sure you will agree this is a sad state of affairs. It is deplorable 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 market a range of drugs known as PSEs (Psychotic Symptom Enhancers) that will 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 should be lovingly 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 and whatever is decided is the best way forward, 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 behaviour (and by "controlling" we mean, naturally, "impairing").

This will enable mentally deficient cuddly toys to be marketed into a much more enlightened and receptive demographic . It will provide Psychokiller Toys with an opportunity to successfully launch its own brand of mentally ill toys and we advise that you should steal a march on your competitors by making your own brand even more realistic.

Here, in brief, are some suggestions as to how that can be achieved with your existing range of loveably dysfunctional toys.

  • Buzz Spaceyear: to be renamed Buzz SpacedBrain. Diagnosed as suffering from post-manufacture depression and schizophrenia. 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, DHD (Disordered Hair Disorder) and fear of toy cupboards. Change his barking sound when squeezed to realistic vomiting noises.
  • Hissy the Cuddly Snake: rename Hissyfit the Irritable Snake. Suffers 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, naturally, we must think inside the box and extend the scenario beyond the mere issuance of a course of treatment to 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 are ideal 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 colourful 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).
  • Suffer 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); falling 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 endeavours 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. Psychiatry considers that it, along with terrorism, torturing people, warmongering, drugging children, designing and manufacturing weapons of genocide, blowing up civilians, invading small countries and lying to voters, are all perfectly rational conduct that psychiatry has no wish to stigmatise.

By contrast, being active as a child, having reading problems, being shy, being sad, lacking self-confidence and so forth are of course egregious examples of utterly demented behaviour that can only be handled by damaging the brain with drugs, electric shocks and other not-at-all-loony practices.

On a final 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.
  • 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!"

Other News:

British Government Declares National Day of Public Whingeing. Following England’s failure to assert global dominance and thrash everybody at that most important of all human endeavours, football, the government has announced the introduction of a public holiday in July. To be called the National Day of Public Whingeing everybody will be required by law to sit around in armchairs or pubs (or both) and explain how they would have done a much better job of management than the manager and controlled the midfield a lot better than Steven Gerard. This is to be a British holiday, however, as the Scots, Welsh and Irish will be encouraged to join in. More on pages 11, 12, 13, 17, 19, 103,107.

Psychiatrists claim they were bonkers when they invented mental illness. (see page 4)

Is Osama Bin Laden Really Dead? London man claims to have seen him in a chip shop on the Balls Pond Road. (see page 9)

U.S. Liberates Isle of Wight. Isle of Wight Ferry sunk by cruise missile “for democracy.” “We probably deserved it.” says Her Majesty’s government. (see page 9).

Oil fields, gold, uranium and diamond deposits discovered on Isle of Wight. (see page 11)

Government to Borrow Money so as to get out of debt (see page 5)

Steve Cook is the author of Genghis Kant, a tongue-in-cheek sci fi spoof. See a current newspaper review here. Visit the Genghis Kant on Facebook for a free copy of Steve's latest story "Spilt Milk" of which one reader said: “Loved the Spilt Milk story. Loved the characters and how it all linked together.” 

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