02 June 2010

Granny Zella Wants to Rant

I had a disturbing incident in Wal-Mart the other day. No, I was not attacked, nor was the item I was looking for out of stock, nor did that crazy woman who works there lead me on a wild goose chase around the store, though she has done that in the past. I just saw something that set off my inner granny. *beats cane against floor*

Allow me to explain with some background information:

I have recently decided that I have been lazy this summer. True, I have only had a couple of weeks off, but I am already getting bored . . . and disgusted with my boredom. I have been reading and blogging regularly--which I am pleased with--and I have been working at the library a couple of days a week, but I feel like I need to do something slightly more constructive with my free time.

To that end, I have vowed to work more on my writing--more on that another day--and resume painting. I used to love to paint. There is just something so soothing about mixing paint, applying that paint with methodical brush strokes, and then seeing what becomes of it. My family has never really quite related to my writing--though, for the most part, they have supported it--but painting and visual art? Now that is something they understand. My grandmother is a talented ceramics artist and we have other artists scattered through out the family, the best being my father. Nicknamed Picasso in high school for militantly refusing to draw what he was assigned--he would draw everything but what he was told to--my dad actually won a full art scholarship for four years when he graduated high school, but he turned it down to join the 82nd Airborne (Yes, my dad jumped out of planes for four years. ) and then the navy. After that, other than some time he worked as a tattoo artist, my father's artwork has mostly been hilarious but decidedly politically incorrect cartoons he drew to amuse my brother and me. (You may have gathered that my father is a somewhat colorful individual. You would be correct.) I never inherited my father's amazing talent for art, but I did inherit his interest--and his ornery defiant streak. :P

It has been awhile--about two years, to be precise--since I last painted. I decided to start small by buying a couple of those paint by number things (Don't laugh! They are harder than they look!) just to get used to painting again before I started painting my own stuff. So I ended up in Wal-Mart last week, wandering around looking for the craft section. I assumed that the craft section would be near the toys, which was incorrect. (They were near the school supplies. Logical, no?)I didn't find paint sets in the toy section, but I did see something that morphed this twenty year old nerd looking for paint into a raving granny brandishing her cane like a weapon--Bratz dolls.

Have you seen these monstrosities? I had heard of them before, and even seen pictures on the commercials, but I had never seen one up close and personal. They look like hookers! Parents are buying their children dolls that look like prostitutes! I don't consider myself a prude, but that just really bothers me. Why would you buy your kid a doll that looks like a streetwalker?! What kind of message does that send! (I kept trying to craft a mock conversation illustrating this point, but it was just not really PG, if you know what I mean.)

And that's when the little gray-headed granny inside of me emerged. If I would have had a walker, I would have thrown it at someone. If I had false teeth, I would have lost them. When I was a kid, we didn't have skanky dolls! All you had were Barbies. And you had to like them! Regardless of the fact that they were all skinny, pale blondes, and you were a stocky, swarthy brunette. (I always wanted a Jewish barbie. They always have those princess dolls. Why not a Jewish American princess doll? Oh, erm, well, maybe not . . . )

If you happened to amputate Barbie's leg--that was not me. I do not know how that happened--you just got more Barbies and strict warnings to not perform surgeries upon them. We didn't have dolls that looked like strollops! And if you were somewhat disappointed in the manliness of her compadre Ken, you just had to live with it and let them have their little pie-in-the-sky perfectly manicured dream world. (Well, actually, if you noticed the overly masculine army dolls that were intended for boys, you could buy Barbie a harem of macho guys in fatigues. I had a couple of these army dolls for my barbies. They were buff and came with assault rifles! Shortly after their arrival, Ken lapsed into a deep depression. He would just sit in the little Barbie convertible all alone while his lady friends were having fun with other guys. One day Ken was found decapitated. No suspect was ever determined. No, honestly! We don't know who did it. I wasn't there! I SAW NOTHING! I WANNA LAWYER! YOU CAN'T PIN THIS ON ME! He didn't die anyway! His head was duct taped back on and he now lives in a plastic tub in my basement! He looked somewhat happy last time I saw him before I closed the grave, erm, container! *dramatically points in direction of basement door* SO, THERE! IT WAS NOT A DOLL HOMICIDE! I PLEAD THE FIFTH!)

Ahem, where was I? Granny Zella is getting old and can't remember what she was complaining about. Platypuses, was it? They are funny creatures. I don't trust them. They have beady eyes. Hmm . . . *scratches head* Granny Zella doesn't remember now. Well, whatever it was set me off and upset me in K-Mart. Or was it McDonalds? Yes, it was their sweet tea. They don't put the sugar in at the right time. They don't know how to make proper tea and that infuriates Granny Zella. She has contemplated fire bombing their tea machine, but her arthritis prevents her from doing it. Granny Zella is getting old and feeble and she wants to take a nap. (And she wants to know why she is being forced to refer to herself in the third person. Granny Zella finds this a little creepy.) *toddles off*

P.S. I have shared this blog link with a couple of you already, but if you have never read Allie Brosh's Hyperbole and a Half, you are missing out! (For my Sparkler blogger friends, she is like a cross between Auntie Sparknotes--without the advice but with the hilarious drawings--and Dan Bergstein.) You must read her work! Try her latest. The part where she says "I would have shanked an infant for juice" was more than I could handle. :P)


  1. Haha, this cheered me up, definitely! I think that Granny Zella is right in that the Bratz dolls look like hookers and that it is just plain ridiculous.

    By the way, don't worry, I was the person from Chainsaw Massacre (never saw it, but still) and cut off the legs of my Barbie. On another Barbie set, I gave them complete makeovers- I cut their hair, colored it with Sharpies, and gave them tattoos ;)

    YOu must admit, those platypusses are very strange.. I always thought that their eggs were actually bombs.

  2. You sound uncommonly like *my* grandmother, Gra--Zella. Especially with the referring to self in third person. :o
    Ah yes, Bratz. The really sad thing is that they've caused a lot of girls to, get this, *want bigger heads.* You heard me correctly. They think that big heads are 'cute' on the Bratz dolls, and thus one child started beating her head with a hammer to make it swell (am not making this up!).
    I wish I could find that news report for you...

  3. I love this post! You brought up several things I can very much relate to, so this is going to be a fairly long comment. Feel free to just skim it, I'm babbling again. :D

    Firstly, I love painting. My family is all fairly artistic, although recently school has been getting in the way of my painting and drawing pursuits. Our table has been covered by textbooks instead of acrylic paint lately. :( Maybe that will change when summer comes.

    Secondly, Bratz dolls are an abomination. They look and dress just like...~those~ girls! *cough* Plus, I discovered at a friends house years ago that when you take off their shoes, their entire feet come off. Technically, they have no feet. Just interchangeable shoe-feet. O_o So much for anatomy.
    It's not only children's toys that bother my inner-granny. As I walked into the children's clothing section with a younger family member the other day, I realized little girl clothing has changed. I mean, do they really need to sell miniskirts, high heels and halter-tops to seven year olds?! It was horrifying. I say bring back leggings, 'jellies' shoes, and comfy (yet hideous) 90s clothing. :D
    Allie Brosh is hilarious! I actually read the "Texas" post last night. :D I would warn that some of the posts require a PG13+ warning,though I let my little sister read the "Alot" one.

    I must go, I have now written Alot of pointless words. (I would draw this Alot and put it on my blog, if I didn't have an Alot of homework roaring at me. :D)

  4. @Scadoosh, Granny Zella is pleased that she cheered you up! (Would you like a cookie, dear? *offers cookies*)

    Hehe I am glad I am not the only person who mutilated her Barbies. I must admit, I did mangle them, but I never did think to tattoo them. I feel compelled to try it. ^^

    OMG! The egg bombs explain their beady eyes! They are plotting against us! They are saboteurs! Those sneaky platypuses. :D

    @Scott: LOL Sorry if Granny Zella frightened you. She has that effect on people. Here, have one of her cookies.

    Holy Toledo! Children are trying to mishape their heads to look like Bratz dolls? What is the world coming to?! I so have to find this news article, if not just because that is one of the creepiest things I have heard in my life. (Creepier even than Granny Zella referring to herself in the third person.)

    @Feathery: Feel free to babble! I am a big believer in babbling! I do it all the time. :)

    Ooh, I hope you can resume painting this summer! It is so much fun . . . and so relaxing, too.

    That fact about Bratz dolls' feet coming off made me laugh for a long, long time. And, yes, I think the clothing they market to children these days are abominable. Wasn't it on Sparklife a few months ago that they had an article about seven year olds in thongs? That is just wrong on so many levels.

    You should draw those two alots! (With the alot of pointless words, you could use Blogger verification words. ^^) And, oh yes, Granny Zella wants you to have a cookie. :)

    Thanks to all of you for commenting! Granny Zella may strike again in the future. :D

  5. give it a few years. the fad will die after completely destroying the lives of millions of children and a new (potentially worse) fad comes in. :P Such is life in a free market society.

  6. haha Great post Zella!

    Actually...*cough* I liked Bratz dolls when I was younger. ;)I liked them for being more ethnic and more up to date, but I have to agree that the outfits were crazy. That's true. But Barbie always made me feel bad about my body image. Both types do. Oh well...

    And Zella? I have many old lady moments, girl! Don't sweat the small stuff! *walking cane high five*


  7. @sky: Yes, that's true! In fact, I think the Bratz dolls may not be as popular as they once were, which only shows how far behind the times Granny Zella is . . . *wanders off to next comment while holding a lantern for illumination* :D

    @Aly: *walking cane high five* Yay for having a little old lady mentality! I can definitely see your point about the Bratz dolls. Even though I am not African American, Barbie did always make me feel a little left out, because she was so . . . Nordic-looking. Right when I started to outgrow Barbie, they started producing somewhat more diverse dolls. Granted, they were all still skinny. *looks at self and frowns* We need a zaftig Barbie. :)

    Thanks to both of you for commenting! Granny Zella wants you to have a cookie each. :D

  8. COOKIES!!! wait...you have a computer but you're using a lanturn for light?

  9. Oh, I LOVE Allie's blog xD
    The Texas one got me laughing especially because, well, it happened in my town xD

    And Bratz have always annoyed the heck out of me. I was happy that my mother never allowed me to play with them; I thought they looked scary o.o
    I remember one birthday when I was about 5, a few of my "friends" (you know, the kids of your parents friends :P) got me about 5 Barbies. I was THRILLED because they gave me a gift receipt, and I was able to get the boxed set of Narnia I had been asking for :D

  10. Sky: *waves more cookies in face* Don't question Granny Zella! She doesn't like being confronted with facts! But if you want the truth, she just prefers whale oil illumination. It reminds her of her childhood. :P

    Kevin: Bratz *are* kind of scary looking. I think it is the gigantic eyes coupled with almost no nose. (I mean, really. I have been told I have big eyes, but good grief! Their eyes are huge!) I wish I had been given gift receipts for Barbies. I would have used them on books, too. ^^ Here, have a cookie, Granny Zella insists. :)

    Thanks to both of you for commenting! :D

  11. but...but...but I thought you liked facts!!! :(:(:( AND WHALE OIL IS BAD YOU WHALE KILLER!!! GRR. >:(

  12. I like facts, but Granny Zella only likes them when they agree with her. (Don't tell her I said that. She will get violent with her cane.) :D

  13. I only had one Barbie when I was little. But I had a remote control bus! It was awesome! Except the remote control went missing. Then I got sad. :(
    I don't know what happened to the Barbie. Maybe my sister has it. She has a lot of doll (most of which are naked or half-naked. I have no idea what happens to the clothes.).
    And I've never liked Bratz dolls. They are horrendous! :O DON'T CORRUPT THE CHILDREN!!! *attacks people with cane*

  14. Hehe I am not sure what it is with Barbies, but they are easily disrobed. I think Barbie may not be the good girl she is often perceived as . . .

    *joins Sana in attacking Bratz ith cane* I say we start a Bratz bonfire. What say you, Sana? ^^

    Hm. My sister has some Bratz dolls. But she lost the clothes.
    Attacking Bratz dolls with canes is super fun!
    It would be nice if there had been Indian dolls. There probably were, but I never got them.
    Do you mind if I try depicting your transformation from a "20 year old nerd looking for paint" to a "raving granny brandishing her cane like a weapon" through MS Paint and post it on my blog? Because I really want to. :D *looks hopefully*

  16. *starts bonfire*

    I never had an Indian doll, though there was a collector's edition Barbie doll that was Indian. She was so pretty and I wanted to purchase her, but, alas, I never could find her in stores. :(

    I would be most honored to have my metamorphosis depicted on your blog. :D