Now, Kids, I Will Drink This Glass of Water While Mr. Cronkles Tells You How He’ll Eat Your Soul While You Sleep!

June 10, 2012


This last week, people have been voting on what the best movie is to watch when you have insomnia.  And then I got insomnia for a couple nights this week, which I think is rude.

“The Fire Swamp! We’ll never survive!” “Oh, you’re only saying that because no one ever has.”

But it did give me a chance to try out the winner of this week’s entries!  So, thanks to Michelle Gillies, for proposing The Princess Bride as the best movie to watch when you have insomnia!   I did in fact watch it this week while I had insomnia.  Do you see??  Do you see that lengths I go to for my readers??  Ask Christopher Buckley to lose a night’s sleep just to test drive a movie and you know what you’ll get?  Hung up on, that’s what! Buckley’s looking out for Buckley, you better believe that!

Sorry, I think ah, I think I’m still a little cranky from lack of sleep.  But Princess Bride is a fantastic movie for the middle of the night, so thanks and congratulations to Michelle Gillies at Silk Purse Productions!

However, this un-requested opportunity to field test the responses makes me hesitant to go with my original thought for this week’s Weekly Question of the Week, and instead opt for something like “What’s the most money you’ve ever found lying in the street?” or “What publishers have most often approached you out of the blue, wanting to publish your book?”

But, no, I will stick with the plan, which involves: children’s toys that are creepy.

I suppose one could argue that we associate so many toys with scary things because that’s when we form our phobias.  Another argument, though, is that some children’s entertainment is just bone-scary terrifying.

Take ventriloquist dummies.  Better yet, take vintage ventriloquist dummies.  Yeesh.  Terrifying.  And they seem to fall in to a few categories.

Category A: Meet My Terrifying Family!

It’s a land of whimsy and merriment here at Cirque Du Withered Corpse!

Look, kids! It’s like we buried them up to their necks, and they can’t get away!

Category B: I tried to burn him up in the furnace, but flames won’t hurt him.  Nothing destroys him.

Who wants to feed Mr. Choppy some bloody entrails? How about you, little girl?

You say all the neighborhood pets have vanished since we moved in? Hm. That’s quite a coincidence.

Category C: You know what kids love?  Being in the hospital where terrifying, disfigured nurses wait to stab you with needles!

He was just a little boy until he came to the doctor. Now he’s ours to play with. Forever. And ever. And ever.

Category D: It’s love. A pure love that no one can understand.

We shall raise her as our own. And she will never grow up.

Kiss your new mother, junior. KIIIIIISSSSS HHEERRRR!!!

Category E: Ohhh… kaaayyyy…

Just take a moment and imagine being invited over to their house for dinner. Wouldn’t you figure it’s even money whether the evening ends with you chained up in the basement?

Really, it’s a wonder that every living soul hasn’t learned to be instinctively terrified of ventriloquists.  I mean, forget Chucky; what an amateur.  But maybe they’re not any more terrifying than, say, The Wiggles, or a Jack-in-the-box.  What do you think?  For the Weekly Question of the Week: What’s the most unintentionally terrifying children’s toy?

Also: Don’t forget to vote for this week’s Caption Contest finalists.

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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Site in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, but sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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69 Comments on “Now, Kids, I Will Drink This Glass of Water While Mr. Cronkles Tells You How He’ll Eat Your Soul While You Sleep!”

  1. racheldeangelis Says:

    Any toy that can talk on its own is a safe bet. Teddy Ruxpin was mildly scary when he was working properly, but once the cassette tape started to warp and his friendly, chipper voice turned all deep and slow (with the out-of-tune music playing in the background), he became terrifying!


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      The comic Patton Oswalt has a bit on his 222 album about listening to an Alvin & The Chipmunks album slowed down that’s so funny that when I listened to it I was driving and seriously thought I was going to crash and yet still couldn’t stop laughing.


  2. Life With The Top Down Says:

    I need time to gather my nerves after those photos. There is NO doubt in my mind that my sleep will be interrupted this evening by visions of “Timmy”, his freak parents and of course the religion factor thrown in the mix to finish the job! Thanks…


  3. Richard Wiseman Says:

    We bought a bright green coiled material snake from a market stall that our four year old son took a shine to. It wore black sun glasses and sang a song in an eastern European language whilst vibrating and wiggling and whilst a high pitched violin played. I tried to make out the words to the song, which meant I had to listen to it a lot then Google translate what I thought the words were in various eastern European languages; the best I got was ‘fear not the rodent’ in Polish.What we didn’t know was that it was sound activated and we couldn’t replace batteries. Over time the happy, but incomprehensible song, got slower, deeper and more sinister. After a year the snake shook weakly as if it were ill and croaked out a dirge. Finally long after my son had lost interest and there was a weak charge in the overused, but hidden, batteries the once happy bouncy snake, now battered, was put in the toy box, from which every now and again a sad whine would issue followed by the noise of spasmodic twitching occurring. It was peculiar to start with and something of a mystery, especially the song, and then it just died slowly and painfully. Five years later we moved house and the snake twitched and croaked from the packing box for two days. In the end I threw it away, but it still had time enough to scare the next door’s cat when the bin bag twitched and croaked as I walked away.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Ah, yes, Blue Oyster Cult’s less-successful follow-up song, “Don’t Fear The Rodent.”

      It’s really hard not to anthropomorphize things in that kind of situation. “Oh, cruel God! Why won’t you just let the poor snake die??”


  4. She's a Maineiac Says:

    Tickle Me Elmo.

    Really, I can’t go on enough about how evil and creepy this toy is…at one point I was afraid he’d come to life in the middle of the night and kill me. Or I’d be forced to kill him. My son loved his Elmo. Day after day we listened to his incessant giggling and evil taunting. And then one day, Elmo mysteriously vanished, his days of demanding we tickle him no more.


  5. 1pointperspective Says:

    My oldest daughter received a Teddy Bear as a gift from someone, I forget who exactly. I’m not sure if the bear was a Gund or just a discount look-alike. It was cute with dark brown fur and a yellow ribbon around its neck.

    My daughter loved it, and she was something of a “picker”. She’d pinch a small amount of the fur off of the bear and tuck it behind the clear plastic plate of her pacifier. For some reason, she found this activity to be calming. My wife and I found it comical, as she ended up looking like she had an odd mustache at times.

    The bear started looking worse and worse. Finally, its appearance was hovering somewhere between chemo patient and burn victim. His glass eyes seemed to plead with us to put him out of his misery. Hair Club for Bears was prohibitively expensive. He disappeared sometime after we had more children. I still fear that I’ll spot him pan-handling outside of a bus station or sleeping on a steam grate. I’m hoping I can slip him a buck or two and disappear before he recognizes me.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      “Spare some change? Hey, bud? Spare some– thank you. God bless. Life? Psh. Don’t tell me about life. I used to have it all. Imaginary tea parties. Fighting off monsters in the night. Then one day my looks went, and that was it. The dream was over. Spare some change? Ma’am? Anyway, I got no regrets. It’s a crazy ride, right?”


  6. Curly Carly Says:

    Jack-in-the-box. Scares the living daylights out of me every time. Not so much because it looks evil, but because I fear I’ll have a heart attack when it finally pops up. The creepy music doesn’t help.

    Side note: do you ever watch “My Crazy Obsession” on TLC? This one couple has over 5,000 cabbage patch kids and they refer to each of them as their “children.” Each night they read them bedtime stories. They speak for the dolls (each doll has a unique voice) and then respond to them. Their favorite is Kevin and they take him on outings, treating him like a real toddler. They ask people they meet in public to please talk to him like a real person. I about lost it when they put Kevin and some of his friends (other collectors’ dolls) in a mini hot-air balloon contraption and started taking pictures of them and saying things like “it’s his first time!”


  7. Elyse Says:

    The worst toy?

    Growing Up Skipper — the 1970s doll who, when her arms were twisted, grew boobs. I was with my niece when she bought it and never lived it down.


  8. Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson Says:

    Someone bought hubby and I a creepy clown puppet for our wedding. Um, we’re not friends with that person anymore. Weird.


  9. Michelle Gillies Says:

    I’m not sure what happened here but if I am blogger of the week I better get some fresh material up and fast. I have slacked…a bit…again. Thank you for the votes my fellow Byromaniacs and for personally testing it out Byronic Man. I am tickled (in a not Elmo kind of way) pink to be chosen.
    My choice for scariest toy. Hands down…Cabbage Patch Kids! I was working in retail at the time they hit big and every time there was a shipment there would be a mass of human beings (using the term loosely) pushing, shoving and pulverizing each other over “adopting” these things. They were cute in a very scary way, but there was nothing cute about what people would do to get them.


  10. Gow Says:

    Those dolls that they custom make to look like the child really freak me out.

    A close 2nd are those creepy monkeys with the cymbals. Not so creepy until they start bearing their teeth atcha,


  11. Off the Wall Says:

    Clowns. Evil, smirking clowns. That stare at you all night while you are in your bed. Doesn’t matter where you are in the room. They are staring at you.

    If clowns are supposed to be funny, why do I cackle like a maniacal fool when I see one?


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      We were in the baby store the other day and there was this enormous clown-thing hanging on the wall. It looked like a combination of a clown and a squid, created by the designers of the movie Yellow Submarine. All I could think was, “Wow, this must be the ‘Baby’s First Phobia’ section.”


  12. tomwisk Says:

    Thanks for screwing up my sleep. Ventriloquist dummies are the creepiest thing on Earth (including those manipulated by Jeff Dunham). My lawyers will talk to your lawyers when I’m detained for malicious tweeting during the hours I should be in the arms of Morpheus.


  13. k8edid Says:

    Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles. Disturbing. My younger son loved them so.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Future business leaders:
      “Hey, have you thought it’d be cool if Frankenstein’s monster was a girl? And kind of slutty?”
      “Yeah! I’ve also wondered what it’d be like if the mummy was a girl. And kind of slutty.”
      “What are you two doing down there?!”
      “Nothing, mom…”


  14. Life With The Top Down Says:

    Puppets! The reason they are so frightening is they are believable. One minute your laughing at a Puppet joke the next minute your setting an extra place at the table and claiming the thing on your tax return. They are mind controlling freaks.


  15. Go Jules Go Says:

    Okay, you said unintentionally creepy, so I’m going to go in a bit of a different direction here. You know those little gel-y finger monster puppet things? They don’t creep me out on their own, but when they start to get dirt stuck in them, or they feel really sticky, it totally creeps me out. These things:


  16. mistyslaws Says:

    Ok, I see what your plan is here. Since YOU couldn’t sleep, you’ve decided to subject your faithful readers to the same level of insomnia, albeit fear induced in us. Well played, sir. Well played.

    And after getting a gander at Mr. Choppy, there are good odds that I will never again close my eyes again. So, you know, thanks for that.

    Those creepy dolls that are all dressed up fancily and have eyelids that close. I feel they are staring right into the depths of my soul. In case you were wondering, I wasn’t a big fan of dolls as a girl. And thank jeebus I have 2 boys. Dodged THAT bullet, thanks.


  17. pegoleg Says:

    Baby dolls. With their fixed, vacant, glass-eyed stares and their voice boxes that say “Ma-ma-a-a-a” in a long, plaintive, high-pitched wail when you press their tummies. Then they show up in different rooms from where you put them. And their unblinking eyes bore right into you and they start wailing “ma-ma-a-a-a-, ma-ma-a-a-a.”, but you’re nowhere near them…


  18. kriskkaria Says:

    Jack in the Box, my cousins used to torture me with that thing.


  19. PCC Advantage Says:

    Ventriloquist dolls are terrifying. I hate them so much that I can’t even watch Robaxacet commercials.

    I mean, not only do they have the dummies, but they stick them with pins as well. They are, essentially, voodoo ventriloquist dolls and, as we all know, there is nothing scarier than that.



  20. Love & Lunchmeat Says:

    The dolls that pee and cry are truly scary… and also unnecessary. Who would want that? My kids pee and cry. Throw in dolls that also pee and cry, and it starts getting both messy and confusing.


  21. k8edid Says:

    And any of the trolls…they were awful


  22. befaster Says:

    If you have insomnia again, the best movie cure is the movie aptly named “The Cure for Insomnia” (1987). It is 87 hours long… In terms of scary toys: there’s a Vincent Van Gogh action figure here at my work (an Art Gallery in BC) who has a spring loaded head. The point is there are two options for the famous painter: one with two ears and one with…one. And a bandage. If that’s not strange enough, he has a tendency of losing his head on his own. As in spontaneous spring loaded decapitation…


  23. The World Is My Cuttlefish Says:

    My grandmother gave my first child the scariest toy I have seen (okay, I lived in the country and didn’t get to toyshops as a child or an adult). It is a grey knitted monkey with ferocious eyebrows. It looks really angry.
    This gentle woman evidently considered a bit of confrontation was just the ticket for a young child. I felt it was a tad scary for a bedtime companion. I debated whether to unpick and resew the eyebrows with a calmer pair but eventually gave precedence to originality (she made it herself) and the need for children to learn to cope with disapproval, even if it is from a stuffed toy.
    I still have it and have become quite fond of the little fellow. He’s fine so long as you don’t take him too seriously.


  24. Anastasia Says:

    yikes. those pictures give me the creeps!



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    […] The Byronic Man – Very funny and a hottie. Click for his post on scary toys. Seriously. Now. It’s just a few words to your left. […]

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