Monday, March 06, 2006

It's all in the eyes.

I have come to the conclusion that I'm mildly doll-phobic (is it possible to have a mild phobia?).

I seem to remember not even liking dolls when I was of the age to be playing with them.

I found a box of dolls in my closet that I've had since childhood (they were wrapped in an issue of the Los Angeles Times circa 1979), and when I called my older sister to find out what they were and where they'd come from, she said she didn't remember but thought they were probably valuable.

Since my sister has the worst financial sense in the world (but if I just threw them out she'd turn out to be right and they'd be worth a fortune), I decided to get them appraised.

As I stood there in the doll shop (grossest toy? Stuffed rabbits covered with real rabbit fur. Eeeeewww), looking around and waiting for the appraiser to finish the longest phone call in the world, I felt my skin start to crawl.

It's the eyes. Those horrible little eyes that seem to get stuck halfway open in some sort of demonic wink ("Ha ha! Just you wait! We'll kill you in your sleep!").

Gah. I'm creeping myself out just typing about it.

Anyways, my dolls were gas station giveaways from the 1970's (buy a tank of gas, get a doll), and, according to the appraiser, aren't worth anything.

"Aren't worth anything as in try to get a buck for them on eBay, or aren't worth anything as in give them to my friend's kid to destroy?" I asked.

"Give them to your friend's kid. I doubt they'll ever be worth anything."

After the kid breaks them I'll have the immense satisfaction of knowing that those creepy little heads are going to end up in a landfill.


On a lighter note, at a get-together last night I discovered a pretty decent sulfite-free red wine (most sulfite-free reds taste like ass, but it's the sulfites that give me the terrible red wine headache). It's called "Our Daily Red" and since I love red wine but hate the headache, I'm going to buy a case of it.


Larry said...

Any day now, the gene is gonna kick in and I'm going to like the taste of wine. So here you're saying that this wine you tried does in fact, not taste like rancid ass. I'll give it a shot.

Peggy Archer said...

Well, if you don't like wine this won't change your mind.

This just tastes good for a sulfite-free wine.

Chucky said...

We're friends 'til the end, remember?

Peggy Archer said...

Yeah, sure...
You just want my wine. :)

Anonymous said...

The front end of a garbage truck in a city where I used to live was decorated with what must've been a couple hundred doll heads. It created a singularly creepy effect.

Iron Rails & Iron Weights

miguel sanchez said...

sulfites are added to wines to help them age. in other words preserve them. sulfites do cause some people problems like your headache. it's nice you found one that doesnt taste like ass but it it wont last 20 years. if that matters. check out quixote winery in napa valley. its next to stags leap. visit their website. they do organic wines with the right attitude plus have the coolest winery in the valley.

Pat Hough said...

On the Creepiness of Dolls:

Have you read about Dr. Mashiro Mori's "Uncanny Valley"?

Mori is a roboticist who came up with an elegant little diagram illustrating the effect that, as robots (or other humanoid representations, such as dolls) approach a certain level of anthropomorphic realism, they become repulsive to people, the Uncanny Valley of the diagram in the article...

Fascinating stuff. The author Tim Powers has had this sort of thing creep into his work as a theme at times, and a discussion about the effect came up on his list server a few years ago, so I remembered the name of the effect, because a lot of people on the list came up with solid examples of humanoid creepiness, including dolls, animation, (Final Fantasy and The Polar Express were singled out for special mention!), clowns, even disfigured people or persons reduced to idiocy. Zombies were singled out for some, and one person had a revulsion for any and all animation featuring humanoids...

So, yeah, dolls can be really creepy.

For my wife, it's clowns.

Stan said...

"tastes like ass"

I recently encountered a gag gift called "Liquid Ass". It was the most horrible-smelling thing I'd ever run across:

And it's proudly made in the U.S.A.!

Charli said...

Dolls also give me the creeps. I played with Barbie, but that was it, oh, and GI Joe, I thought Ken was too girly.

Xian Plus said...

It's a bit unusual that the sulfites in just red wine give you a headache, since whites are usually dosed too. Along with preventing oxydation which leads to off flavors, the sulfur kills off things you typically don't want growing in your wine (that wouldn't hurt you but do indeed taste like ass).

One thing to look at is which reds you're drinking that give you a headache. Cheaper wines often (but not always) have less careful winemaking and processing, especially in places like Chile, but it applies everywhere. Less careful winemaking leads to the need to sulfur everything that much more, and cheap reds typically carry the most sulfur (often you can smell it).

Are you able to eat dried apricots, the ones that look plump and orange (rather than brownish and mushy)? Each sulfured (plump orange non-oxydized) apricot has more sulfur than an entire bottle of wine. Really. Often there are other properties of reds that affect people negatively, rather than the sulfur (all those things that make it red).

That may not matter or help a bit, but anyhow...