Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Stalking the Mall in Search of a Toy

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Stalking the Mall in Search of a Toy

Article excerpt

Day 3 of my search for Mighty Morphin Power Ranger toys, and I grow weary. Sneering clerks in three stores behave as though I've asked for gold bullion when I inquire whether they have these items in stock.

Driving home, I wonder who to blame: retailers, manufacturers or the child who waited until November to articulate a need more profound than the need for food or water. Every Christmas there is one plaything everyone desires and no one can get. Sort of like the Hope Diamond. I will persevere.

Day 5: Missed by minutes the unpacking of a box of Mighty Morphin Power Ranger toys at the mall. Drat these column deadlines! All were swiftly purchased by parents and (I am convinced) scalpers. My quest is complicated by the fact that I have no idea what these toys look like, since I have not yet set eyes on one. I will buy first, look later.

Day 7: "If I don't get Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, I'll know there's no Santa Claus," says the 8-year-old as he plays with his spaghetti. Back to the mall tomorrow.

Day 8: I have a vivid dream in which the princess of Wales and I are fighting over a Mighty Morphin Power Ranger in the aisles of (I think) Harrods. "He doesn't need this," I scream, "he'll be king someday."

Using her obsessively worked pectoral muscles to shove me backward, she replies, "It's not for Wills, it's for Harry." I am arrested by her security detail and taken to the Tower of London, where my son is waiting. "You didn't get them," he wails. I awaken in a cold sweat.

Day 11: I join a group of women chatting about Mighty Morphin Power Rangers in the aisle of a Toys R Us. Several liken this to the Teen-age Mutant Ninja Turtle mania several years ago. One woman recalls driving to Delaware to buy a Donatello.

The delivery truck arrives with Mighty Maxes, X-Men, Snaliens and Street Fighters, but no Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. One woman calls the driver a vulgar name. I buy an economy-size bag of Butterfingers and return home, disconsolate.

Day 12: At a cocktail party I meet a woman who personally participated in the Cabbage Patch riots of 1983, sustaining a black eye while unsuccessfully fighting for a pig-faced doll with brown braids. …

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