I saw a toy ironing board similiar to this while loitering in the toy department yesterday afternoon, and my dismayed reaction was “How much fun could this be?” Of course the little girl in the picture (and of course it’s a little girl, because our society doesn’t laserbeam its domestic-skills brainwashing efforts onto little boys) is smiling like she is simply absolutely delighted to pretend to iron that same dish towel over and over again, but let’s think about this. Last time you had to haul out the ironing board, were you grinning from ear to ear, practically tripping over yourself in your excitement, eagerly pulling down the iron and delirious in aniticipation of the fun and games awaiting you? If you were, then let’s dismiss you as brainwashed and hopeless, as the little girl in the picture soon will be. The product description says it “features realistic details”. Does that mean it comes with cotton shirts that retain their wrinkles even if you had a starched elephant step on them, or delicate items with pre-burnt spots, or an iron that gets hot enough to melt the very flesh off your hands but for some reason is impotent at removing wrinkles from a pair of slacks?
I held the toy ironing board up and decided to test the theory; hey, maybe I could be wrong, as unlikely as that prospect ever is, so I brandished this wondrous box of glee and asked the kids if it looked like fun to play with. It barely earned a passing glance, and the only child to handle it was the one trying to put it back on the shelf so we could move onto toys that were actually fun.
I rest my case.
What will come next from toy manufacturers who envision children squealing with joy in hopes of ironing for a few hours? Let’s see…the incredible IRS Audit Game Kit! Hours of fun! How about the Sheer Drudgery Job Playset, with the Bonus Moron Boss and Ass-Kissing Co-Worker? Or a toy checkbook, complete with a stack of outrageous bills? Would the ultimate fun be a Divorce Play Kit, with the Custody Battle Kit only an additional $19.99 if you buy now?