In Nov. 1 IssueRussell County NewsBy Wade Daffron, Columnist
Sometimes, when you see the door open, or hear the phone ring, you just know it's for you…
It was a slow day at the Branch Library (yeah, we have one, and it's pretty darn good one if I do say so myself-and Mildred Lawson deserves the thanks for that) when the door opened, and I instinctively walked toward it.
There stood a well-dressed, pleasant-looking woman who seemed to be looking for someone or something.
It was me.
"You write for the paper, don't you?" she asked.
"Yes mam," I replied, waiting for a sharp slap across my face.
The smile on the woman's face slowly turned into a mask of concern, and I noticed she was wringing her hands.
"I just wanted to call something to your attention," she said.
For some reason, I blurted out, "The doll?"
She shook her head.
Yeah, I'd heard about the "Little Mommy" doll.
Got an email, saw something about it on the Internet.
"Did you know they are for sale here in Russell County?" she said.
That really got my attention.
"I saw them myself," she said, "and I heard what they say."
She explained she visited a local store, and when she walked by a display of the dolls, she heard a curious phrase from the delicate dolls' lips.
"There was a nice young man nearby," she said. "I got his attention, and had him listen to it, too.
"He was shocked at what he heard."
The woman went on to explain how she had mentioned the incident to friends, and they had heard on the news that people were complaining, and some stores chose to pull the dolls from their shelves.
"I think you should see and hear for yourself," she said.
One of the things they teach you in Journalism School is to be skeptical.
If you hear something, question it, if you see something, confirm it, if you feel something, explore it.
And I must admit, my curiosity was piqued.
A lunch break gave me the opportunity to conduct my own research.
Arriving at the store, I fully expected to see lines of people standing in front of the tiny, talking dolls.
I thought about the terrifying "Trilogy of Terror" movie I saw as a young child back in the 70s. (If you saw it too, you'd know what I mean.)
But it ended up just being me standing in front of a bunch of tiny, innocent-looking "babies." (Kinda like being at home.)
Creepy, I thought.
I stood there for a moment…waiting.
No sound, no shocking phrases from the miniscule mouths.
"Ha!" I thought.. "Debunked," as they say on the television "ghost" shows.
I kinda "played" with a few of the dolls, and didn't really here anything but gibberish.
As an afterthought, I absentmindedly waved "goodbye" to the at the dolls as I began walking away.
What I heard stopped me dead in my tracks.
I s-l-o-w-l-y turned as there seemed to be a clear chorus of tiny, mechanized voices saying "Islam is the light."
No, no, no, no.
No way, I thought to myself.
I did NOT just hear that.
I caught myself speaking aloud in disbelief.
"These freakin' dolls are talking about Islam!" I said to no one in particular.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a middle-aged man walk past the end of the aisle, then back up, and look in my direction.
"Oh," he said, "is that them 'Satan dolls?' "
"WHAT?!" I said, "Do they talk about Satan, too?"
"Yeah,” he said. “My old lady (please, fellows, don't refer to your wife as "old lady" unless she's like, 114 years old, or something) saw something about them on the TV news."
Some people think the dolls not only say "Islam is the light," but also the "bonus" phrase "Satan is king." (I refuse to capitalize "king" unless we're talking about the Lord.)
"It just ain't right," the man said-shaking his head as he walked away.
Then I thought about what the lady who visited me said as she left the library.
"I can't believe people would use a child's toy…a baby doll…to corrupt our children.
"It's just not right."
Mattel, the company who produces the doll, said even with numerous complaints, there are no plans to recall the doll.
Of course, these are the same people who bring us the oh-so-realistic Barbie (a little sarcasm there…).
I guess it's your decision if you want your child to have one of the "cuddle 'n coo," "real loving baby" dolls who seem to spout anti-American rhetoric.
But as my two, new friends say, it's just not "right."