Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Return of the Charli-doll

Brad has set up the equipment to make "Charli-dolls" again. This is a craft invented by his grandfather, Charlie, and manufactured in his home for many years. When we cleaned out his house in California, we packed up the essential Charli-doll stuff and shipped it "back east." Last week Brad and his father bought some plastic eggs and we started drawing the faces. The other day Brad produced a proto-type...the first Charli-doll made in several years. I think his satisfaction must have been equalled only by Saruman's when the first Uruk-hai burst forth from the muddy earth. (Except Brad did not bellow, "You shall eat Man-Flesh!" as he beheld his fresh creation. Although, he may have. I wasn't actually there. And the Charli-doll did not immediately reach out and murder someone.)

ANYWAY...This afternoon, Grandpa and I went out to Michael's to get some new yarn- the biological material of these dolls. He seemed totally stunned at the massive variety on display in that store. I forced myself not to think of the piles of industrial sized spools of yarn that we had to throw away in California, just because there were too many of them to send back. We bought several skeins, and then hopped over to Target, to peruse the candy aisles. Candy, you see, is the other essential biological material of these dolls. Why else do you think I would be involved? Candy? I'm there!

We found Jelly Bellies with no problem...in fact, there were tons of those little bins where you can shovel out your own chosen amount and assortment of jelly bellies into a little bag to buy....But it was more cost effective to just buy the pre-bagged kind. I was wandering the aisles looking for LifeSavers- another, even more crucial biological material- and failing utterly, when I came around the corner and had the distinct impression that Grandpa had been sampling the jelly belly wares. Oh dear. I suppose one or two would be okay, and I guess that's all it was...but seeing as how there was no little "Sample- 5 cents" box, like those Brach's candies displays have sometimes, I did not feel comfortable enough to nab a few myself, using the old "five finger discount." I just ignored it, and stepped into the next aisle, hoping that if some security guard came careening around the corner and nabbed him for shoplifting jelly bellies, that I would be far enough removed to not be seen as "in cahoots" with this man. And I didn't exactly want to confront him on the scene because that probably WOULD bring the authorities running...

We did manage to get safely away.

( To be fair, I'm sure Grandpa didn't realize that he wasn't supposed to be eating the Jelly Bellies from the bins...)

And tomorrow...the production continues, full scale! ( Albeit, with LifeSavers a la California, which means they may be of questionable age...So if you happen to be the lucky recipient of one of these dolls in the near future --which you probably won't, because I know they'll be gone in about ten minutes flat to all the children of the neighborhood--I advise you to skip the LifeSavers. Just go straight for the Jelly Bellies- inside the plastic-egg head.)

10 comments:

Jill said...

Charli-dolls! Do those ever bring back memories! We kids used to love them when we were little, and we all adored "Uncle Charlie," who was very generous in handing out his dolls. And just to set your mind at ease about the Lifesavers--you're not really supposed to eat them because to get at them you have to destroy the doll's body. I guess you know what I mean from having seen the one Brad made. You'll have to post a picture of one on your blog!

Kristi said...

Oh, that's so neat you guys are "resurrecting" the dolls! What a great thing for your Grandpa to do.

Gimli said...

Bah.

"You're not really supposed to eat the Lifesavers"... I remember hearing this bit o' nonsense upon the receipt of a Charli-doll or two back in the halcyon days of my youth. The general attitude was as if the dolls had been delivered to us mortals straight from the craggy peaks of Mount Olympus.

I ask the readers to ponder this question: Were the Lifesavers a vehicle for the gift of yarn, or the other way around?

If that isn't enough, I call to the witness stand the character of the one giving the gift.

I rest my case.

DJ said...

I just laughed at the image of a charlie doll bursting forth and murdering something. And Brad bellowing? Man, too bad it didn't really happen. Whoohoo for good MOODS!

Mrs. RF said...

Yeah for Charlie Dolls again. What memories. And, yes, you must post a picture so that those who have never seen this incredible treasure will be able to understand what we are all talking about.

Avalanche Cowpoke said...

Ya' jest never do know when life will leap forth from old dead bones... ...skip the lifesavers and go straight fer the Jelly Bellies---them's the best!

asaphat said...

Mmmm...Charli-dolls! We had one in our house growing up...maybe more. Such happy memories.

In Israel I had to get used to people freely sampling everything in open bins in the grocery store...nuts, dried fruits, etc. It was normal to taste before you bought. I could never bring myself to do that. I just seemed like STEALING! But I never saw security guards stop anyone.

lis said...

Charli-dolls! Part of my childhood, too. :O)

Loreo said...

I am so thrilled that you rescued the Charli doll equipment and are turning out dolls! The thing about being "greedy" enough to kill the doll to get at the Lifesavers is that you are "rewarded" with pretty furry, yarny Lifesavers!!

the Joneses said...

We used our Charli doll as a Cmas tree ornament for years. Pretty cool that you're making them again!

--DJ