The Fisher-Price Demon

"Let's sing the alphabet song, SHALL WE?"

So MAN did I need a laugh this week. Seriously, I worked so hard that Monday through Friday was like one long day. So when my wife hit me with this, I nearly doubled over and collapsed. But first, let me get you there, so just hold on one minute…

I’ve been doing a lot of songwriting this year. So much that I’m kind of surprised and taken aback. I feared that parenthood might have made it harder to write, but in truth, I think it’s made it easier. I always have trouble finishing, but I’m very rarely wanting for ideas. Now, granted, a few of the songs I’ve written this year are silly ones about bathtime or eating breakfast, and they will never see the light of day. We’re all entitled that much. My greater fear is that I’m going to finish a bunch of songs, record them, and then at some point while listening to the record, I will discover that I have plagiarized Fisher Price all over the place.

It’s pretty unavoidable, toys today all have terrible songs sung by terrible singers embedded in microchips. We have lots of classic toys, but we didn’t want to be too arcane about it, so we have a few things that require batteries and play music or make sounds. We’ve been careful to pick stuff that we felt wouldn’t make us too psycho, and we’ve been successful at that goal. But when you hear the kitchen sink song from Fisher Price’s Laugh and Learn Learning Kitchen (i’m not stuttering, that’s the name) for the hundredth time in a row, a part of you is ready to play Danny DeVito’s part in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.

So when my wife played me the recordings that you are about to hear, a warm feeling of joy spread over my soul. I was immediately reminded of one of my favorite Patton Oswalt bits, the one about the Alvin & The Chipmunks Christmas Album being played at half speed. (If you’ve never heard it, go listen here immediately.) As the batteries died on this tiny life-sucking device, it’s true nature was finally revealed, and the songs that it’s been singing to us for the last 12 months took on an entirely new meaning. All I could see was Tim Curry as the hyper-red bull-horned devil from Legend, waltzing around our house, teaching us all about letters, numbers, shapes, colors, and pain. Dungeons should be decked out in primary colors, they’re far more terrifying.

So here they are, together with their seemingly harmless lyrics. Enjoy. Now I’m going back to paring over my new lyrics to make sure none of them refer to triangles.

“Something Smells Yummy”
“Mmmmm, something smells yummy / Time to put something in my tummy”

“Stirring Up Some Soup”
“Stirring up some soup that’s full of ABCs / Would you like to try some / First you should say please / Thank you”

“Put Some Water In The Sink”
“Put some water in the sink / If you’re thirsty, pour a drink / Clean the dishes, fill the pan / Don’t forget to wash your hands”

“I Like To Eat Red Apples”
“I like to eat red apples and yellow bananas / Orange oranges and purple grapes / I like some colorful fruit everyday / Then I’m off to play, yay”

“Someone In The Kitchen”
“Someone in the kitchen is laughing / Someone’s in the kitchen to play / Someone in the kitchen is learning / New things everyday”

“The Alphabet Song”
You know this one.

“Numbers”
You know this one, too, though the tune may be unfamiliar.

“How Long Does It Take To Cook”
“How long does it take to cook / Is it done, take a look / Open the door, peek inside / Count until it’s ready”

“Shapes In My Refrigerator”
“Shapes in my refrigerator / Triangle, circle and square / Close the door, say see you later / Shapes are everywhere / Yeah”

“It’s Learning Time”
“It’s learning time—let’s learn Spanish”

“‘Hi There’ and Other Common Phrases”
Other assorted dramatic monologues.
“Hi there”
“On, Off”
“Up, Down”
“Bananas are sweet”
“Orange carrots are a tasty treat”
“Here’s an apple, yum”
“Look at the five green peas”

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