First posted on September 14th, 2011 on The Retroist Retro Blog and Podcast - CW post link
Hey folks! Do you remember when Boglins took over the world and destroyed every man, woman and child in their unstoppable quest to satisfy their thirst for blood? No you don’t! And do you know why? Well, the answer to that is a little more complicated, but it all started with a town called Happy Pines, Iowa in the year of nineteen hundred and eighty-two. This small town in middle America was really on the move. But like most ideal places it moved at a little slower pace. Happy Pines was the sort of town folks like to write Christmas carols about. It was the type of place with Fourth of July picnics, band concerts and real old-fashioned soda fountains with real old-fashioned sodas. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to say that Happy Pines didn’t have its fair share of trouble. They got some youngsters that could be real hooligans; chewing their Big League Chew and spending all evening playing Pac-Man down at the Pac-Man hall. Now trust me when I say that I spent many a day doing research in Happy Pines. And while I may or may not have gotten beaten up by teenagers; two facts still remain.
1.) Happy Pines is a great town.
2.) In 1982 all of that almost changed forever.
I may be getting a little ahead of myself. Now, I could go on and on about that great little town or getting beaten up in an arcade by some snot-nosed little brat. I mean I had put my quarter on the machine, that meant it was my turn to play next. MY TURN!…but while it might be fun to wax philosophically about sunshine, today I have come to talk about storm clouds. And let me tell you, that as sure as I am standing here, on October Third of 1982, Happy Pines, Iowa was due for a little rain. While there were gathering clouds, the real heart of the storm came in the form of a man. A man named Dr. Thaddeus Minto. Minto rolled in to town, more like a force of nature than any man who has ever walked the streets of Happy Pines. With all the mystery and darkness of the storm that heralded his arrival. With a long black coat and a large dusty briefcase. He arrived on foot to an empty street. You see, most of the townsfolk went inside to look through their blinds, around saloon doors and behind large barrels of gunpowder. Everyone had the same questions on their lips; who was this man and what did he have in store for this community? They may not have been ready to know but they were about to find out.
The mysterious man walked to the very center of town, proud as a peacock, and unfolded his suitcase into a table. He then cleared his throat and with a twinkle in his eyes, began to speak.
“Friends, my Name is Minto. Doctor Thaddeus Minto and I’ve come to tell you about something that will truly change your life, no your very world. Friends, I’ve come to talk to you about Boglins. Why Thaddeus! You might say…what is a Boglin? How do I know if I even need one? Well let me tell you, that if you live and breath…hope and dream…plot and scheme…then you need a Boglin. Why this little wonders can cure every ailment, fix every flaw…even mend a broken heart!”
Old Thaddeus Minto saw the doubt in the eyes of his future customers and he knew he would have to pull out every trick in his book. His Boglin trick book. He had to find a way to sell these creatures to the people of HP or as he thought of them in his heart of hearts “Those barefoot rubes!“ Problem was that it turn out if you think about it…I mean really take the time to think about it, there just aren’t a whole lot of problems that can be solved by adding a Boglin to the equation. I mean you have your usual standbys: “My hands are cold, but only to the point that I need a flimsy rubber puppet to warm them.” “My cat is too complacent; I wish it were much more terrified.” etc. But you would be amazed by how infrequently these pop up. But he had been in the Boglin game for a long time and his pitch was not only well rehearsed, it was a thing of beauty..
“Now I know all of you folks want the best for your children and bearing that in mind, you do not want your youngster to grow up in a town without Boglins. Why, these great little rubber wonders will keep little Timmy and Susie entertained for hours. You, sir! Don’t you want your kid to have a Boglin? What’s that you say? You don’t have a kid, you’ve got a dog? Well Rover will love Boglins too! That’s a joke, son; always keep Boglins away from your dogs or you’ll have a terrible mess. Pieces of dog everywhere! That’s another joke. I keep throwing them and you keep missing them… But none of you, yes I say none of you will miss out on the fun when you try Boglins!
Yes Ma’am, a Boglin for every season. And in that vein I would like to announce an all new Boglin line…the Soggy Boglin. He says it’s a fish! She says it’s a Boglin. Well folks, your both right. We’ve got Snish, We’ve got Slogg, and of course Clobster. These jewels of the murky deep are your hardwearing all-season Boglins, appropriate for everything from pool parties, to fancy dinners! Why if Atlantis had a few of these kicking around, they could have avoided all that nasty sinking business. Each Boglin comes individually restrained in their own cage for your…oh, I mean their protection. Each cage is made of the most sturdy gauged cast-cardstock available and is sure to protect you from any “unfortunate incidents” while you sleep.
You may ask, “But Dr. Minto! How can a humble but respectable member of the community like myself ever hope to care for such a magnificent creature?” Well cast your worries aside, because taking care of a Boglin could not be easier. Just make sure they have the three essentials.
1) A nightly dose of healthy exposure to direct moonlight,
2) A constant supply of stump water to drink, and
3) A steady diet of Popples. That’s right Popples, those cute little balls of vitamins and minerals now available at most quality drug stores and tobacconists. Soggy Boglins will of course need Sea-Popples for that extra zing of natural organic sediment.”
A small child timidly approached the salesman and asked what the function would be of a horrific skeletal Boglin with sunken black eyes and terrible bony fingers?
“My boy, that is the largest load of malarkey it has ever been my unfortunate luck to be subjected to. There has never been and will never be a skeleton Boglin.”
The boy then inquired that if that were the case, then how did he explain the presence of that very same creature, strapped jauntily to the old kit bag that he wore upon his back. He began to go into another barrage of mockery, and derisive laughter but then he managed to spot the boney beast in the corner of one of his eyes. He then began a most undignified display of high pitched screeching, wildly slapping at his back and finally sobbing while rolling around on the ground. Eventually some folks were able to calm him and reminded him that he knew all about Boglins, and was in fact there to sell the beasts. Finally, the good doctor regained his composure, smiled sheepishly and continued.
“Ahem, I apologize. Well son, what you have so cleverly spotted, is something we call a Halloween Boglin named Bog O’ Bones. There is a second named Blobkin. They’re still being worked on but are top secret so you can’t tell anyone under pain of death! Ha Ha! But seriously though, you talk and I’ll cut you.”
It went on that way for sometime, Minto’s praises for Boglins growing more and more flowery, and his threats of bodily harm getting steadily more morbid and explicit. He sold like he had never sold before into the night and straight on till morning!
But alas, in the end it was nothing doing. The townsfolk didn’t take kindly to Minto’s slick city ways and he was tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a Hot Wheels track (as it turns out, Happy Pines was My Pet Monster Country.) all the while on his way out he could be heard yelling. “Boglin fever, Catch it!”
It makes for interesting food for thought to consider what may have happened to Happy Pines, Iowa if the townspeople had been more receptive to the idea of caged rubber puppet creatures in their community. To find out the answer to that mystery you don’t have to look far. You could just go up highway 80 and ask the people of River City. That is you could if there was anyone left but sadly there isn’t. It seems that River City suffered the same terrible fate as many small towns before it. It usually went like this. The Boglins are sold and suddenly the Popple supply seems to just dry up overnight. Now the funny thing about Boglins is that while they do love Popples, if none are available they’ll try whatever happens to be HANDy and more often than not they get a taste for it. So the Popples leave, then the people follow suite (with a bit more shrieking) and then some unmarked wagons come by and collect all the Boglins and the process starts all over again. But as they say, that was then and this is now and the Boglin Corporation has rededicated itself to a quality product, low prices and service with a smile. In fact we now include with every Boglin purchased, a feedback form to register any dissatisfaction with their experience and so far we haven’t heard from any of our customers yet! So why not bring the gift of Boglin into your life? For a limited time, my company has authorized me to extend to you the deal of a lifetime! With every purchase of a Halloween or Soggy Boglin, you will receive, at no additional charge a standard Boglin. Yes, bring Boglins to your town. They just need loved…and of course, fed.