Sunday, June 22, 2014

Life With Fred & Lucy Episode 32: Don't Kill Patty


My sister Lucy, who was the youngest of Fred and Lucy’s spawn and, had somehow survived past her infancy in spite of her older siblings as told on this episode, had received a Patti PlayPal Doll for Christmas. Lucy was so happy to have a doll that was just her size. Lucy really loved that doll. Unfortunately, she lived in a dysfunctional home and Patti’s survival looked dim

Patty Play Pal

This doll was the big hit in 1961 and the best way for you to understand how big a deal it was to own a Patti PlayPal, is to see the commercial.

That year, my brother, Michael, had also received a Christmas gift that he’d been hoping good, ole, Santa would bring him. His gift was a Remco Science kit which held all kinds of scientific experiments. Michael was ready to play Dr. Frankenstein. A few days later, while Michael was setting up his diabolical laboratory, my mother was in the kitchen washing dishes.
                 Michael, Jane, Mom, unknown doll, Patty Play Pal and Little Lucy

Mom was at the sink and she wanted someone to dry the dishes. There was a mirror over the kitchen sink. To this day, I don’t know why my father would have hung a mirror over the kitchen sink, but I suspect it was to see what we were doing behind his back.
                                              you can see the mirror over the sink

Unknown to Mom, Lucy left her Patti doll sitting at the kitchen table while she ran to the bathroom. Mom thinks it’s my sister sitting at the table and when Lucy ignored her request for help, my mother gave a "Gibbs smack to the back of the doll's head and it went flying off the chair. My mother let out a scream thinking she had seriously hurt little Lucy.
Little Lucy had just returned to the kitchen to see Patti lying on the floor. “You killed Patti!” Lucy cried out, but luckily Patti wasn't damaged. That would soon change with my brother planning his first experiment.                                                                      
My sister Lucy came home from school one day to find a badly scarred Patti sitting on her bed. There were stiches drawn in permanent ink across her face, arms and legs and one of her eyes was a bit crooked. “Mikeeeeey,” she screamed in horror.


My brother came running into the bedroom wearing a white lab coat and holding a pen knife. When Lucy, who was in tears, asked why he broke her doll, his reply was, “I saved the patient.”
My father gave the good doctor a spanking and tried to undo the damage to Patti, but she was destined to remain a character from a horror movie.  Lucy refused to play with her doll in public. It was too painful explaining to her little friends that our family was more like the Addams Family. Later that year, Patti lost a limb during another one of Michael’s experiment. Patti was finally put to rest in doll heaven, better known as the basement.

 I'm writing an apocalyptic series and in the first book, Roof Oasis, one of my characters is a robot. I named her Patty in honor of Lucy’s doll, but unlike my sister's doll, no one can hurt this Patty. She’s armed.


  1. I recognized the doll as the one in your story. Great post!! So fun.

    1. Dawn, that will be Shelley's next project, a sketch of Patty from the book. Glad you liked the story

  2. I didn't know that about the Patty Play Pal. I can see where the inspiration came from in your book!