OPINION

Mr. Potato Head?

Trevor Soderstrum

I am sorry. I am a couple of weeks late to the Mr. Potato Head controversy. I had better things to do, like pretty much anything! I just could not get worked up about a round piece of brown plastic that people stick eyes, ears and lips on losing the title “Mister.”

Although I will admit that it is slightly higher on my caring list than “Harry and Meghan” whining about how unfairly they have been treated in the loss of their meaningless titles. I guess that I am an American. I have never understood the fascination with a family that has spent their entire lives on the dole. If we gave one thousandths of a percent of the attention to families on assistance in this country that we do royal twerps, poverty would be non-existent in the good old USA.

Trevor Soderstrum

Mr. Potato Head was cutting edge when he came out in the 1940s and kids were sticking glasses, lips and a hat on real potatoes and other fruits and vegetables. Then some wonderful mother asked, “What about poor kids in China? We cannot waste food like this!” The new brown glob of chemicals Mr. Potato Head was born and his remains will be breaking down in landfills for the next 10,000 years.

More likely, we discovered that those same starving Asian kids could work their fingers to the bone and watch their childhoods disappear in sweatshops for pennies. So, American children could look up from their Christmas tree and say, “A Mr. Potato Head. Thank you. Now where are my real Christmas presents?”

I had a Mr. Potato Head when I was kid, back when handing your child a choking hazard was good parenting. He met his demise after my friend Tim and I cut the arms and legs off his Stretch Armstrong doll to find out what the cancerous fluid inside of him was. Sadly, Stretch was just filled with corn syrup, just like most Americans.

Tim and I then decided to tape a few hundred bottle rockets to Mr. Potato Head and make him the first potato in space. One of the dogs had chewed up one of his potato eyes a few months earlier and then left it on the carpet for my dad to step on. So, he was pretty sad looking. Plus, the graffiti scribbled all over him in permanent magic marker would have made my mother unhappy.

In the explosion that followed, I did my impression of the announcer watching the Hindenburg go up in flames. “Oh, the humanity!” Potato arms, potato legs and his mustache went everywhere. We were never able to find his potato monocle. It was glorious.

So, I understand a parent or grandparent wanting to share the love of a toy that they treasured as a child. When she was younger, I offered to buy a Mr. Potato Head for the 11-year-old. With love in her eyes, she gave me that look that said, “Thanks, cheapskate. How about an iPad?”

Now, I missed that day in my high school science class where my teacher explained to the class the difference between a plastic potato boy and a plastic potato girl or how many plastic potato genders there were. It made me wonder if a Dr. Potato Head exists. 

So, the outrage police went nuts. There is no more Mr. Potato Head! What is next?

It turns out it was much ado about nothing. Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head are still being made and they will still be suffering in their unhappy potato marriage that will lead to years of potato therapy for their poor, unhappy little spuds.

The company simply sent out a poorly worded tweet. The brand name is changing to “Potato Head.” Mr. Potato Head and Mrs. Potato Head will be still be sold in stores. The titles Mr. and Mrs. are a little less prominently featured on the boxes.

It was just liberals trying to be nice and overthinking things. The "Toy Story" movie franchise made Mr. Potato Head worth way too much cash to put him in the rowboat with Fredo.