If Cabbage Patch Kids can be born, they can also die
March 23, 2013 8:29 PM   Subscribe

A poignant look inside Babyland, the hospital where Cabbage Patch Kids are born.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants (27 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
The boy in the hip-hop T-shirt swears under his breath and the old lady wheezes and coughs. She is obviously on her last legs, her presence raising an uncomfortable spectre of mortality among the smiling dolls around us.

Care-giver works ass off to provide a dying woman a pleasant experience at a doll hospital is written up as... that?

The Sainted Hunter S. Thompson would go to an AA meeting just to spite that hack. Believe it.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:36 PM on March 23, 2013 [12 favorites]


I went there in 1985 (I was 6). We were driving Michigan to Florida and I saw a billboard and begged to go.

HIGHLIGHT of my childhood. I remember every minute of it.
posted by k8t at 8:46 PM on March 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


That nurse is rather fetching.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:52 PM on March 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Rachel was not the daughter of Joseph; she was one of the daughters of Laban the Aramean. Fancy not knowing that.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:52 PM on March 23, 2013 [10 favorites]


I am very sad that the writer is not the guy who played for the Detroit Red Wings, which woul have given my life a sort of full-circle quality.
posted by padraigin at 8:53 PM on March 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have been there. It is every bit as creepy as it sounds.
posted by dephlogisticated at 9:04 PM on March 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


Was Laban the one who offered his daughters to the mob?
posted by gingerest at 9:23 PM on March 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Was Laban the one who offered his daughters to the mob?

You're thinking of Lot.
posted by mr_roboto at 9:39 PM on March 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


No, Laban did not do that in the Bible. Lot did. According to the story, a couple of angels showed up to see Lot. Since the guys in Sodom and Gomorrah were gay, and the angels were beautiful, the guys showed up in a mob and demanded that Lot turn over the angels, so Lot offered them his his daughters instead.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 9:42 PM on March 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ah, yes, Laban was the one with the complicated scheme to extract as much work as possible from Jacob for Rachel's hand.
posted by gingerest at 9:57 PM on March 23, 2013


I think the reporter may be misquoting the mother, who might have said, "Remember? Rachel was the mother of Joseph and the wife of Jacob..."
posted by metaplectic at 10:28 PM on March 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was driving outside Cleveland, Georgia one night, down Highway 129, and I passed a multi-car collision. It looked pretty bad. Because I am a doctor, having written a PhD thesis, I stopped to offer my help.

They loaded the injured into ambulances, and we all sped off to the nearest hospital, which turned out to be Babyland General Hospital.

The Emergency Room staff there was very efficient, and within minutes each and every one of the wounded was given a cute outfit and assigned to a squadron of twelve little girls.
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:30 PM on March 23, 2013 [7 favorites]


Helpful in-depth explanation of the story of Lot. “Genesis 19: total insanity.”
posted by migurski at 11:13 PM on March 23, 2013 [7 favorites]


You absolutely must watch this video: The Physical Ashen Remains of Sodom & Gomorrah featuring a giant saline phallus and a narrator who is just a bit too aware of what he's describing.

Transcript:
VOICEOVER
Remarkable shapes can still be seen in the ash

(camera pans over a salt formation resembling a phallus)

Such as this ... "sphinx" shape.

PRESENTER
(standing in front of the giant phallus)
Here we are standing in the ashen remains of what we believe is Gomorrah.
(walking around giant phallus)
And there's this odd singular shape standing up by itself. There's nothing anywhere around it: it seems to be on a bit of a rise.

(Giant phallus is silhouetted against the sky, so you may appreciate its grandeur)

We believe this could have been a sphinx, perhaps guarding one of the corners of the city.

VOICEOVER
(party walks towards a cliff)

Entering the remains, one is immediately impressed by the magnitude of them. These ... were big... cities. Prior to the destruction recorded in the Bible, a large population had flourished here for some time, before the sudden destruction ... came.
Recent findings reveal just how large that population was.
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:45 AM on March 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is incredibly sad. Just, everything about it. I'm surprised such a place can remain profitable. The markups have got to be huge.

Do cabbages have medical insurance? Do the cabbage doctors have malpractice insurance? What about the underage cabbages, will the state be expected to care for their progeny?

Cabbage Patch Kids were mass produced first by Coleco ("COnnecticut LEather COmpany," seriously), who were still on the rise from producing the ColecoVision. The company was done in, in part, by the decline of the Cabbage Patch Kids fad, but also somewhat by the failure of the Adam home computer.
posted by JHarris at 1:36 AM on March 24, 2013


Came for the slightly creepy dolls of my long-forgotten youth; stayed for the in-depth sorting out of narratives from Genesis.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:37 AM on March 24, 2013 [10 favorites]


This is "ironic" crap..... I've been there a few times.... It is what it is and it's not that bad. Different, fun for little ones.... Nice little stop if you are traveling through North Ga. Also fun for the 80's kids who adopted dolls back in the day. Not sure why the writer had his / her panties in a wad.
posted by pearlybob at 4:35 AM on March 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


My dad lives in Cleveland, GA. I tend to forget that Babyland is there, though I did go as a child before he moved there. What makes that whole corner of GA even weirder is the nearby Alpine village of Helen which essentially manages to create gridlock for all of Northeast Georgia on summer weekends. Put those two together and you're in for a strange bellyful of Americana.
posted by Polyhymnia at 6:23 AM on March 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


We took one of my cousins there years ago, when she was the right age for the whole Cabbage Patch Doll thing. It is certainly an odd place, made even more strange by the breathless announcements that Mother Cabbage was beginning to dilate, followed by status reports every minute or two...she's at 7 centimeters now...and so on. I'm frankly amazed that it's still there and operating.

Ah, and Helen. Don't go anywhere near there during October, either.

It's a slight derail, but I took some German lessons on a lark at the Goethe Institut in Atlanta quite a few years back, and asked our teacher (a native German) what he thought about Helen. He thought it was pretty strange, but then seeing as there were places in Germany where people dressed up like cowboys and Native Americans, things were pretty much even as far as he was concerned.
posted by jquinby at 6:36 AM on March 24, 2013


I feel like the writer needs to watch this video about fifty times.
posted by Andrhia at 7:36 AM on March 24, 2013


Cabbage Patch Kids were mass produced first by Coleco ("COnnecticut LEather COmpany," seriously), who were still on the rise from producing the ColecoVision. The company was done in, in part, by the decline of the Cabbage Patch Kids fad, but also somewhat by the failure of the Adam home computer.

I'd put my money on the latter. Cabbage Patch Kids were still being made (and sold, big time) by Hasbro after Coleco went under.

The brand was then bought and ruined by Mattel, then rescued by Toys R Us , then sold on to Play Along, who also own Care Bears now.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:57 AM on March 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oy, the writing in that story is terrible. I got no sense of the run-down nature of the place, nor the sense of mortality that the author seems to expect from us. It's just bad writing.
posted by mrfuga0 at 9:52 AM on March 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


When I encountered the phrase "old lady" early on, I knew this story wasn't going to go well.
posted by limeonaire at 11:27 AM on March 24, 2013


I might have agreed, but the "Rachel" anecdote made a satisfyingly ghoulish impression on me. As a kid from the Bible Belt, I grew up around other kids whose parents liked to put on little shows of religion like that, for which the words "what would Jesus do" are insufficient. If Yeshua bar Yusuf were alive today, he simply would not comprehend the world we have made, and would be paralyzed with bafflement at, for example, a matron instructing a girl-child to name a stuffed plaything after the wife of his ancestor, in order to do him some kind of honor.

limeonaire: can you clarify? Is "old lady" an offensive descriptor? (Asking with sincerity; won't use it anymore if it is.)
posted by Countess Elena at 11:40 AM on March 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


I am just going to pretend that I hallucinated the reading of this article and then the thread here. My mind will find it more convincing to believe this than the fact that this place and the people who work there actually exist.
posted by empatterson at 12:14 PM on March 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Countess, I suspect limeonaire just means that any story combining Cabbage Patch Kids hatching facilities and old ladies is bound to have sad parts. (Seriously, with the dilating cabbages, and the Push! Push! I thought this was some sort of McSweenyish satire until I read the comments here.)
posted by gingerest at 4:50 PM on March 24, 2013


The dolls sold there were nothing like the ones from the store...
posted by k8t at 5:24 PM on March 25, 2013


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