Chatty Cathy was a doll marketing by Mattel Corp in the 1960s. Back in her day, Chatty Cathy was quite the toy. You pulled a string on her back (I think it was the back of her neck) and she would say things like “Where are we going?”, “I love you”, “Please Brush my hair”, “Not without a pre-nup you won’t” and so on.
Being the inquisitive lad I was, I performed a laryngoscopy on my cousin’s Chatty Cathy doll when no one was around to stop me. The device that gave Chatty Cathy the gift of speech was ingenious in its day; basically a small analog record player powered by pulling that string.
I also knew that the Martians took control of people with a little nub thing in the back of their neck. I’d seen that in Invaders from Mars on our old black&white (that’s a TV, folks).
That little doll terrified me.
The term Chatty Cathy quickly came into common usage to describe girls and young women who talked, talked, talked. Less eloquently, they wouldn’t shut up. Whatever came through their mind came out their mouth. It was as if, like the doll Chatty Cathy, someone had pulled a string, this one infinitely long, and once off and running they couldn’t stop. Talking was like an addiction.
An Addiction. Hmm…
I touched on the concept of addictions in a previous post, Are You Addicted to Surfing?. A reader contacted me regarding the amount of time her kids spend TXTing their friends. We laughed a bit although her concern was real.
I often end my workday with a 4-5 mile walk. I wear a reflective vest, a hat with lights, carry a flashlight, have reflective tape on my leg cuffs and reflectors on my sneakers. On the cold backroads of Nova Scotia and New Hampshire, I probably look like one of those martians I mentioned earlier. Drivers slow down and provide me a wide arc. Except those who are TXTing while driving. I often have to dive through snowbanks to avoid them.
Sometimes when driving my lane becomes forfeit to someone one lane over, TXTing away.
Anybody remember the last great commuter train crash in California? The engineer was TXTing.
Then Presidential candidate Barack Obama routinely TXTed messages to his supporters, things like his selection for VP.
Can we stop? (I don’t TXT. My cell phone isn’t set up for it. Happy Luddite, me). I don’t know where the string is, but I’m becoming convinced that it’s in there somewhere. Somewhere between the phone and the TXTer.
Good-bye, Chatty Cathy. Hello, Terri TXTer
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