Ad for Mattel, from Family Circle, November, 1974
Idle hands do the devil’s work, said her mother.
Give her something to keep her busy, said her sister.
Your daughter needs a hobby, stammered the psychiatrist, twisting his hands together worriedly.
Honestly, thought Chris, you’d think the man could have come up with something more original, considering how much she was paying him per hour.
Still, she dutifully went out to Macy’s and picked up the most time consuming project she could find. A nice, ordinary knitting machine for making hats and doll clothes, and four small balls of orange and brown yarn. There was no way her little Regan could do anything...
Anything weird with it.
For even more snark:
Regan was delighted with her new toy. She clutched it to her chest and ran off to her bedroom beaming.
Hours later, the sound of cranking finally ceased. Chris walked back to Regan’s bedroom and knocked on the door. “Sweetie? Dinner’s almost ready.”
“Come see what I made!” chirped Regan.
What could her daughter have possibly done with four balls of yarn? Chris opened the bedroom door. Regan was seated in the middle of an enormous pile of brightly coloured stuffed animals, perched on a brand new afghan, her clothes entirely fashioned out of yarn coils. As Chris stared in disbelief, the yarn snake yawned widely and wiggled its fuzzy acrylic tongue at her.
Okay, thought Chris. That psychiatrist is useless. I’m calling a priest.