Compiling my Christmas wish list was something I took very seriously back in the day.
I did what every one else did, circling items in the Sears or Montgomery Ward catalogs. I was also highly influenced by all the toy commercials on TV.
There were years I got what I wanted. One year I asked for a lobster, and I got a red one made out of fur that would curl up when you petted it.
Other years I was not so lucky. The only year I asked for a Ken doll was the year that no Ken dolls were produced. My sister said she and my mom looked all over town to find out, to no avail.
Then there was the year my dad had to call me from ShopKo for clarification on one of the items I had listed. I still remember the phone call, as clear as if it were yesterday.
"You have an item on here that says 'don't cook your goose.' Is that a game or something, or do you just not want me to spend that much money on your presents?"
Since the idea of helping my parents watch their spending was completely foreign to me, obviously it was a game!
"Don't Cook Your Goose" was a 1970 game produced by the Minnesota company Schaper, in which players would spin a spinner and then place their little geese on the pan, trying to balance them so the pan didn't tip and cook them. I do remember playing that quite a bit, but it was not as much fun as one of the other games I got that year.
Nobody called to ask what I meant when I asked for "Kerplunk."