Fun? Fun? There’s no fun in a toy store!

Just a note about the FAO Fun Police.

Mr. Weeble Wobble, the assistant manager from hell, is the Fun Police, the PooPooing Po-Po. If he sees fun, it’s his sole mission, his reason d’etre, his singular goal, to squelch, smother, and defeat it.

“Keep that frown upside down? is his refrain.

Now, that would be all well and good in most places of work, but you see this is FAO Schwarz, the epitome of toy stores. It’s like telling everyone in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory to go on a diet and promote lettuce tasting chocolate. It doesn’t make sense.

Most people who work on the demo team are out of work actors. Very creative people who have decided waiting tables just doesn’t give them the creative freedom to pursue their art. You have Cesar who has a comedy show that runs every several weeks, there’s Chris who is crazier and quick-witted than your average bear, there’s Annie from Oklahoma, Micah who can attract any person to him with his ambiguously gay over the top acting, and all the other cast and crew.

Today, someone brought out the Hummer boom box to demonstrate the sound and power. Out bounced some classic Sugar Poppin’ Daddies and we all started to dance. All of a sudden it’s 6 of us dancing around, gathering a crowd with kids joining in and dancing with us. Parents are laughing, taking photos, people outside are pointing through the windows and making their way to the entrance, and most of all the atmosphere of the store was on fire. Then Beeker, the Weeble Wobble walked by with his clipboard.

He steps in the middle of our dance circle. “Tessa I need you back at the Illustory. Annie, get the party room ready/ and you…I don’t know what you should be on, but you’re here to work and you’re disturbing these customers.? Um…alright then there Steve, I’ll get back to holding my book which doesn’t create any interest and staring into space, and these customers that were having fun and actually being driven to buy things will just walkabout, browse, and walk out.

In an instant, the levity and ambiance of imaginary reality was sucked out of the second floor like I would suppose a vampire instantly sucks all the blood from its victim.

He disappeared for a bit and in my corner of non-creative, creative play promotions, Cesar stood making his magic plastic designs. Magic Plastic is the old school goo you put on a straw and blow to make semi-permanent bubbles. Selling point, now they’re nontoxic! (Damn, now you can’t get high!) Cesar had made a good size bubble and was bouncing it back and forth with a customer. Then, this little boy spiked it directly in Cesar’s face, popping it on his glasses and making this big blue glob stick onto his face and glasses, almost impossible for Cesar to get off. Now, this was quite funny. In one instant Cesar was just standing there hitting a plastic balloon, the next minute he was like a smurf who had his chewing gum stuck over his head. Hilarious. So funny, I actually fell to the ground crying with laughter.

Just then, faster than a speed of light, dundundadunnnnnn Fun Police to the rescue.

“Why are you laughing? Why are you on the ground? Cesar that’s not apart of the approved uniform.? The customers who had gathered to laugh at Cesar’s misfortune and wonder at the classic toy quickly dispersed, putting the magic plastic back on the shelf, not buying any of it. Weeble Wobble noted our having fun on his clipboard.

This went on all day. Poor Alan, demonstrating the wave board would see the Fun Police coming and skate his way as fast he could two floors down to try and avoid the Weeble Wobble. But then, even in the 0.2-second dash down two flights, the Weeble Wobble would be waiting for him clipboard in hand to chastise about something. How did he make it down there so fast? Was it a doppelganger, or was he really such a Man of Misery with the super power to find fun and snuff it out to only let unhappiness and dreariness fill the world? He would make a good super hero in that sense, a comic book character that can only breathe with his mouth open and hates fun. It’s a guaranteed classic right there.

It’s a toy store. When your employees have fun, it creates a mood more conducive to buying toys. I don’t understand the sequoia tree that is permanently lodged up his ass, but perhaps super Tessa, the queen of undermining authority will make an appearance soon.


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