The Island of Misfit Toys: Lent in Casablanca, Night 4

One of my favorite images from any entertainment program is the Island of Misfit Toys, from “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

If you’ve never seen “Rudolph…” well, you probably can’t access the Internet either from your cave, so I don’t know why I’m disclaiming it.

However, The Island of Misfit Toys is a place where crappy toys go until Satan can deliver them to crappy kids desperate enough to love them.

I meant “Santa,” not “Satan.”


From a very young age, I’ve identified with Islands of Misfits.  I went to a small, nerd-intensive gifted school.  When I went to college, rather than hang out with my 30,000 fellow pursuers of higher learning (emphasis on “higher” learning), I spent most of my time and energy working for a local radio station.  When, shockingly, I graduated (emphasis on “higher” learning), rather than enter the “real world,” I got another radio job.  That ride lasted 20 years.  Then, I had to find a place in that pesky “real world.” Happily, within six months, I was promoted to a small yet demented group of people, where I once again felt at home in my Island of Misfit Toys Alumni t-shirt.

Casablanca is an Island of Misfits.  It’s a world the beautiful people mock as they fly overhead.  It’s hot, full of crime, and there are vultures, vultures everywhere.  And flies! Ferrari is always swatting the b’jeezus out of flies in the Blue Parrot.

In a number of large northern cities, there are tunnel systems connecting downtown buildings.  You could walk from the Clothesplace up 20 blocks to the Widgetron, without having to step into the arctic cold. 

In a perfect tom-world, there would be tunnel systems connecting various Islands of Misfits.  If you’re a stupid Charlie-in-a-Box, and you wanted to get your buzz on, you could go through a door and walk into Rick’s.  (Change clothes, first, or you’d never make it to the gambling room without getting your clown-ass kicked by Nazis, Vichy French, and refugees alike) 

Boozy floozy Yvonne might get whacked on Rick’s private stock of bourbon, then wander through the wrong door, and end up in Wonderland, where Helena “Bloody Big Head” Bonham-“Red Queen”-Carter would be interrogating frogs about stolen squimberry tarts.  Outside Salazen Grum, the jubjub bird could be chasing Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.  They could hide behind a rock, and stumble out behind the transmitter at an unnamed FM in a small Florida city, where a large engineer and an almost-as-large announcer would be getting ready to go target shooting in the woods.  Two shots per Tweedle. (BLAM! “Contrariwise–” BLAMBLAMBLAM!)

Sorry, but they creep me out.

Then again, the problems of one tom don’t amount to a hill of beans in this world, and there are no tunnels between Oddity Oases.  I won’t have the option of stopping at the Blue Parrot for a fly-bothered cup of thick coffee on my ride home. There won’t be any Yellowbrick Rd, or Land of Oz, and no chance that I’ll be able to quadrille with the lovely 19 year-old Alice.

When I walk outside, it will be to a cool, clear night, redolent of jasmine, diesel fumes from the Interstate, and smoke from the nearby garbage incinerator. 

Flowers, fuel, and burning garbage? Maybe that’s what Casablanca really does smell like.

Nah.  I’m certain it smells of whiskey and cigarette smoke, with a lovely dollop of Annie the Soapmaker’s wares, and a steaming blast of crazy.

In other words, just perfect.

Here’s looking at you, neighbors. 😉


9 Responses to “The Island of Misfit Toys: Lent in Casablanca, Night 4”

  1. tom! The Island of Misfit Toys scene from “Rudolph” used to make me cry, not laugh! But after reading your post I’m going to be cracking up every time I see Charlie-in-a-Box.

    Your work is trippy and I still think you should funnel this stuff into a book. Make it science fiction or magical realism, whatever. But this is too good not to share.

    • Thank you, Professor Gozen. The Island of Misfit Toys used to make me tear up as well, until I realized that they whined incessantly. However, the squirt-gun that squirted jelly? I’d love that!

  2. I agree with HG!!!

  3. Indeed, the tom zone is a wondrous place that should be a book. Said book could serve as a bridge between misfit islands.

    Urban fantasy is the niche for you, and it’s all the rage nowadays. Then you get to go to book tours and conventions, which are where all us misfits gather and are the majority.

    • Thanks, LT. Book tours would be scary, but potentially fun.

      Holy crap. I just figured out that the jelly squirtgun could be used for toast skeet! “PULL!” *squelchsquirt* Breakfast! 😀

      If I ever stopped in LTville, I would have to meet the tortie.

      • Since you know how to properly attend to torties, she’d probably approve. She takes her toast w/o jelly.

        Conventions are fun b/c you’re not the only thing on the bill, and never the oddest person there.

  4. *chants* Mis-fit gathering! Mis-fit gathering!!!

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