Ernie Doll (apologies for the tiny photo, it was the only one I could find of this doll)
While this toy itself was really of no particular interest to me it did come to be the object of one of the funniest/stupidest inside jokes my friends and I had.
One afternoon me and my pal, Scott, were hanging out in my room, I can’t recall exactly WHY, but at some point we got into a bit of a tug of war with poor old Ernie, and his legs were ripped from his body.
While normal kids might ruin a toy, mourn the loss, and move on, we were far from normal.
Ernie’s tragedy soon became an inside joke between us. This inevitably led to us drawing a comic called “Ernie’s Friends” in class, because who actually did school work back then?
The comic featured Ernie wanting to play a game with Scott and myself, and we obliged by playing the ‘war amps game’ (a very poor-tasting reference to the war amps charity for helping veterans with missing limbs and paralysis. We were just terrible kids. Terrible terrible kids). The ‘war amps game’ was just us ripping Ernie’s legs off. And then He was dead and Bert cried or something.
Well, a comic was great and all, but it just wasn’t great enough. We composed a whole Ernie’s Friends song with a cheap radio shack keyboard and recorded it on a casette tape. Then we animated the entire story in Mario Paint on my SNES, bit by bit, and recorded that to a VHS tape. Using that 80’s kid ingenuity, we then hooked up 2 VCRs, as was common practice for ancient video piracy, and re-recorded the animation with the song on the audio input.
Somewhere in my parent’s old VHS collection, there is still a tape containing this and many other terrible Mario Paint productions. It was certainly the best of times.