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Episode 18: How Do We Title This One...All Crying Emojis?

Updated: Aug 25, 2023

In this week's "Designing Women", two big things happen: Suzanne falls in love with the little girl she temporarily adopts, and then we try and scrape ourselves off the floor...but we’re sobbing too hard. A season one high? Yeah, we think so.

Oh, and we stopped crying long enough to talk about the weird history of one of the most popular toys from the 1980s in this week’s ‘Extra Sugar’.

Related links from the episode:

Annnnd some related links about the history of Cabbage Patch Kids and their link to...the occult?:

Come on, let’s get into it!



Salina: Hey, Nikki.

Nikki: Hey, Salina.

Salina: Man, it's so good to see you.

Nikki: It is.

Salina: I haven't been seeing you for the last hour and a half.

Salina: Guys, we've had some audio issues.

Salina: We're just going to skip right past that because we've got a whole episode to talk about.

Salina: We're super excited.

Salina: It's episode 18.

Salina: We're rearing into the end of season one.

Salina: Raring.

Nikki: Are we rearing, or are we limping?

Salina: It looks like I'm punching into oh, this is where I start to sell manic.

Salina: Anyways, that's a real issue, so let's not be unkind with that.

Salina: But anyways, before we jump into episode 18, which is called oh, Susanna, I owe you two outstanding items from our last episode, Nashville Bound, where Charlie was maybe kind of going to become a country music singer.

Nikki: Okay.

Salina: So the first thing that we had talked about was you were giving us a primer on the Grand Old Opry and your really wonderful extra sugar.

Salina: And as part of that, we started talking about the Ryman, which was the home of the Grand Ole Opry before they actually had the Grand Ole Opry house.

Salina: And we weren't sure when that was established, so I looked that up as promised.

Salina: And the Ryman first opened its doors in 1892, and it did serve as the home of the Grand Old Opry from 1943 to 1978.

Nikki: Wow.

Salina: One homework assignment up, one homework assignment down, and on to number 2, April.

Salina: Oh, thank you.

Salina: This one is a weird one because we got a mention that I didn't even catch.

Salina: You did.

Salina: It was a good job.

Salina: It was.

Salina: Of the Fuller Brush Company.

Salina: This was something that Charlene's mom mentions, and they were like door to door salespeople of personal care items, including hairbrushes.

Salina: And I had mentioned that it sounded like just from you describing it, that if I was to look at my grandfather's hairbrush, that it's probably like the ones that they sold.

Salina: So don't have access to his hairbrush right now.

Salina: Do have access to the interwebs.

Salina: Did a little browsy.

Salina: Browsy.

Salina: And what I wound up finding was that what I saw there does look an awful lot like his surprising price point.

Salina: Really?

Salina: $70?

Nikki: Holy moly.

Nikki: For a hairbrush?

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: I do think there's a lifetime guarantee, but that's still I don't know.

Nikki: I like my hairbrushes with a lifetime guarantee.

Salina: This is very important.

Salina: And then I wanted to say, too, that as we were talking about it, we sort of insinuated that it was just hair brushes that they were selling door to door.

Salina: My reading of their very thorough online history is that it was actually more like cleaning brushes for, like, crown molding, washing your vegetables.

Salina: I mean, just like everything that you can imagine for a full service brush company.

Salina: I just want to make sure everyone understands what was going on in 1926.

Nikki: Perfect.

Salina: Yes.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: So this reference in 2021 was totally lost on you and I.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: But one thing that I thought was really cool in their history that shows just how baked into the culture that this group was.

Salina: There were actually not one, but two different movies featuring very famous people from the time, and the whole movie centered around them being Fuller Brush men.

Salina: Or in one case, Fuller Brush girl.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: So there was first a movie with Red Skelton called The Fuller Brush Man.

Salina: He's like a down and out on his luck salesperson shenanigans.

Salina: And then a couple of years later, lucille Ball starred in basically the same movie, but she's a down and out saleswoman who works for the Fuller Brush Company.

Salina: And the name of that movie was the Fuller Brush Girl.

Nikki: Well, did you watch both of those?

Salina: It almost sounds like something I would do.

Salina: They could be delightful.

Salina: Who knows?

Salina: But I didn't have time.

Salina: And here's a powerful transition because I was watching episode 18, oh, Susanna.

Nikki: And for oh, Susannah.

Nikki: Our hulu episode description is, suzanne brings a new meaning to mother love when she agrees to become a temporary foster mother.

Nikki: The air date was March 23, 1987.

Nikki: It was written by LBT.

Nikki: And it was directed by Matthew Diamond, whose filmography includes Golden Girls, Gilmore Girls, and Jane the Virgin.

Salina: One of those you sounded less excited about, but we'll let the audience decide.

Nikki: Jane the Virgin's cute.

Nikki: It's just no Gilmore Girls or Golden Girls.

Salina: I hear you.

Nikki: So you want to dive in?

Nikki: You want to just get into it?

Salina: You know what?

Salina: Why don't just there's so much.

Nikki: So the cold open of this episode, I think, really sets up.

Nikki: Really?

Nikki: The entire episode, it comes out that Julia and Suzanne were at Reese's signing some legal paperwork, and there was an opportunity for Suzanne to foster a child.

Nikki: It sounds like a Vietnamese refugee child.

Nikki: In the episode, they referred to the child as a, quote, Vietnamese boat child.

Nikki: Suzanne enthusiastically maybe signs up to be the foster parent.

Nikki: And the real kicker is the kid is coming today.

Nikki: I mean, not today today, but today in 1987.

Salina: Our favorite today.

Nikki: Right?

Nikki: Exactly.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: And I'd say that all the ladies are very surprised, and I'd say that we're probably surprised just based on the Suzanne that we've met and learned about to this.

Salina: Loved.

Nikki: Loved very much.

Nikki: Very much loved.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: So she seems enthusiastic.

Salina: She seems confident, really confident.

Nikki: She is ready to go.

Nikki: She's got consuela on the line, prepared to make every kid's favorite food.

Nikki: I know that from the missing script alert.

Salina: Oh, tell me about it.

Nikki: Actually, it might have been in the actual script.

Nikki: She says she's going to have consuela make goose over pate.

Nikki: But what's missing from the episode, I think, is that Mary Jo responds with something like good choices.

Nikki: Those are the two things my kids can't get enough of.

Salina: That sounds familiar.

Nikki: I have one observation here before we move into the next piece of the act.

Nikki: Which is Charlene's desk setup was so noticeably different in this episode.

Nikki: Did you notice it?

Salina: I didn't, but walk me through it.

Nikki: In most episodes, she's had this very big wicker chair, kind of like, behind her head.

Nikki: And in this episode, it was a very normal chair.

Nikki: There was no big wicker chair.

Nikki: And, I mean, she's had that wicker chair throughout most of this first season.

Nikki: And then there was something different about the bookshelf behind her.

Nikki: And then when they pan around to the first floor of Sugar Baker's, a lot looks different.

Nikki: And I think I've read somewhere and I tried to dig it up again for this episode and couldn't really find it.

Nikki: But I think I've read that the set changes a lot over that first season again, because if you've never heard this, some of the episodes were filmed out of order and aired out of order.

Salina: It's funny that you say that, because I've heard that some of the episodes were filmed out of order and then aired out of order.

Nikki: It's what I've heard.

Nikki: It's what I've heard.

Nikki: So I wonder, actually, if this so we talked about in the breast cancer scare episode that that one seemed to be almost written in real time.

Nikki: LBT.

Nikki: Was writing it over the holiday season when she was home with her family.

Nikki: And the episode aired in, like, February.

Nikki: I wonder if this episode actually was filmed maybe before the cancellation or something.

Nikki: Or the hiatus or something.

Salina: Oh, yeah, maybe.

Nikki: I don't know.

Nikki: It doesn't really matter.

Nikki: It's just interesting.

Nikki: They went over to Charlene, and I was like, Something's different here.

Nikki: Yeah, just so much looked different.

Salina: Yeah, it's definitely a noticeable chair.

Salina: So I feel silly that I didn't see it.

Salina: I'll pay more attention next time.

Nikki: Thanks.

Nikki: I appreciate that.

Salina: No, thank you.

Nikki: So that one was really bothering me.

Nikki: Wanted to check that off the list.

Nikki: So then we get into it.

Nikki: We get into her.

Nikki: Waiting to meet this little girl.

Nikki: She's brought her a briefcase.

Nikki: Every little girl's dream and is ready to go.

Nikki: Julia, I think it was Julia.

Nikki: Maybe mary Jo Someone calls her out on the briefcase and, like, kids don't carry them.

Nikki: And she said, we'll get her some little luggage wheels.

Nikki: She can roll it around the school.

Salina: Which is always popular.

Salina: But it is a Louis Vuitton briefcase.

Nikki: Is that correct?

Nikki: Oh, was it really?

Nikki: Oh, I see.

Nikki: I didn't notice that.

Nikki: I noticed the wicker chair missing.

Salina: It takes two, baby.

Nikki: So she's got this briefcase.

Nikki: Then she's worried she hasn't checked her makeup before.

Nikki: This little girl sees her for the first time.

Nikki: So she leaves the room and tells everybody else, just stall for me.

Nikki: I'm going to go check my makeup.

Nikki: Stall for me.

Nikki: And this is when we get the introduction to the little girl.

Nikki: Her name is Lising, and I think she's adorable.

Salina: Oh, yeah.

Salina: The cutest is a killer.

Nikki: Cutie.

Nikki: And also incidentally, a Baptist like Charlene.

Salina: That's right.

Salina: They have an instant connection.

Nikki: They do.

Nikki: She's adorable.

Nikki: She's super charming.

Nikki: She meets all of the women in turn.

Nikki: And then Suzanne comes into the room and finally meets her.

Nikki: And their first meeting is the little girl giving her a giant hug and calling her mama.

Salina: Oh, yeah.

Salina: And right there.

Salina: I think we all know it's going to be a tough episode.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: And it did get tough.

Nikki: Did you have any initial reactions to their meeting?

Salina: No.

Salina: I mean, that was pretty much it.

Salina: Me just knowing that the deciding women was going to make me cry.

Nikki: Okay.

Nikki: I thought it was so funny to set this whole episode.

Nikki: Maybe this is in retrospect, but it felt like on Suzanne's side, it was still very professional.

Nikki: Like, she's giving the girl a briefcase.

Nikki: She goes to check her makeup because she's going to meet this new person.

Nikki: I'm putting it in quotes because I'm thinking like you would a client.

Nikki: And she just wants to look her best.

Nikki: And the little girl immediately breaks down that barrier and is like, reminder, I'm a little girl, and I'm looking for a family.

Nikki: And it immediately sets up this episode of something very, like you said, very emotional, very tough to watch at times.

Nikki: So after that, they go to Suzanne's house, and they're in Suzanne's manor mansion.

Nikki: I don't know what you want to call it.

Salina: I like Manor.

Salina: That sounds right.

Nikki: They're at Manor de Suzanne, and they're getting ready for bed.

Nikki: And this is when the little girl tells her that she also sings.

Nikki: She can sing, and she sings the song oh, Susanna.

Nikki: Oh, gosh.

Salina: Well, at this point, it's just but and just kind of sweet.

Salina: And you just kind of get the idea, like they're sort of laying their groundwork, that this girl is like, not only is she the things that we said, but she's clever.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: And she's kind of an old soul.

Nikki: I think that's a nice way of putting it.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: Also, I noted, too, that we haven't been in Suzanne's house except for episode three.

Salina: And so this is the first time that we've been upstairs, and I was hoping maybe I could share what stood out for me and see if anything did for you.

Salina: But I would just say overarching is that we kind of get like, a little sneak peek at Suzanne's sentimental side.

Salina: She has all of her beauty pageant crowns, and you can say what you want about that, but that is a sentimental thing.

Salina: Yeah, absolutely.

Salina: She has lots of pictures of her family.

Salina: We see a pillow from her grandma, and it's one that her grandma made it for and sewed something on it.

Salina: And it says, dear little one, I wish two things to give you roots, to give you wings, which is going to wind up being a little bit more foreshadowing for the episode.

Nikki: So to go to the crowns real quick because Lee Singh is a little girl.

Nikki: So the crowns catch her eye and she asks immediately if she can wear one, which I thought was really sweet.

Nikki: And then she shares that her whole family is in heaven, including, I think she said, a baby brother, and he died in the.

Salina: Really like it's really sad.

Salina: I think that was the other thing you see that's good.

Salina: Like they're connecting.

Salina: Right.

Salina: She's asking her some really pointed things about who these people are, and it's the pictures of Suzanne's family.

Salina: And then she shares this story.

Salina: And I think what we're seeing here is really the walls coming down for Suzanne.

Salina: Like you said, it's all business at.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: And when we get to this point and we're talking about a real human being who's been through some real stuff and at such a young age, I think that we're seeing Suzanne change over the course of an episode.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: Just to wrap this act up, the little girl wants to sleep with Suzanne.

Nikki: You could understand why.

Nikki: I'm sure there's been some trauma, and to have someone close to her probably would mean a lot.

Nikki: And she wants to wear the crown to bed, which I fully understand.

Nikki: Suzanne also fully understands and has tips for her to make for the maximum sleeping situation.

Salina: Well, although she thought that she's ever done that.

Nikki: Well, no.

Salina: Wink, wink.

Nikki: So that really takes us out of the sack.

Salina: The next part of the episode, we really get to see Suzanne as mom, and it's unclear how much time has gone by exactly, but it's been a little bit.

Salina: And basically she's spoiling Lising a lot.

Salina: And we'll spoil her because you know what?

Salina: Hopefully folks have already watched the episode.

Salina: The way that this part really plays out is Suzanne and Lising learn that the adoption papers wind up going through more quickly than expected.

Salina: And so Lee Singh is going to have to be going to Alabama with her adoptive parents, and they're kind of getting their time cut short here is essentially what's going on.

Salina: One thing we learn also when this act opens is that Suzanne is throwing leasing weekly birthday parties.

Nikki: I'm in.

Salina: Well, and I feel like in your thirty s is when you really start to deserve that because life's a little rough.

Salina: So I would call that though, in this case, for a parent, as a non parent, though, I would call that a warning, a little bit of a concerning sign or something that really struck me.

Salina: And so I thought that's maybe how we could have this conversation is talk about like in this part of the show before they find out that she's going to have to leave early.

Salina: What are we seeing that might be concerning or what stood out to you?

Salina: So there's the weekly birthday parties.

Salina: Anything else for you?

Nikki: The fact that this seven or eight year old is dressed exactly like Suzanne down to the pink dress suit.

Nikki: Suzanne being super protective over the spelling test because her teacher gave her, I think, an a minus because she misspelled tractor and giving leasing the master charge card.

Salina: What's wrong with that?

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: Now did the part where she shows up at the door and she's in the exact same outfit as suzanne, because they do it like they hide it from us, and they bring lising in so that we don't know that she's going to be dressed like suzanne.

Salina: So was that revealed?

Salina: Was that cute to you?

Salina: Did it creep you out?

Salina: How did you feel?

Nikki: Oh, I thought it was hilarious.

Nikki: Now that you're asking the question, I'm wondering if I should have felt a little toddlers and tiaras about it.

Nikki: I thought it was adorable.

Salina: I mean, it was played super cute, so I definitely didn't have a problem with it in the course of the think.

Salina: But it is sort of this body of evidence, if you will, that suzanne is she's setting herself up, although I don't think she quite realizes it yet for a really tough time.

Salina: Yeah, I caught on to all of those things, I will add.

Salina: One additional thing, is know, I think you noticed it in the last episode know, julia is being a little tough on people in the office, and I think that she's done some things in recent episodes that have us, uh, but she does seem to return as a little bit of a voice of a voice of reason.

Salina: Here she notes concern with behavior, but suzanne says everything is fine.

Salina: She's not looking to raise this little girl, but her actions are not aligning with the words that are coming out of her mouth.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: I did want to note at this birthday party, too, she didn't just get a mastercard.

Salina: She got another gift.

Nikki: Well, she got a doll from anthony.

Nikki: That's the gift you're talking about, right?

Salina: Oh, absolutely.

Salina: The doll, the mastercard, the pony.

Nikki: Wait a second.

Nikki: The pony.

Salina: Right.

Nikki: Which one of these is not like the other?

Salina: It's hard to say when your list includes a charge card.

Nikki: It's true.

Salina: So it's also you know, I think we also had a missing lines alert.

Salina: I know you do a lot of comparisons with the scripts as well.

Salina: We lost a line that I think was probably anthony's about not even being able to be approved for a credit card.

Salina: This is after charlene.

Salina: It was a funny line.

Salina: She was like, I don't even have a limit that high.

Salina: But the one I think is actually critical to the episode is when lising blows out her candles.

Salina: She says out loud that she wishes that she could stay with suzanne forever.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: And so not to blow past that moment because, well, that moment, that never happened for us to see.

Nikki: Right.

Salina: But in the next scene after that is where we learn this other piece about the adoption paperwork going through.

Salina: And much as quickly as she came into Suzanne's life, she'll be leaving just as quickly.

Salina: This will be their last night, so but this whole part, they're stopping by because they were on the way to the zoo.

Salina: They stopped by and at Sugar Bakers, and that's where they find out the news.

Salina: And to wrap this one, just the scene up, I just wanted to know if there was anything there at this part that stood out for you.

Nikki: The only thing that caught my attention was Lising said, yes, ma'am, when Mary Jo offered her an ice cream sandwich.

Nikki: So she is already fully into the training I would imagine Suzanne would be giving her on Etiquette.

Salina: Well, and it's very much so.

Salina: I think that something that you and I probably heard a few times when we were little, is that she says yes to Mary Jo, and she is prompted by Suzanne.

Salina: Yes.

Salina: What?

Salina: And our answer was always, yes, ma'am.

Salina: But because we're learning Suzanne's a little extra, her full response from Lee Singh that we get is, yes, ma'am.

Salina: Bad manners are worse than having no money.

Salina: Well, there's some good stuff in there.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: The only other thing I was going to note, and this is just a plug for folks to stay around for this week's extra sugar.

Salina: We get a little bit of a product placement is the whole thing that actually drives Suzanne and Lee Singh back to Sugar Bakers, and it's that Lee Singh has forgotten her Teddy Ruxpin.

Salina: So I know that it sounds like you had some things at Suzanne's house.

Salina: Then again, final night.

Salina: Anything in particular here that stood out to you?

Nikki: This whole scene was tough for me to watch.

Nikki: There's a part where Lisa is on her knees praying and basically prays, like she wishes she could stay with Suzanne and or if that's not possible, could they find a way to get her pony to Alabama so she can still have her pony?

Nikki: Which was really cute.

Nikki: But the way that Suzanne is gazing at her and looking at her so adoringly, I just felt that look in my don't, in my opinion, and in my experience, I feel like it's the way I find myself looking at my kids all the time, which is sort of like this combination of amazement and love and adoration.

Nikki: And I felt like all of those things crossed Delta Burke's face in that one moment.

Nikki: And it just like you said, bringing us almost full circle to this character.

Nikki: To see that development happening in this episode was really mean.

Salina: We sort of get pulled through all of these emotions, and I think that's what they want from us, right?

Salina: So we get kind of like some funny moments, and we get the emotional notes.

Salina: I did think the thing with the pony was funny.

Salina: Like, just try and get that pony over there if you can.

Salina: But I also thought that it was funny when she's because she being seeing is really trying to kind of make a case for staying.

Salina: She wants to stay because of school.

Salina: She wants to stay because of Suzanne, all of these things.

Salina: And I just think it's so funny because she says she really likes it here.

Salina: What about Dora Mode, who every day in the lunchroom says, hey, Lee Singh, you gonna get you another big biscuit.

Salina: To which I was like, sign me up for this school where they're getting biscuits.

Nikki: Biscuits.

Salina: Just the way she said it.

Salina: And her interpretation of a Southern accent was adorable.

Salina: It was so cute and much better than me trying to hear anybody else trying to do a Southern accent when they botch it.

Nikki: Yeah, it was adorable.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: So just a fantastic scene.

Salina: And really here they say goodnight, but there's something else, one last thing that I noticed, which is that they both told each other that they said, I love you.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: So, you know, we are really connected at this point.

Nikki: And Suzanne tucks that pillow from her grandmother into Lising's bag.

Salina: Good call.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: So she's giving I mean, I would say going back to the scene before the last time that they were in her room, that first night that she stayed, I'm going to hazard a guess that that pillow is the most important thing to her in that room.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: So I think it really shows just how special Lee Singh is.

Salina: And I think it is a little preview for how difficult tomorrow is going to be.

Nikki: And the next day really is hard.

Nikki: It's so hard, in fact, that Suzanne doesn't show up.

Nikki: She and Lising are nowhere to be found.

Nikki: When the adoptive parents have shown up from Alabama, they're just Mia.

Salina: Yeah, it's no good.

Nikki: So Julia takes a call that they are at a restaurant of some kind that has video games or whatever.

Nikki: And Suzanne just I think it's a call for help.

Nikki: She needs help.

Nikki: So Julia shows up to help, and she shows up to leasing, comforting Suzanne.

Nikki: Oh, my God.

Nikki: How sad was that?

Nikki: So Suzanne basically shares that she feels like this is the first person in her life that has loved her.

Nikki: Just for her, that sort of like pure childlike love, where they know nothing about the things in your personality that are difficult or they don't know about those other things that, you know, you've struggled with your whole life.

Nikki: Kids just don't know that stuff.

Nikki: They just know that you're funny.

Nikki: You give them a pony.

Nikki: You let them wear the tiara at night.

Nikki: And she's gotten very used to that.

Nikki: She and Julia share some a really nice conversation where Julia shares, no, like, mom and I love you that way, too.

Nikki: But I think for Suzanne, that's just something that she feels like she's never had before.

Nikki: So Julia ends up giving her a little bit of a pep talk.

Nikki: I've been a little down on the Julia train lately.

Nikki: This was nice.

Nikki: This was nice.

Nikki: And I will say she finally does something.

Nikki: She delivers one of her signature truths, but she did it really softly.

Nikki: So she said, like, I'm going to say something to you and I'm saying it because I love you and I hope you hear it that way.

Nikki: And that is for the first time in your life, do something for someone else.

Nikki: Don't put yourself first.

Nikki: And that was a light bulb moment for Suzanne, I think.

Nikki: And to me, it was an example of how Julia can take this bulldog approach.

Nikki: She can take this knows everything approach and deliver it in a kind way or a way that people can receive, because it was the truth Suzanne needed to hear.

Nikki: But it wasn't brash and.

Salina: Thought, I totally agree with you.

Salina: The only thing I felt like where she was a little harsh was leading up to that moment where she just cut straight to the point with her and was like, you need to do something for someone else, is that she basically says, I just don't think you're cut out to be a mom.

Salina: And I don't know.

Salina: I agree with that.

Salina: I think Suzanne has some lessons to learn and I think that she should probably adjust some things, but most parents probably have to adjust some things over time.

Salina: I mean, she was only doing it for two weeks and so I think that she's shown that she has a great deal of care and love.

Salina: She has means and the ability and opportunity to take care of a child if she so wanted to.

Salina: So I think that was my only hang up on what Julia said, but oh, go ahead.

Nikki: I'm going to be honest with you, I might have blacked out there and just completely blanked out what she was saying.

Nikki: You were totally right.

Nikki: She did call into question all of that and there was that really awful backhanded compliment, like, you're really good at something, I'm sure.

Salina: Yeah, it was a little bit of a tough start, but it was also a really hard conversation and I do think that whole area is just a really hard thing to talk about, especially Julia's coming in.

Salina: She does have a child.

Salina: Suzanne's not had a child to this point, may never have one from the conversation that they're having.

Salina: And I think those are a lot of big things that start rattling around in your head around Suzanne's age, who just turned 30, I hear, I'm sorry, 29.

Salina: But I think that Julia's not wrong on some of these things about her needing to be careful about being selfish, because I saw some red flags leading up to this conversation.

Salina: When Julia comes in, we see Lising comforting Suzanne.

Salina: It's played sweet in this moment, but I'm telling you, Nikki, if they changed that lighting and removed the laugh track, we'd have a Lifetime movie on our hands.

Nikki: Oh, yeah, for sure.

Nikki: It's that classic role reversal that I think the point you're making is a really big red flag that there is an emotional inequality there or instability that's not supposed to exist.

Salina: Well, it's also clear that Suzanne is mixed.

Salina: Know you were talking about how she loves the way leasing makes her feel, but that's not what parents do.

Salina: I'm not saying that isn't a component, but it's about what a child needs.

Salina: Again, I want to be cautious.

Salina: I always want to be cautious of wading into the parenting waters, because that's not really necessarily for me to say, since it's not my lived experience, but I have been a child of a person before, so I do have that experience.

Salina: And so that was just something that really struck me here.

Salina: You want to talk a little bit about the pillow comes up, because Julia does.

Salina: See that sticking out of the bag.

Nikki: I thought this was a throwaway conversation to me, honestly.

Salina: Oh, okay.

Nikki: Where Julia basically says, I see that you're giving her the pillow from Grandma.

Nikki: And then she reads the quote back, and I don't remember what the words were, but wings and things, and we've had those.

Salina: Okay, now I just want kicking chicken.

Nikki: And this is where it comes out from Suzanne that she thinks.

Nikki: She says specifically, I may never have a little girl.

Nikki: And so she wants to give the pillow to Lising.

Nikki: And Julia says, I think Grandma, that would have meant a lot to.

Salina: I think I had a couple of thoughts here.

Salina: It's interesting that it struck you as a throwaway, because I kind of looked at it as a button.

Salina: When Lee Singh gets a hold of that pillow earlier on in the show and she reads it, she asks Suzanne what it means.

Salina: And it took me a few watches, because the first time I heard Suzanne say, she started to try and explain it to her, and she was you'll.

Nikki: Understand when you're older, which is something parents do.

Salina: I agree with that.

Salina: But what struck me here is I'm not sure that Suzanne understood.

Salina: Yeah, I think that's okay.

Salina: Until right here and in this moment.

Salina: So by giving her wings and getting her to her adopted parents, she is giving her roots and therefore fulfilling the platitude that's on this pillow.

Salina: It's a sweet one, though.

Salina: And then I thought it was really nice, too, because this is when Julia tells her, now you know what it feels like to be a mother.

Nikki: You and I are different TV watchers.

Nikki: I'm very practical.

Nikki: I'm like, is Lisa Singh going with this other family, or is she staying with Suzanne?

Nikki: That's what I got to get to the bottom of that.

Nikki: I got to know, where is this going to end?

Nikki: So when they're talking about the pillow, I was like, yeah, blah, blah, blah.

Nikki: I saw when they were talking about the pillow back.

Nikki: In Suzanne's room two scenes ago or whatever, I was like, Lee Singh's going to end up with that pillow.

Nikki: All right, we figured that one out.

Nikki: Now what's going to happen with Lee Singh?

Nikki: I was still holding out hope for a twist that Lising was going to.

Salina: Get to was one that was going to be my question, but you answered it because I guess so.

Salina: A couple of things is this is an episode that I remember, so I wouldn't have been able to remember the little pieces, but I knew we didn't get an extra cast member after this one.

Nikki: I would have welcomed this little girl because she was adorable.

Salina: Oh, my gosh.

Salina: Just the absolute.

Nikki: Um so then they leave the restaurant and get back to Sugar Bakers, and they got to do the handoff.

Nikki: They got to do the handoff.

Nikki: Let's rip this bandaid off and just say suzanne decides to do the right thing.

Nikki: She decides to send Lising on her way, and she sends her along with this family with a couple of special tips, things that Lising likes.

Nikki: She likes silk sheets.

Nikki: She likes caviar on saltines.

Nikki: She has hot chocolate before bed every night.

Nikki: And she likes sleeping in a tiara.

Nikki: And so she's tucked one away in the suitcase for her.

Salina: I think I'm going to test this out.

Salina: You know what?

Salina: I think we both should sleep in tiaras.

Salina: We should do everything on this list.

Salina: We should do that.

Nikki: That's a thought.

Salina: And then get back to each other and see if we've discovered what real life is.

Nikki: Your homework for me is equally more fun and more expensive than my homework is for you.

Salina: Well, we might have to update ours from silk sheets to clean sheets.

Salina: I don't think I could afford the silk sheets.

Nikki: Clean sheets would be quite an indulgence.

Nikki: That's true.

Nikki: So Lising ends up leaving, and she leaves singing oh, Susanna as the door closes behind her.

Nikki: Oh, God.

Salina: And I don't want to cheapen the moment, but, I mean, if people don't know the words to, you know, Don't You Cry for me, I'll be gone to Alabama with a banjo on my knee.

Salina: But I think she sings the verse that's like, I'll be coming back from Alabama, I think is the one which is probably at the tail end of the song.

Salina: And so even on her way out and I've got covered in chills right now, she's comforting Suzanne.

Salina: She's just a little angel on earth.

Nikki: She is.

Nikki: She's also you said earlier in this episode that she is an old soul.

Nikki: She has obviously seen a lot.

Nikki: And we're talking about a character I'm still going to let myself get swept up in it.

Nikki: She's seen a lot.

Nikki: I think there are a lot of kids that have been through life like this, especially the kids who end up in foster situations, who have seen things that full grown adults haven't seen.

Nikki: And oftentimes the types of adults that end up adopting these children haven't seen and can't fathom.

Nikki: So I think I do see it as a red flag that she was having to comfort Suzanne, but it also feels very full circle to her character that she would be, because it seems like that's just the kind of person that she is.

Nikki: She's seen a lot.

Nikki: She knows what rough life is, and.

Salina: With all that she's been through, man, give her two weeks with hot chocolate every night and a little caviar and a saltine.

Nikki: She's a pony here or there.

Salina: Just one.

Nikki: It's just one.

Nikki: I write.

Nikki: They didn't give her a whole stable full.

Salina: It's fine.

Nikki: God bless her.

Nikki: She's very sweet.

Nikki: And with that, the episode wraps up, and Suzanne didn't get her new child, and she had to say goodbye.

Salina: That was in.

Salina: And then we fell apart.

Salina: So, Nikki, it's harder to say this after such a sad episode, but are you ready to rate this sucker?

Nikki: I am.

Nikki: Are you?

Salina: I am.

Salina: Are you coming in with a rating scale?

Salina: Hot and fresh rating scale.

Nikki: I have one.

Nikki: I have bedtime tiaras.

Salina: Oh, that's cute.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: I want to go with that one, too.

Nikki: Oh, but what was yours?

Salina: Teddy Ruxpin's.

Nikki: Oh, that's cute.

Nikki: I love Teddy Ruxpin.

Nikki: I am giving this episode.

Nikki: Brace yourself.

Nikki: Are you sitting down?

Nikki: Five out of five.

Nikki: A perfect score.

Nikki: It was wonderful.

Nikki: I loved watching Suzanne embrace her maternal side.

Nikki: Lee Singh was perfection on earth.

Nikki: She was just the most charming.

Nikki: I imagine that casting director, when they came across that little girl, knew they had struck gold because she's adorable, super charming.

Nikki: So cute.

Nikki: It was just a really well done episode.

Nikki: We haven't really had that many that focused around Suzanne and around her as a character in all her flaws, but also in all her growth.

Nikki: So I was really excited to have that.

Salina: Yeah, it's funny you say that, because I feel like we've had a lot of, like it's like a rubber band, but then pulls back, but then it snaps, and she was the same, right.

Salina: So it was cool to see that change.

Salina: So I'm five out of five, too.

Nikki: Wow.

Salina: I think this might be my second.

Salina: It's your first for sure.

Nikki: I think it's my first.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: I think I also may have given Slumber Party a perfect score.

Nikki: Oh, I think you did.

Nikki: That sounds right.

Salina: So same thing for me.

Salina: Lising is just the tops, and I love the silly things that Suzanne was doing as a mom.

Salina: I loved all the emotional parts, seeing Suzanne be, you know, while she was being extravagant.

Salina: And I think we could all agree she might need to dial it back just a little so the kid doesn't turn into an absolute monster.

Salina: Like I said earlier, there's no reason that she couldn't adopt if that's what she wants to do.

Salina: She has the means and help, and I just didn't really agree with what Julia said there, but that was pretty much it.

Salina: So did you find any 80s things you want to share?

Nikki: I had some combo things.

Nikki: Oh, you explained it.

Nikki: I know.

Nikki: You explained it so eloquently to me last time that I think I understand now.

Salina: All right.

Nikki: But now I'm trying to remember why I put my first thing in.

Nikki: My first thing is in a combo because it was unknown and also Eighty S, and it was the concept of Vietnamese boat children.

Salina: Okay.

Nikki: I was not familiar with that at a very high level.

Nikki: It is this idea of mass exodus of Vietnamese people from Vietnam following the Vietnam War.

Nikki: And there was, I believe, an uptick in the number of refugees from Vietnam.

Nikki: Was that on your list somewhere, too?

Salina: It was references I had to look up, too.

Salina: I'm assuming that both of us went, why in the world did they just call this person a boat child?

Salina: But this was literally the term that they were using at the time.

Salina: Not just for children, but anyone that was a refugee and was just looking for a way out.

Salina: Because from what I read and we can link to some articles, it was pretty bad.

Nikki: Yeah, it's just no good transition.

Nikki: My second combo was eighty s and southern.

Nikki: It was Lee Singh's outfit.

Nikki: When she was leaving, she was wearing I probably had, like, five Easter outfits like this.

Nikki: I bet you did, too.

Nikki: She had a little hat with a bow.

Nikki: I think she had white gloves.

Nikki: Maybe I didn't wear white gloves, but I think she had them on.

Nikki: She had white tights and this adorable but really simple pastel dress.

Nikki: And it took me immediately back to my childhood.

Salina: Absolutely.

Salina: Good call.

Nikki: So I guess you didn't have any combo items because I made such a big deal about it that you took it out.

Salina: No, I'm just pleased as punch that it only took 18 episodes, but I finally explained myself.

Nikki: To be fair, I think you only introduced combos in, like, episode 14.

Nikki: So it really wasn't that many.

Salina: Thanks for making me feel better.

Nikki: 80S, obviously.

Nikki: Teddy Ruxman and that was the only one.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: I had arcade games as well because she was playing Pacman in the background.

Salina: I'm sure somebody's like that game was released in 1976.

Salina: Maybe, but I think of it as an 80s thing.

Nikki: I don't care.

Salina: You're probably correct, but we have the microphones right now.

Salina: I'm just kidding.

Salina: I just get so snarky at 1050.

Nikki: We have the microphones in the nearly midnight sass.

Salina: Right.

Salina: And I'm like, and you can have it.

Salina: Southern things.

Nikki: Suzanne mentioned the Azalea festival.

Nikki: I didn't actually look up to see if this is a real thing, but she said Azalea.

Nikki: That felt Southern.

Nikki: Did you look it up?

Salina: I did, but go ahead.

Nikki: Andy Griffith there was a whole diatribe by Charlene about how she just wishes everybody could raise their kids the way Andy raised opie.

Nikki: And I think she immediately talked herself out of it and into the fact that Andy Taylor is the most toxic father of all time.

Nikki: I had be a skits on my list and just birmingham, Alabama.

Salina: How did I not have biscuit on my list after all that?

Nikki: It's not it's biscuit.

Salina: Have yourself a biscuit.

Salina: Was that everything on yours?

Nikki: That was it.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: So, there were a lot of references to what good breeding is.

Salina: We got the yes, ma'am one in the middle of the show, one that we didn't mention, but leasing says to Suzanne or maybe to her new mom when she pulls out, like, a linen hanky.

Salina: Oh, look, that sign of good so, I don't know.

Salina: It just feels southern.

Salina: Oh, for crying out loud.

Salina: Suzanne says that when she chips an l.

Salina: That feels like a southern thing to say.

Salina: It may not be.

Salina: And then I did look up the azalea festival.

Salina: It is a real thing.

Salina: It's in North Carolina.

Salina: And actually, there are some famous previous queens, kelly ripa being one of them.

Salina: Oh, funny.

Salina: So I guess Suzanne was doing some traveling.

Salina: Maybe that makes sense, though.

Salina: Yeah, that's not too terribly surprising.

Salina: So I think we had good crossover on the rest of them.

Salina: And you didn't take it.

Salina: You already explained my reference with the vietnamese boat children, so thank you for doing that.

Salina: And did you have any other references that you had to look up?

Nikki: I had Kendall's, which is the restaurant or bar thing where Suzanne and Lising went, but I could not find anything.

Nikki: I searched Kendall's, I searched Kimball's, I searched a bunch of different kind of options, and I couldn't really find anything.

Nikki: So I had something, but it's kind of a dead end.

Nikki: I probably shouldn't have brought it up, but I need you to understand my commitment to this show.

Salina: I appreciate your commitment, and I'm so sorry that we won't be getting nikki's nibbles.

Salina: That's NI.

Salina: B as in boy.

Salina: B as in boy.

Salina: Le s.

Salina: I know.

Nikki: I'm sorry about that.

Nikki: So now we're on to episode 19, mary Jo's dad dates charlene.

Salina: Can't wait.

Nikki: I think the people have heard us say quite a bit lately.

Nikki: Not my favorite episode.

Nikki: I suspect we will be hearing that from Salina on this next one.

Nikki: As always, we'd love everyone to follow along with us and engage.

Nikki: We're on instagram and facebook at sweet tea and TV.

Nikki: As always, share your favorite southern things.

Nikki: You can email us at

Nikki: You can visit us on our website at

Nikki: That's the place where we dump all our junk, including references, links to fun articles, things like that.

Nikki: And then, as always, please tell your friends about us and make sure that if you are listening to us, that you've subscribed so that you always know when we launch a new episode and rate and review us.

Nikki: So that other people can find us easily.

Nikki: That's it.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: Come see our crap.

Salina: Come listen to our crap.

Salina: We love you.

Salina: And stick around for Extra Sugar, where Nikki and I are going to talk a little 80s toys.

Salina: So we'll see you around the bend by.

Salina: All right, Nikki, it's that time.

Salina: It's that time for extra Sugar.

Salina: Are you ready?

Nikki: I'm ready.

Salina: Well, this time we're going to focus on 80s toys and that's.

Salina: And that's because we get a blatant Teddy Ruxman product placement in the episode.

Salina: And I was going to ask you this question, but I think I already know that you do remember Teddy Ruxpin.

Nikki: Yes, absolutely.

Salina: So that means you had one.

Nikki: Absolutely.

Salina: Well, what if I told you I have a surprise?

Nikki: You bought me a teddy ruxman.

Salina: Well, I don't know if I bought you a Teddy Ruxbin, but what if I told you that I have here a Teddy Ruxpin?

Nikki: Is that the OG Teddy Ruxbin?

Salina: No, my grandparents bought me one when they reintroduced them in seven.

Salina: I do have the initial one, but Casey made me put it away because it was very old and the eyeball fell out and it scared him and he said I had to put it away.

Nikki: Good call, Casey.

Salina: So this is the less scary version, Teddy, for folks who don't know.

Salina: This was a toy released in 1985.

Salina: It was a grand old year.

Salina: A grand young year.

Salina: Excuse me.

Nikki: Grand young year.

Salina: And so Teddy Ruxman was really amazing for the time because it was kind of like a Teddy robot of sorts.

Salina: And he tells stories and his mouth would move and you put this thing called a VHS tape in the back of him and then cassette tape, right?

Salina: Oh, sorry.

Salina: Yeah, it's a cassette tape in the back of him and he'd tell stories.

Salina: He also had movies and stuff that came along with him.

Salina: I still have one of those VHS cassettes because there are a few things Casey will tell you.

Salina: I am a thrower.

Salina: I will throw everything away.

Salina: But there are a few sentimental things from my childhood that I can't get rid of.

Salina: And this is one of them.

Salina: I have a second surprise.

Nikki: Oh, you have two of them.

Salina: Do you remember Grubby?

Nikki: Vaguely.

Nikki: Vaguely.

Nikki: I do.

Salina: So Grubby is I think he was Teddy Ruxman's best friend.

Salina: I'm 36, guys.

Salina: I do still know one of the songs, but I will not treat you to that.

Salina: But he was one of Teddy Ruxman's best friends and they went on adventures together and it was glorious.

Salina: And as were the 80s.

Salina: So I just wanted to share a little show and tell with you, Nikki.

Nikki: Thanks for doing that.

Nikki: My kids actually have a Teddy Ruxpin because there's like a reintro introduction of him, and my parents bought it for them.

Nikki: And I think it is the creepiest thing I've nearly ever seen.

Nikki: And I have a deep appreciation and memory of loving Teddy Ruxpin.

Salina: Well, things look different through children's eyes.

Salina: And I think that's what we're going to come around to in this segment, that everything looks different.

Salina: And I think we're just all much more jaded at this point.

Salina: So you get a little life experience under your belt, and suddenly that talking bear just looks so scary.

Nikki: It's the eyes.

Nikki: It's the eyes.

Nikki: And I'm with Casey.

Nikki: If the eye was popped out, I'd be terrified.

Salina: Well, so I have a question before we jump into the actual true content of today's extra sugar, which is something kind of weird that I stumbled upon.

Salina: Do you have any favorite 80s toys that you want to tell me about?

Nikki: I have a few.

Nikki: How much time do we have?

Nikki: Well, honey, I'm just kidding.

Nikki: So Teddy Ruxman is on that.

Nikki: Also, one that I recently rediscovered remembered is Pocket.

Nikki: I have very vivid memories of my pocket compact, and I'm doing a hand motion for Salina only because my mom recently bought Carolina a polypocket.

Nikki: A few pocket sets, a few thanks, mom tiny pieces.

Nikki: And as I'm playing with it, I'm remembering playing with my pockets.

Nikki: So I had to look them up because I was telling Carolina how different it used to be.

Nikki: I don't remember it feeling this way, and it didn't do this.

Nikki: So I had to look it up, and I ended up down a rabbit hole in pocket.

Nikki: So I'll say polypocket is one.

Nikki: And I was forever and always a Barbie girl.

Nikki: I had a huge collection of Barbies.

Nikki: So I have two Barbie memories.

Nikki: Two toys I remember having in the late 80s, very early ninety s.

Nikki: One a swimming pool that had a water slide.

Nikki: And the water if I remember correctly, the water came down the water slide so Barbie could slide down it.

Nikki: I just remember thinking that was the coolest, schnazziest thing.

Salina: Sounds fancy to me.

Nikki: And then I had a dream house.

Nikki: I had the Barbie Dream House, and I spent a lot of time recently looking it up.

Nikki: Because if there was one thing I wish my parents had kept from my childhood, it is this house.

Nikki: It was a three piece house.

Nikki: It had skylights, it had window planters.

Nikki: I think it had some of those.

Nikki: And it was the most amazing house.

Nikki: I used to play with it for hours, and I wish I could give that to my kids.

Nikki: But my parents sold it at a garage sale, so I don't have it.

Salina: I'm sorry.

Salina: We've all had something that we treasured sold at a garage sale.

Salina: It's part of the experience.

Salina: So I actually think I may have had that same Barbie doll house.

Salina: I think it was like the Malibu Dream House or something.

Nikki: That might be right.

Nikki: I think that's right.

Nikki: Okay.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: So, anything else that you wanted to share?

Nikki: No, that's it.

Nikki: Those are the ones that pop to mind when I think of that era.

Salina: So I think the things that stood out for me is that the ones that I most closely associate with the 80s are usually all, like, also television shows or had movies or something, and that was sort of the marketing package that was being done then and I'm sure is being done now.

Salina: You'll know more than I do.

Salina: But mine would be Care Bears, my Little Pony rainbow bright and Gem and the Holograms.

Nikki: I knew this about you.

Nikki: I remember the Gem and the Holograms because I'd never heard of them.

Nikki: Tell me about them.

Salina: It was a mid 80s feminist cartoon because she was a businesswoman by day and she was a rock star by night, and it doesn't get any more 80s than that.

Salina: So I actually was trying to look for some really kind of fun facts to share about some of these toys, but it turns out that most times toys are just toys.

Salina: And I wound up stumbling across something else that struck my fancy and my interest more than anything else that I found, and it's a toy that did not land on your or my list the Cabbage Patch Kid.

Nikki: There's a very funny story to that.

Nikki: We took my daughter to get a Cabbage Patch doll last year, and it was a very big deal to my mom to buy it for her because my mom always wanted to buy one for me and my sister, but they were so expensive and so hard to come by that she was not able to do that.

Nikki: So this was like a dream come true for her to buy my daughter one.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: I remember Y'all going this is going to factor y'all went to North Georgia, right?

Salina: This will factor into my story.

Salina: So I'll ask for just kind of be thinking about what that memory was like.

Nikki: Okay.

Salina: And we'll talk about it a little bit.

Salina: So here's the thing.

Salina: Cabbage Patch Kids were the most popular toy fad just a few years earlier than what we saw in this episode.

Salina: So it was debuted in 1983, and it winds up being one of the most popular toys of the entire decade.

Salina: Here's a quick primer.

Salina: In case you don't know what a Cabbage Patch doll is, they were and still are a one of a kind doll with soft, sculpted fabric bodies and vinyl heads.

Salina: Paying customers wouldn't just buy them.

Salina: They could and still can, for the right price, adopt them, including customizing their name and their birth date.

Salina: So that was like a really.

Nikki: Kind.

Salina: Of novel thing for the time that hadn't been seen before, and it took the toy world by storm.

Salina: In fact, it sounds like what happened here pretty much kicks off the pandemonium that we know today is Black Friday.

Salina: Yeah, it sort of starts with the Cabbage Patch Kid.

Salina: Essentially, there wasn't enough supply that year when it debuted to meet the demand, with shoppers describing what took place as riots, massacres.

Salina: There were lines wrapped five times around buildings, reports of tramplings, broken bones, and adults snatching these toys from young kids hands.

Salina: So we're not showing our best selves with this doll.

Salina: There was also some reports of local radio DJs who were having a field day, and they were playing pranks on desperate parents and sending them to and sending them to do, like, these wacky things.

Salina: There was also a black market for these dolls where they were going for as much as $2,000.

Nikki: Oh, my gosh.

Salina: So now we know why you couldn't have one.

Nikki: Nikki that's true.

Salina: Well, one, you weren't alive in 83.

Nikki: Right.

Salina: So number one first problem, I think you may already know this, but are you aware of the Southern connection to Cabbage Patch Kids in terms of the origin story?

Nikki: I am.

Salina: Okay, so tell me what you know.

Nikki: So I am remembering there is a young man, and I want to say, like, 18 or 19 years old, and I want to say North Carolina.

Nikki: I feel like maybe I shouldn't tell my recollection.

Nikki: Maybe you should just tell the truth.

Nikki: But now I'm committed.

Nikki: So young man, go all in.

Nikki: He was, like, hand making them and then started selling them at farmers market sort of things, and then ended up mass marketing them.

Nikki: Did I get any?

Salina: Okay, you were pretty close.

Salina: So I'm going to go to the there's two origin stories.

Salina: One is like, kind of like a mushroom trip.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: And the other one is like actual real life, is what you're talking about.

Salina: But I want to start with I.

Nikki: Feel like there are three versions now.

Nikki: My version, and those two random teenager in North Carolina hatching these things.

Salina: Something.

Salina: They're growing something.

Salina: So this is the origin story, the legend, if you will, that kids hear when they adopt a Cabbage Patch Kid.

Salina: It states that a young boy named Xavier Roberts is led by a bunny bee.

Salina: What's a bunny bee, you say?

Salina: Well, a bunny bee, when you've done some drugs, it has the body of a bunny, but it zigs and zags like a bee.

Salina: I don't know.

Salina: Anyways, it leads this kid through a waterfall, down a long tunnel, and out into a magical land where a cabbage patch grew little children.

Salina: Sounds like a nightmare.

Salina: So as legend has it, he agrees in talking to one of the children to find loving homes for each of them, and until then, to build a magical place where they could live and play.

Salina: You've been to that place?

Nikki: I have, yeah.

Salina: It exists in Cleveland, Georgia, and it is Babyland General Hospital.

Nikki: I've been to was again, an OG version, and there is a new fancy version.

Salina: I've been I would I went to the original version.

Salina: So if you're from Georgia, there's a hot chance that you've been, whether it be for a field trip or maybe you're just gone on a camping trip up in North Georgia.

Salina: Or maybe you're just lucky.

Salina: Whatever the case, you you might find yourself at a hospital for dolls.

Nikki: The first one was so creepy.

Salina: I was nine, so I was like 18.

Salina: That's a terrible age for that.

Nikki: It's a very different experience.

Nikki: It was very dark.

Nikki: It was very dingy.

Nikki: The story you just told is played out in this hospital, and Mother Tree was very creepy.

Nikki: It was.

Salina: Of, I'm sure, again, nine years old.

Salina: But if memory serves, it's kind of like the really older rides at Disney World or even Universal, and they're kind of know and their mouths just move funny.

Salina: And it's the animatronics are just really.

Nikki: Old, so the new one is really nice.

Nikki: The new one is a brand new building.

Nikki: It's gorgeous.

Salina: Yeah, so I did read that it's a 70,000 square foot space featuring a magic crystal tree where guests can watch a live delivery of the Cabbage Patch Kids.

Nikki: That's right, a delivery.

Salina: Did you know that the first one was actually a turn of the century medical facility that was renovated?

Nikki: I think it was haunted.

Salina: Come on.

Salina: If that doesn't make it sound like a scary movie, I think I know I saw that scary movie.

Salina: Anyway, so moving on, let's talk about the real life story that isn't that fantastical.

Salina: Mushroom Trip.

Salina: So you were pretty close in your story.

Salina: The young boy, Xavier Roberts in The Made Up Legend is the person credited with creating the dolls.

Salina: This happens in the mid to late 70s.

Salina: He is an art student that's inspired by needle molding.

Salina: It's a German technique for fabric sculpture.

Salina: He winds up calling them little people.

Salina: And like you said, he was kind of not kind of.

Salina: He was selling them at different art festivals is what they were.

Salina: And all of these were hand stitched at the time, which you can still get today, completely hand stitched, starting at $250, if you feel so inclined.

Salina: It sounds like he spends the next few years after creating these at these art shows.

Salina: He does include this whole adoption concept, even back then.

Salina: And eventually him and some artist friends, they start a business and together they opened up Babyland General Hospital to the public.

Salina: He goes on to sell the toy company to Colico in 1982, and they start mass producing it then, and the rest is history.

Salina: Right?

Salina: Well, since I say right, you know it's not true.

Salina: Here's where it gets tricky.

Salina: Apparently part of the inspiration came from the design of an American folk artist from Kentucky named Martha Nelson Thomas, another Southern connection.

Salina: So she actually created dolls that she called doll babies.

Salina: They were also handmade, they were sold at craft fairs, and people could adopt them for their very own.

Salina: Something seems similar.

Salina: No.

Salina: So she didn't copyright hers, though.

Salina: So the bottom line is that Roberts did.

Salina: He made millions and they wound up in a little bit of a legal battle and I say a little bit, but that's a little tongue in cheek because it actually lasted six years.

Salina: They eventually settle for an undisclosed amount, and she said that it was enough to put her kids through college.

Salina: Oh, good.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: Sadly, Thomas passed away in 2013.

Salina: But this just sort of murkies up the water of the Cabbage Patch origin story, if you will.

Salina: I've got one last weird connection for you.

Salina: Are you ready?

Nikki: I don't know.

Nikki: Am I?

Salina: Well, what if I told you that there is also a connection between Cabbage Patch Kids and the occult?

Nikki: Oh, gosh.

Salina: So one such story starts with Texas evangelist Phil Phillips, who wrote a book in 1986 titled Turmoil in the Toy Box.

Salina: Amazon describes this book as dealing with ways toys and cartoons are being used to introduce the occult, violence, and pagan religions to millions of our children.

Salina: Oh, no.

Salina: I know.

Salina: He is quoted as saying, a great number of toys on the market today, especially the more popular ones, are based on some of the very ideas, namely witchcraft and emulations and murder that God warns against.

Salina: His concerns with the kids from the Patch was that these were idols that were treated like real babies.

Salina: That one's actually not that strange.

Salina: The one about E.

Salina: T.

Salina: Is he said it was a demonic looking alien with Godlike powers and occult tendencies who rises from the dead but doesn't go to heaven.

Salina: Okay.

Nikki: Don't come after Et.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: Don't you even dare talk about Et.

Salina: E.

Salina: T.

Salina: Is a saint, and everyone knows it.

Salina: So this all came from an Orlando Sentinel article, and it was definitely poking fun at this guy.

Salina: There's no doubt about it.

Salina: But his book had sold 100,000 copies about eight months after being published.

Salina: And I got to be honest with you, that's a little scary to me.

Nikki: There's 100,000 people that wanted to own that book.

Salina: And then here's the second connection.

Salina: Bill Gothard also took issues with the dolls.

Salina: Now, if that name sounds familiar to you, he is a Christian minister who founded the Institute and Basic Life Principles and then the Advanced Training Institute.

Salina: This is a fundamentalist Christian homeschooling group.

Salina: It's the same one that the Duggar family follows or followed.

Salina: I don't know how old those kids are.

Salina: The show got canceled.

Salina: I don't know.

Salina: But it's what they followed in case that might be why it sounds familiar to you.

Salina: If it does.

Salina: He had a little incident back in 2014, and we'll just say he stepped down from his position.

Salina: I found a blog written by a woman who was homeschooled through ATI that he developed, and she was in a seminar, and he was known for his seminars where Gothard said that Cabbage Patch Dolls had been given demons.

Salina: Satanic.

Salina: They had been given demon, Satanic and foreign god names which were allowing Satan to have ground in people's lives and in their homes.

Salina: The evidence was anecdotal stories.

Salina: Of children waking with night terrors.

Salina: But these night terrors stopped when the dolls were not only removed from their home, but they were also ceremoniously.

Nikki: So I'm only laughing because I'm imagining parents waiting in line for hours and hours and hours to get these dolls, knowing that right down the street, Joe Schmo is burning it.

Salina: Here's what I love about you, Nikki, you're pragmatic.

Salina: Why are you going to spend $250 on this hand stitched doll and then throw it in the flames?

Nikki: Doesn't make any sense.

Salina: You could have resold that, right?

Salina: The whole thing.

Salina: I can see how somebody might be like, I mean, is this for real, though?

Salina: But there was a comment underneath her blog from someone else who said that her parents did the same thing and burned their doll when they were younger.

Salina: And then there were even more stories.

Salina: I found a Gawker article and we'll link to that.

Salina: So questions.

Nikki: So many.

Nikki: So many.

Nikki: But you know what I think I'll do?

Nikki: I think I'll visit those references in the show notes on our website and I'll educate myself.

Salina: Yeah, go look at some crap.

Nikki: I don't understand.

Nikki: Cabbage Patch Kids.

Nikki: I don't remember wanting one.

Nikki: I think what you pointed out the beginning is that maybe it was a little tiny bit before my time.

Nikki: I don't really remember wanting one.

Nikki: I definitely remember friends having them and then having older friends, remembering having them as this really special thing.

Nikki: So we took my daughter last year.

Nikki: I had this really big fear babyland General was going to be super creepy again.

Nikki: It is a really nice little place.

Nikki: Not little.

Nikki: It's a very nice big place.

Nikki: I felt like the dolls were not cheap, but I didn't feel like they were $250 expensive.

Nikki: I felt like if you were buying a Christmas present or a birthday present, it's a nice treat for your little one.

Nikki: It was a fun day.

Nikki: Trip it's up, like you said, up toward North Georgia.

Nikki: It's just a pretty part of the country anyway.

Nikki: It's worth going.

Nikki: I just don't understand the allure of Cabbage Patch Kids.

Salina: Yeah, it's not for honestly, I'm just like you said a few episodes back, I'm just reporting the facts that I read because I just thought it was so I'm sitting here looking for something fun to report, and I ran across 15 articles that are literally titled things like this the Dark Underbelly of the Cabbage Patch Kid.

Salina: And I was like, crap, I've seen 15 of these.

Salina: Now we got to talk about it.

Nikki: I appreciate you bringing this to our attention.

Nikki: I never would have known that link, so I appreciate that.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: And I mean, look, they're not all $250.

Salina: Those are hand stitched ones that harken back to those original dolls that Robert sold at the fair.

Salina: He's built an empire.

Salina: He's obviously very marketing savvy.

Salina: He found something that works.

Salina: I saw that 250,000 Visit Baby Land.

Nikki: Each year that blows my mind.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: So they're doing something right.

Salina: So just because it's not for me, and just because it's not necessarily for you, it is a quirky thing that's here in Georgia.

Salina: So I love seeing quirky things, and I love a little kitsch, and that's bringing the kitsch and so much more, but just wanted to share that kind of weird and a little twisted history behind just little doll.

Nikki: That's crazy.

Salina: And then I'm just going to end it like this.

Salina: Man, I sure am glad that I was a Teddy Ruxman girl.

Salina: And that, my friends, is this edition of Extra Sugar.


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