Giga pets were my fave. At one point in 5th grade I had nine of them – nine digital babies. My favorite being a penguin named “Nano.” He pooped I clicked, “Clean Poop.” He was hungry, I clicked, “Feed.” He wanted to play, I clicked, “Play.” Stimulating, thought-provoking fun – that’s what a pre-internet world looked like.
The Tamagatchi and Giga Pet frenzy was just as ridiculous as The Pet Rock phenomenon from when my mom was a kid. They were toys that essentially did nothing. A doll at least resembles a human, a stuffed animal at least resembles an animal or creature, Tamagatchis were shapeless pixels on a screen. I fell for it so hard. We all did. The toys became so distracting they were banned at my elementary school.
I remember, in 5th grade, clearly laying down the line to my mom, “I can’t take these to school anymore. You have to feed them. You have to play with them. You have to clean up their poop. OR. THEY. WILL. DIE.” She said, “OK, Emmy.” Naturally, my mom did not care because any adult with two actual children isn’t going to bear the burden of nine new ones that don’t matter anyway.
When I came home that very day, got off the yellow school bus, she handed me my red Tamagatchi – she knew to bring Nano. She knew that much.
“. . . ” I looked at her.
“What?” She said.
“NANO IS DEAD! YOU KILLED HIM!” I yelled. I frowned. I sulked all the way home.
“Oh. I’m sorry. I didn’t know what to do.” She said, the way a mother says when she knows her daughter will absolutely not give a sh** about this in a few hours.
“I TOLD YOU!” I was livid. I even walked passed one of my best friends at the time, Tatiana, who was moving away to a different state forever. She was packing her stuff into the car. She was about to give me her final goodbye.
“Bye!” I said and quickly brushed passed her. I was pissed. Then I reset Nano and my other dead digital babies and all was well. A few months later not a single soul gave a sh** about Tamagatchis.
It was all about Furbies after that. My brother programed my Furby Babies to call me, “DAD” instead of the more obvious, “Mom.”
I was pissed. I had two, they spoke to each other at night – even after I turned them off. I could never figure out how they worked or communicated. I just wanted them to STFU. I abused my Furbies. They were all “Weee-woes” and “Dee-doos” at night.
I threw them against the wall. “SHUT UP!” I threw them on the floor. “SHUT UP!”
I was abusing my fake children.
I slammed them again. Silence.
They were so much more fun to play with when they didn’t talk.
The next day my brother asked, “Why didn’t you just take the batteries out?”
Because I was ten years old and going H.A.M. – that’s why.