Sometimes a potato is just a potato

Sometimes a potato is just a potato

Hello there. I am about to delve into a topic that I have never broached before. Not for any specific reason, but when I heard the following news, I had to speak up. For all of you right-wingers, please don’t take offense. For all of you left-wingers, please excuse any politically incorrect statements I might make. And here we go.

When I was younger, and heck, even now, I totally loved Mr. Potato Head. I even remember using a real potato to stick the hat and the face in. I am not sure if I did that because I lost the plastic potato that it came with or if I was being punished and only allowed to play with an actual potato. That whole time is a little fuzzy. In any event, I really loved and enjoyed that toy.

I also loved when Mrs. Potato head came out, even though she didn’t have hair like a Barbie doll that I could cut and be surprised when it never grew back. Though she had the kind of hair that came already styled — not my favorite accessory — but it was all good. In any instance, I was as happy as a clam.

When Husband #1 handed me an article and said, “Here, read this.” I had no idea what I was about to read. Husband #1 doesn’t often hand me articles. And then I learned, because of gender issue sensitivity, there will no longer be a Mr. Potato Head or a Mrs. Potato Head. There will just be Potato Head.

Really? Can’t Mr. Potato Head wear Mrs. Potato Head’s clothing, and vice versa? Of all the things in the world to change, to help those with gender issues feel more comfortable, you have to take my probably unhappily married Mrs. and Mrs. Potato Head (because it cannot be easy being married to a potato) and turn them into a political statement? What about Barbie? She is politically correct? I don’t see anyone making her dress more modestly or making her body any more realistic — even the “chubby” Barbie still looks like she has an eating disorder.

And here we have the lovely Potato Heads. They are totally body positive. They are happy, unless you turn their smiles upside down or turn their faces into a Picasso, which I often have done, by rearranging a nose in the space where the ear goes and an eye where the hat goes.

Come on, people. Leave my Potato Heads alone. What about the game Operation? Why is it a man? Why can’t there be a woman on the operating table? Doesn’t she have a funny bone? Or GI Joe? Gay men weren’t allowed in the Armed Forces — maybe GI Joe is offensive. And let’s not even go into the violence or misogyny in the video games that some kids play. The list of offensive toys is endless.

But Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head? Really? I am not sure that is going to make a difference in any gender-confused child’s life. Forgive me if I am wrong. But if anything, it will allow him or her or them to change around the outfits and the genders themselves. Who knows?

All I know is my Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head are getting older, and their children want to put them in a nursing home, because they feel that their current home is no longer safe for them. Fortunately, and this is my way of sneaking information about an amazing company into my column, there is Back Home Safely. They come in and assess what is needed to allow the Potato Heads to age in place. They refit doorways and install ramps and grab bars, chair lifts, and even though sometimes the person’s home (like my parents’) can end up looking like a nursing facility, they still are at home. It takes only one fall to change an older person’s life, and they will tell you what can be done to help prevent that. No one wants to be forced to move out of their home. This company is owned and operated by a physical and occupational therapist, as well as certified aging-in-place specialists, so they really know their stuff. Greg, one of the owners, is so kind and patient and really helps make the process easier. Their telephone number is (973) 219-9098 and their email is

Hopefully the Potato Heads will be okay, and a whole new generation of children will have a politically correct fun time playing with them….and there you have it. Home safety and gender sensitivity all in one column!

Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck is so grateful to the person who got her a vaccine appointment. It was almost worth gaining all that weight back to be eligible!!

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