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Shirley Temple spent many years being America's sweetheart, the perfect child, and everyone's dream daughter.
It also got to be a little too sickening and unrealistic.
Shirley was over-exposed.
People stopped going to her movies and buying her dolls. Beauty shops were no longer receiving requests for Shirley Curls. And children everywhere were attempting to destroy their own cute dimples by using a belt sander on their face.
Shirley's mother was distraught. They needed the money their daughter used to fetch.
One day Mrs. Temple walked the seedy streets of New York. She was searching for inspiration for her daughter.
She passed the crack houses, cat houses, and other garden variety dens of iniquity. Everyone seemed interesting to Mrs. Temple.
An idea was born.
Perhaps Shirley could adopt some of the colors and facial expressions of these denizens. It would be different and exciting....new....not 'done to death'.
When Mrs. Temple arrived at her home she whisked Shirley into the bedroom and gave her a complete make-over.
She was thrilled with the results.
For dinner Shirley was fed black alphabet soup and strange animal crackers.
Shirley was confused. Her mother promptly changed her name to Surly Temple. She was to take on a whole new personality, at the request of her mother.
Surly stood a timid 29 inches tall. Her beautiful new black dress was made of Moire Taffeta. There was an overlay of spider web mesh fabric.
Surly was so Goth.
Surly's sleeves were long and adorned with lace trim. And peeking from her lace were her delicate fingers beneath fingerless gloves .
Her thin legs were covered in more spider web mesh and her shoes wore metal Imosh spiders.
Surly's mother continued to tinker with accessories. She slid a beautiful Pentagram pendant around Surly's neck. There was a spider on the Pentagram.
Surly's hair was then dyed black and a black ribbon was set upon her hair....her hair full of luxurious black ringlets.
And her face...it was so Goth, even Surly's dimples took on a more Gothic appearance. Her eyes were blue and her generous black Polymer clay mouth almost pouted.
And just when Surly thought she looked amazingly perfect, yet spooky, her mother placed a big lollipop in her hand. It was made of black and white Polymer clay, and in the center was a metal skull.
This was wicked cool.
Surly began to work on her new song to sing. A show was coming up and she needed to be ready.
She decided to turn the song Animal Crackers into the story of how she became Goth.
Once Mother said "My litle Goth"
You ought to dress in black Sackcloth,
So in my soup I used to get
Blackened letters of the alphabet,
I feared them all from A to Z
And now my Mothers giving me....
Animal slackers in my soup
Monkeys raise hell, rabbits make poop,
Gosh oh gee I've come undone,
Swallowing animals one by one.
In every bowl of soup they pee,
Lions and Tigers stalking me.
I scrape 'em up right in my scoop,
Those animal slackers in my soup.
When I get hold of the big bad wolf,
I just push him under to drown,
Then I bite him in a million bits
And I gobble him right down.
When their inside me where its dark,
I walk around like Noahs Arc.
I stuff my tummy with the group,
With animal slackers from my soup.
Animal slackers in my soup,
Do evil things to me.
They make me think my own childhood,
Is a den of sorcery.
Surly Temple went on to become a huge success. She toured in every major city in the world. More and more people began to dress like Surly. It was a big compliment and it boosted her ego.
However, the pressure became too intense and she's in Betty Ford.
Copyright © June 23, 2005 Cathy Palmer-Scruggs / Catt Alexander
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My dolls are not for everyone, they are my art. If you are offended, I suggest you hit the back button. It will not do you any good to write me 'hate mail'.
In spite of the dolls I create and the stories I write, I do not use recreational drugs, I don't smoke cigarettes, and I don't even drink alcoholic beverages.