One, two, Thomas is coming for you

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My parents like purchase the loudest, most aggravating toys ever created for the boys. My mother thinks nothing of taking the boys to Target or Toys-R-Us and allowing them to pick out toys, something I never do because I am more like my step-father. He will wake at the crack of dawn and visit all the major flea markets and yard sales in town, scouring for treasures. Sometimes he'll bring Liam with him. This is how Liam got his ridiculous screen-printed t-shirt of two wolves howling with a native American's face silhouetted in the moonlight sky. It's also how we got Thomas the Possessed Train, pictured above.


I am not a 'fraidey cat but if I'm awake by myself at night and I hear a creepy CHOO CHOO whistle coming from somewhere in the house, my business will be slightly freaked-out. The other night, while Chris worked late and the boys were fast asleep, I worked on a few deadlines while C-Span droned on in the background. Suddenly Thomas started up with his CHOO CHOOO, CHOO CHOOing and by the time I located him in the bottom of the kids' toy basket, he'd stopped. I placed him on top of the basket, sat back down, and five minutes later CHOO CHOO all over again. As soon as I got up and took a step, it stopped. This went on for an hour. It stopped the second I stood up. I'd fake-flinch and it would stop. Touche, Thomas. 


I finally removed the batteries and laid it on the floor. I sat back down again, and when I looked over at it later its shuttered eyes flipped open. It may or may not have also rolled its eyes and given me the finger, which I realize is anatomically impossible for a train but this train is possessed. I'd send it back to my parents' house with the boys when next they visit, but it would only retaliate by rolling all the way back up to the city to kill us all in our sleep.




Unrelated: In just a bit Chris and I will be dining as guests at a fundraiser with President Bush that we couldn't afford to get into were we not guests. I will work hard to not embarrass myself in any fashion.


What's worse is all the toys that are touch and/or motion sensitive. They scare the tar out of me in the middle of the night...and that is NOT the time you want to be cleaning up a tar accident!

Have fun at the lunch and sneak lots of pictures!

Hilarious..we are watching Thomas right now. My 2 yr old sings "All aboawd the choo choo cat..all aboawd the choo choo cat!" He confuses trains with bobcats(land movers) I guess.

We used to have a dump truck that made noises in the middle of the night. We finally "dumped it". Toys with noise are grandparents' revenge.

Ugh..Alec Baldwin is on our Thomas movie. Puhlease.

I hate that train - with its woo-hoo, faux smoke and drive-an-icepick-through-my-eye song. I thought the show was painful enough, but that train brings it to a whole new level.

That train MAY be Chucky reincarnate.

My girls had a toy cell phone that would ring in the middle of the night for no reason. They would bring it to me and ask me to make it stop. I couldn't remove the batteries, because I couldn't figure out how it opened.

I finally threw it away, but fully expected to one day step out of the shower and find it lurking under the cabinet on top of my towel, waiting to leap out and ring at me incessantly, until I couldn't take it anymore and ran screaming from the house.

Tell W a Roby girl says hey and that Permian is ranked in the top 100 high school football teams. He'll know what you mean.


I started reading your blogs because I have heard you on Almond in the morning lately and I really like you. Your entrys are likes stories. I love reading them. And also you have an awesome camera...the pictures are so clear and cool-looking!

Love Patty

OMG we have a possessed Thomas the Train too!!! Scary thing is, it's not the same one you have pictured. I too got mine consignment... hmmm... maybe Thomas doesn't like being resold?

I have a son a couple of months older than Ewan and he also has this train. He loves it and no mater how much of a "big boy" he thinks he is, every time he sees this thing, he goes nuts over it!!! I feel your pain!

Uhhhhh. Think this may be my last comment on your blog. Can't have the Secret Service running background checks on me. Might ruin my witness protection program identity.


Years back I had a Furby that spontaneously woke up all the time. I'd forgotten about him until the movers came to move me back to STL. They packed him in a box and somehow that reactivated his batteries after a couple years of sitting inactive on a dusty shelf. All night, sleeping on the floor, I heard his little nonsensical sounds intermittently. I finally closed the door to the room he was in, figuring that if he got out of the box, he couldn't open the door to get me because he didn't have thumbs. (Yes, I know that makes no sense but it helped me sleep!)

We once had a babysitter get scared sitless by a Talking Ernie. She never came back.

Have fun with the Pres.

(I'm not anon -- it's Marijean -- just can't remember my pw)

YIKES! That train is freaking me out with it's spooky white non-eyes. This is why I cannot watch movies during which toys come alive.

My boys had a battery-powered construction truck at my Aunt's house.. it woke her up in the middle of the night one time. She got up & turned it "off".. a few minutes later the goofy thing started making noise & lighting up again.

This time, she removed the batteries.. again, a little later it started up seemingly on it's own! She even cut wires on it to make sure it wouldn't start again & it continued to make noise & light up. Talk about being possessed! ;)

Great, now I'm going to have a Thomas the Tank Engine phobia. Happy political dining (do they give good swag?)

That's super FUNNY! I am trying not to laugh like a hyena here in public.

It's difficult, you must stop this silliness.

(hope you have good times this evening! hopefully you have your camera, I'll bet you'll get some goooood ones o' dubya!)

Just keep it away from the knife drawer...

Too funny!!! Totally true, though. I never let anyone buy Peanut stuff that moves (potentially on it's own) because it is too creepy. Daddy keeps wanting to buy Peanut a Teddy Ruxspin or some other talking thing, but I cannot allow it.

Is that the train where you slide disks in and it plays them while running around in circles? I had something similar as a kid and I used to drive my parents nuts by turning it on and leaving the room. Dad tried to get me back by buying the Thomas version for my kids, but it just brings a smile to my face when I hear it running. I have to say though I haven't yet had your experience with it. Thanks for the smiles.

@courtney The funny thing is that I couldn't get its goofy little eyes to open. Oh sure, they'll open at night when I'm alone, for no reason at all, though.

@katie No swag. Thought somehow a friend managed to swipe a secret service pin.

@patty Thanks!

I'm thinking your little Grim Reaper with his hachet would be a good match for the possessed Thomas.

Elmo. Uugh, cute-yet-gawd-foresaken Elmo!

When our boys were small we had this elmo doll thing that would scream "Play with me." from whatever depths of the toy room he was located. Sure, he started out all nice, sweet and 5 year-old-ish...but he'd get louder with every time he'd ask; "Play with me!" My wife thought it was hilarious for 6'4"/250lbs of me to be frightened by a child's "PLAY WITH ME!" toy. I'm fairly confident that I weighed slightly less after a few of those encounters. :/

Yeah, not so much of the funny, that Elmo.

I love reading about your scaredy cat stories! Not much scares me but I'd have to admit that Thomas is a little freaky. BTW - congrats on your gig with Jamie Allman.

Not sure if you'd enjoy this, but maybe Ewan would....

My sister-in-law bought our daughter a programmable Pooh doll that will say her name, and say things like- I like oatmeal. You like chocolate milk. It was cute at first, but it says her name in like a possessed deep way and will randomly go off in her toy box. It was midnight and I was checking in on the munchkin before I went to bed and I heard a "hello Michaela (imagine satanic voice)let's have fun." then it giggled. I could hear it mumbling deep in the recesses of her toy box but couldn't find the creepy thing in the dark. Scared the bejeezus out of me. Took the whole trunk and parked it in the hallway. Couldn't sleep for a long time after that. Yikes.

It's like the clown in Poltergeist. You need a Members Only jacket to throw over it.

When I was younger I had a Barney doll that talked. Normally you had to squeeze its hand and it would say something. It would talk without having to squeeze it though and hearing the barney song or any other barney phrases when you walk into the basement is kind of freaky.

Check out the more-realistic trains from Whittle Shortline RR - they run on the same track as Thomas and are "real" RRs - Amtrak, UP, BNSF, and many "fallen flags" - and, better, at their store/playroom in Valley Park (across the back parking lot from Carol House, at 24 Front Street (turn left before RR tracks).

And, on Sundays from May - Oct, check out the Wabash, Frisco, & Pacific RR at 109 & Old State Road (


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