The Disturbingly Cute Story of How a Doll Was Cannibalized (Though Not Really)

When I was four or five (1987/1988), I faithfully watched Jemwhich was a show about a normal girl who when she put on these large sparkly earrings, turned into a rockstar. What four-year old doesn’t want that to happen to them? If that wasn’t cool enough, Jem had this awesome purple-haired boyfriend (hey, it was the 1980s, don’t judge), named Rio. By today’s standards, Rio is a douche-canoe (not my words).  In having watched an episode or two as an adult (it’s on The Hub), I have discovered that this incredibly awesome purple-coiffed guy is indeed, a douche.

But anyway, onto my story.

Like every normal child of the 80s, I had the toy to coincide with the show. Normal girls would have Jerrica/Jem, or one of The Holograms.

Not me.

I being the rebel that I was at such a young age, got Rio. And Rio was a faithful boyfriend to  my many Barbies, and a good owner to all my My Little Ponies (oh yeah, I was a multi-cartoon character owning child). But like all Barbie-like dolls, Rio’s body parts were weak.

One day, dear Rio’s left leg fell off. I tried to put it back into its appropriate socket, but it was no use. And for a while, I just held Rio’s leg against the other, as if the leg had never fallen off. I tried the amputee sketch, but Rio’s lack of a limb was a liability to my young mind. And this where the story takes an interestingly morbid turn.

I decided that since Rio’s leg was not going to be able to be saved, Rio was a goner. I tried one last time to reconnect leg and hip, but I gave up. And with that, I determined that Rio was “going into the oven.” The oven was the shadow beneath my bed or some Barbie house I might have had, I can’t remember. Rio didn’t know that he was put into the oven, nor did he feel anything. And while no actual doll cannibalization actually occurred, I do think I entertained the idea of my Barbies eating filet-of-Rio’s-leg at some point.

I look back on this, and wonder where the hell I came up with such an idea. My parents watched weird Movie-of-the-Week crap when I was growing up, but they’ve never been into cannibalistic anything. And I was a faithful watcher of normal shows like Sesame Street, Reading Rainbow, Jem, My Little Ponies, and Growing Pains. And since I know none of those shows had cannibals in them, where did my innocent young mind come up with such a notion?

And that, is the story of how my beloved Rio doll became a roast (bad joke).


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