Like A Surgeon

Ooooh, I hear a brand new convertible for me!

Ooooh, I hear a brand new convertible for me!

friday tvMany of the games we absolutely loved wiling away boring summers with in our younger days were based on some truly fucked up premises.  Take the world’s two worst navies who haven’t yet heard of radar technology, gouge each admiral’s eyes out, and you have the classic guessing game action thriller Battleship.  Throw a couple of innocent kids in the middle of a preverted fantasy land filled with deranged pedophiles who like to give out sweets, and you’ve got the story behind Candy Land.  And if you want to venture into the truly bizarre realm of board gaming, there was a licensed, foldable piece of unplayable garbage for just about everything that was huge in the last quarter of the 20th century.

Now kids.... play nice!

Now kids…. play nice!

Yet of all the kids games out there that have won my generation’s nostalgia seal of approval, there is none that can even touch the detached from reality insanity that is the electronic torture chamber known as Operation.  Yes, the same tweezers you once used to pluck your unibrow could also be used to mutilate patients who you can only hope are unable to afford to hire a lawyer.  Being a junior doctor has never been so much fun!

The concept of the classic Operation game was invented in 1964 by John Spinello, a college student who had no idea people of the future would go crazy for dissecting virtual humans.  He sold off the rights to Milton Bradley for a whopping $500, only to watch MB (and later Hasbro, the same company who recently hit the Brony jackpot) turn his surgical nightmare scenario into a multi-million dollar franchise.  Oops.  Always remember to ask for that percentage all you capitalistic inventors out there!

Edison's heirs probably made more off of the Operation game selling red light bulbs than poor Spinello did.

Edison’s heirs probably made more off of the Operation game selling red light bulbs than poor Spinello did.

In our classic 80’s commercial I’ve embedded, we see four unruly brats huddled up around the game as they inadvertently manage to spook their mother into thinking they’re planning on slicing up the family pooch… a fear which is not necessarily unfounded.  Don’t worry, mom, they’re only taking their adolescent angst out on some poor slob who had really shitty health insurance.  That’s a third world problem.  Naturally, being hyperactive kids who probably aren’t being properly paddled medicated, they fuck up more times than not and leave Cavity Sam open to contracting a nasty staph infection.

The Nest does not recommend spraying down your Operation game with Tilex.

The Nest does not recommend spraying down your Operation game with Tilex.

Chances are, if you’ve ever had surgery involving anything more than lancing an infected ass pimple, you were given some kind of anesthetic prior to the procedure so that you wouldn’t be able to feel the flesh shearing pain that can be inflicted by a scalpel.  Sam’s cut-rate insurance has deemed anesthesia to be an elective vanity, however, so whenever some kid touches the sensitive sides of his open wounds, he screams so fucking loud that his nose turns red.  One more outburst like that out of you, sissy boy, and the next thing that gets removed via tweezers will be your C batteries!

Also not included: malpractice insurance.

Also not included: malpractice insurance.

It’s bad enough Sam has to be painfully awake for his own butchering, but making this game even less likely to ever be featured in The New England Journal of Medicine is some of the “maladies” the game’s cards say he needs to be rid of.

Got a sore throat?  Let’s just rip out that Adam’s apple…

Lose something, Dearie?

Lose something, Dearie?

Girlfriend ditch you?  Time for a broken heartectomy…

ripped heart from chest

You won’t be needing this anymore.

Everyone thinks your sense of humor isn’t actually humorous?  We’ll gladly remove your humerus (ha!) and call it a Funny Bone!

Don't worry... I guarantee you Sam's not laughing anymore.

Don’t worry… I guarantee you Sam’s not laughing anymore.

In some apparent biological mixup, Sam even has a wish bone underneath his shaved moobs.  That doesn’t belong inside a human being, even if they are being medically treated like an animal.  So out, out, out it goes!

Winner gets to write up the bill!

Winner gets to write up the bill!

Apparently, the point of Operation is to see how much of Sam’s vital anatomy you can remove without killing him so he can still pay the fees.  Fees which DOUBLE if your doctor is too much of a dumbass to fix you himself and has to call in the specialist.  In the real world, there are no doctors who specialize in funny bones or bread baskets… but in the fantasy medicine version of Operation’s world, not only do those specialists exist, but they’re determined by a random shuffle of the cards.  Congratulations!  You just became a ballsack specialist!  Here’s your tweezers and a plastic bag.  Good luck, doctor!

Be careful not to touch the Schwartz!

Be careful not to touch the Schwartz!

Despite the fact that we’ve generally frowned upon such unsanitary and unethical surgical procedures since the health profession decided leeches weren’t the cure-all we thought they were, it’s hard to believe that Operation continues to corrupt our future physicians on days when the batteries in their smartphones are dead.  But the game is indeed still around…

Don’t feel like a classic has been desecrated after watching that ad… after all, how many kids even know what a Charley horse is these days?

Giddy-up, Charley!!!

Giddy-up, Charley!!!

Since Cavity Sam apparently has the brainpower of a lobotomy patient after suffering through four decades of operating room hell, he now needs medical help to perform basic bodily functions.  Use your finely tuned tweezers to help remove those hard to reach, crusty boogers from the back of Sam’s nose.  And don’t forget to ask the flatulence specialist to take care of that colostomy bag.  Along with making the game as gross as a pack of Garbage Pail Kids cards, Hasbro also made sure to carve out Sam’s new cavities so wide and deep, that playing the game now has the difficulty level of trying to remove a kidney stone from the Grand Canyon.  Anyone who manages to touch the sides in this new, pussified version of Operation should never be allowed to pick up any kind of a sharp object again for everyone’s safety…

Drop the ceramic squirrel, Shaky!

Drop the ceramic squirrel, Shaky!

Quality health care may be a hot topic these days, but the waiting room of boredom is no place to worry about such trifles as patient’s rights or proper operating room procedures.  So for giving us the chance to turn a flesh-eaten man with a bowl-cut into a nose buzzing crybaby, The Nest would like to give a golden bedpan salute to the game of Operation.  While the barbaric treatment of idiomatic diseases may seem to be as tasteless as hospital food… your game of amateur mutilation will at least always be more presentable than a surgical gown.  We just hope Santa will be able to make it to town to deliver the game to all the good little squirrels and boys out there this holiday season…

Santa!  Please tell Blitzen to get those tweezers out of my ass!

Santa! Please tell Blitzen to get those tweezers out of my ass!

About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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32 Responses to Like A Surgeon

  1. Deborah says:

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Even if our childhoods were a tad warped. 😉

  2. My parents refused to buy it for me. I only got the croco dentist game, but that was ok too :o)

  3. The Cutter says:

    In hindsight, this explains why my nose was so red after my tonsillectomy

  4. Holly says:

    Perhaps they should fix that horrible high pitched noise coming from Rudolph’s nose…or make him at least blow it and clear it out.

  5. Merbear74 says:

    “Lancing an infected ass pimple.” Bwahahahaha!

  6. That’s hilarious! Just the other day my Mom emailed to ask if I thought Little Guy would like to try my old Operation game. If so, she’d buy new batteries!

  7. I remember that game. It freaked me out, even as a child. But my older brother loved it. Said older brother became a surgical nurse. I’m not sure whether that was a good thing or bad thing.

  8. Ally Bean says:

    I never got that game, but I wanted it. You were one lucky kid!

  9. Thank heavens I missed this one! By 1987, I was back from Israel and had begun my sojourn with my real life version of operation. What a grim game concept. Yikes.

    I didn’t know the story behind Candyland was pederasty. I probably wouldn’t have let my granddaughter cheat if I’d known.

    • Candy Land has changed quite a bit over the years. When I was a kid, it was just… literally, about sweets. Then by the time my sisters came along, it had morphed into a full fledged freak show with characters like Plumpy and Mr. Mint, and Jolly, and the ever creepy Grandma Nutt. If that wasn’t a bunch you wouldn’t want to leave a small child unattended with, I don’t now what would be!

  10. Trisha says:

    My brother and I never got the Operation Game. I remember seeing commercials for it but it never appeared under our Christmas tree. Being resourceful hick kids, we created our own Operation Game with a toy chainsaw. I remember having my arm fake-amputated many times!

    • Heck, I never had a toy chainsaw, and now I feel like I was cheated! You don’t see a lot of toy chainsaws in the stores, and you’d think there’s be a big market for them…

      • Trisha says:

        I don’t remember seeing toy chainsaws in stores either. Must have been a 70’s logging community thing. And the world is probably full of kids looking to nurture their inner Jason Van-Whatever the guy in Friday the 13th’s last name was!

  11. Charley Horse. Lol. This game was too intense for me. I just couldn’t handle. The buzzing, the buzzing…

    • A really bored kid could drive everyone nuts by just touching the tweezers to the metal and letting Sam’s nose buzz and buzz until his batteries ran out. I think I actually did that a few times (My childhood was reason enough for me to not want kids of my own!)…

  12. My sister and I had Operation as kids, but we didn’t play it much because we both hated the buzzing nose as it always made us jump.

  13. Mental Mama says:

    This one is hitting a little too close to home right now…

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