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Howdy Doody


Howdy Doody

Everyone’s heard that their past has shaped them into who they are today. The trials and tribulations of life make you a better person. The following story is of a tribulation that has done nothing for me except arm me with another embarrassing memory.

There is no other way to spill it. When I was younger I uncannily resembled a wooden, freckled-faced, marionette from the 1950′s named Howdy Doody. Like it’s not hard enough growing up as a red haired little milk toast; I had to look like this freaky western doll.

The only time I did have fun with the fact that I had red hair growing up was when people would ask, “Where did you get that RED hair!?” My dad taught me the clever and disturbing response, “The bug man!” Since my parents didn’t have red hair, we didn’t have a milkman, and the mailman was a lady, the only plausible explanation for my copper top was that my Mom fooled around with the bug exterminator.

Anyway, luckily, my friends and classmates weren’t aware of my likeness to Howdy Doody. It quietly remained an inside joke of the family. And then it happened. I was 6 years old. The year was 1989. We were past Back To The Future, E.T, and Star Wars and everyone was looking to the future. Everyone except for The Orange Blossum Mall in Ft. Pierce, Florida. WHO IN THE HELL HAS A HOWDY DOODY LOOK ALIKE CONTEST IN 1989!?


Strongly against my will, my mother registered me for the contest. From her point of view, how could she not? I looked just like him and there was a prize of $100 at stake. I was the western red haired Pinocchio that got his wish to be a real boy, became self-aware, and then got really pissed with the hand he’d been dealt. I was dragged to the mall to be put on a stage in front of an audience just for the way I looked. It doesn’t feel good being the star in a freak show. It was not a pretty picture. I was scared that my friends would see me dressed up in cowboy clothes while my mom was teaching me to move like a doll. This is the first contest that I ever wanted to come in last place.

You know what sucked about this whole deal? I won. I came in first place, but not because I beat out the competition. After waiting and waiting for the judging to take place, someone quietly notified us that I was the only contestant! They handed me a $25 mall gift certificate and appologized. This was a raw deal! I was the only kid that was was tortured into this and I didn’t even get the full prize for winning. There weren’t even any stores in the mall that I wanted anything from. That day was shameful and dissappointing…Sigh

What kind of embarrassment have your parents put you through?

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  1. Posted Saturday, May 2, 2009 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    How do you know that this is my favorite story about you? Because I find any chance I can to tell it. Don't worry, man. Had there been a hispanic Pinocchio or Mowgli look-alike contest, I would have been entered too.

  2. Chase
    Posted Sunday, May 3, 2009 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    Did you spend the bux? I know there werent any stores you liked but, you had to spend it.

  3. bradleyjond
    Posted Monday, May 4, 2009 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    I think I didn't want to purchase anything. It would have just been a reminder of that dreadful day. I think I let my mom keep it.

  4. adiew
    Posted Wednesday, July 29, 2009 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    And there are no pictures of this somewhere in the clouds???

  5. Posted Friday, November 20, 2009 at 2:37 am | Permalink

    I know there is a picture of this somewhere in the boxes of photos. I've been trying to find it; I will post it as soon as I find it.

  6. Posted Friday, November 20, 2009 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    I know there is a picture of this somewhere in the boxes of photos. I've been trying to find it; I will post it as soon as I find it.

  7. Posted Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    And while Ryan might not yet be presidential timber (as a journalist friend emailed last night, Ryan may be smart but he is still too Howdy Doody for the …

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