I still shudder every time I think about the week I spent with a vintage Ventriloquist Dummy. I am a doll doctor…so how hard could this be? Well, this dummy came to me in several pieces the worst of which was the talking mouth assembly. His body was a heavy hard cardboard barrel and his head could be turned via a wooden stick. Too bad the stick, head, and jaw were completely apart. I could see loops and hooks and all sorts of stuff inside that skull of his–but had no clue how to get it all together. You see….although I have “patients”…I can not brag that I actually have “patience”!
I wired that jaw on at least 10 different ways, and each time I thought I had it correct–he spit his jaw out across the room. I was beginning to think he was possessed! I am the type that once I start something–have to finish it, so in tears…I asked our shipper for help. Once again this jaw dropping dummy refused to speak. After several tries our shipper gave up and went home. That’s when I thought I was beaten. It was so late and this dummy had me so upset..I figured it was him or me! As you may have guessed we both survived…so let me tell you what I did. Instead of looking at this like a big complicated rocket science kind of thing–I looked at it as a 5 year old would. The place was getting dark and it was just me and the dummy– I attached a spring here and a loop of string there…and turned that wooden stick and he was looking at me grinning with his jaw perfect! I have never looked at another one of those things in the same way since. I just wanted him gone as I really was beginning to think he was playing with me…I swear I heard him whispering as I locked the door “Who’s The Dummy Now?”