Sunday, October 24, 2010

didn't roll off the cabbage truck yesterday

Photo from Awkward Family Photos

Like every good 1980s girl, I had a Cabbage Patch Kid or two. I loved them--yarn hair, creepily vacant eyes, tattooed asses and all. But I never stopped to wonder where they came from.

There is actually an unnecessarily complex mythology surrounding the origins of the franchise. I won't attempt to summarize but suffice it to say that it involves a ten-year-old boy starting an orphanage to save the Cabbage Patch Kids from slave labor in a gold mine. However, what I'm talking about here is an even more improbable creation story. And this creation story is true.

In northern Georgia, there is a small town called Cleveland. In this town, there is a magical place.

Babyland General Hospital,
birthplace of Cabbage Patch Kids

Sort of like Tara...okay not really.

Yes, Babyland General Hospital is the birthing, nursery, and adoption center for Cabbage Patch Kids. You can go for free and see a Cabbage Patch Kid being born.


How I went virtually my entire life without knowing this fact is beyond me.

But wait, you are no doubt saying to yourself. How exactly is a Cabbage Patch Kid born?

I'm glad you asked. I'm going to turn it over to the poorly written Wikipedia article for a moment.

Dolls are "birthed" every hour during business hours in a procedure during which one of the "LPN's" (Licensed Patch Nurse) assists the Magic Crystal Tree in producing each doll. When the intercom announces that a Mother Cabbage is in labor, a nurse hurries to get ready for delivery of a new Cabbage Patch baby. With the nurse are the pink and blue bunnybees that pollinate the kids with crystals, determining if the newborn is a boy [blue crystal] or girl [pink crystal]. The nurse comments on how much the Tree is dilated and injects with "Imagicillin," an "experimental but highly recommended" drug. If the need arises, a "C-section" or "Cabbage section" may be administered....A full-featured Intensive Care Unit is in place to handle premature births and otherwise unhealthy newborns.

The Magic Crystal Tree and Mother Cabbage, from whom all Cabbage Patch Kids flow

So some rabbit-bee creatures fertilize some cabbages and then a magic crystal tree gives birth to some human children with the help of a nurse? And the cabbages get shot up with an experimental drug? I can't believe I'm saying this but this is better than Teen Mom.

Let's see the blessed event unfold for ourselves:

I...can't even

As far as I'm concerned, the greatest horror in all of this is the names. Cabbage Patch Kids have the least euphonious names ever. If you go to you can see an ever-refreshing slideshow of birth announcements.

Wait...she was born with pigtails?

Austin Jerri
Doreen Jillaine
Zena Jordyn
Tammy Betsy
Jaylee Derek
Grady Damien
Buck Clay
Gwynyth Kimber
Glendonn Ragan (A FEMALE NAME)
Garrison Dusty
Jaidyn Celia

And finally, bleak vision of the future:

What if this is what happens to bad people when they die?

This post is missing a huge shoutout to Mary Nell, who is responsible for alerting me to the existence of Babyland General Hospital. Once my disbelief gave way, we discovered via a quick Google search that someone out there had gone and done the most brilliant thing ever:


Discussion Question:
Can you cobble together even one respectable name out of the names listed above?


  1. Why am I bothering to look for jobs here? Clearly, my real calling is as a Licensed Patch Nurse. Thank you for showing me the light.

  2. idk dude I think you have to have a LOT of school to do that...

  3. that whole thing gave my stomach a weird, icky feeling. also, i DEFinitely remember some of those names from my CPK christmas movie. i also noticed that new baby 2635-M10 has a face made out of panty hose instead of baby powder scented plastic. i guess babyland general got hit by the economy just like everyone else.

  4. ACK! I HAVE BEEN THERE! My sophomore or junior year of HS, on the way to or from the Chattanooga aquarium with my fam. It is a definite WHAT the WHAT?!? kind of place. We started watching the "birth" at the magical cabbage tree and my mom and I were like, "Ummmmmmmmmmmm" as my sister (then probably 4 years old) was glued to the scene. It is so creepy and just plain bonkers! I am so glad the website tour exists so more people can know how NUTS it is... but I wish we had known about the website before we drove down tiny, winding Georgia roads to witness it. My sister threw up on the drive there, and my mom and I wanted to throw up after. Awesome vacay!
    (And I'm realizing I should've written about this in Tuttle's creative writing class so you could have known about it earlier. My bad.)

  5. Erika--the whole thing weirds me out deeply.

    Kristen--I AM SO STOKED THAT YOU WENT THERE! I seriously cannot imagine how wtf-tastic that place is

  6. Haaaaahaaaahaaaahaa! Ahhhhaaahahahahahahahhahaahahaaa! I just read the whole blog to Brent and it's like 7:30 in the morning here and I'm laughing, laughing, laughing...we were too poor to have cabbage patch dolls, but I always wanted one! Not anymore. Haaahaaaaaaahahahahahah

  7. Mimsy Jane, your delight at this post is matched only by my delight at your comment. Oh, how I wish I still lived in ATL so we could go do this together some time.

  8. Good stuff. I love that their kid-friendly fiction about where babies come from is actually more disturbing than the truth about sex.

  9. Right?? Between the crystals, the bunnybees, the tree, and the cabbages, how many entities does it take to create a Cabbage Patch Kid???

  10. THANK YOU for sharing this. Hilarious!!

    I'm also a child of the 80's and my CPK's were Corina (girl) and Kelsey (boy). Not too bad.

  11. Brenda, I submit that "Kelsey" is a pretty awful name for a male child. Just sayin :)

  12. I thought I was hallucinating when I first read this post, but no. WOW, is all I have to say, before hiding under my covers. Though I did have one, in my youth, this is just too much cabbage!

  13. This is clearly among the trippiest posts I've ever written. The truth is stranger than fiction, as always!

  14. My favorite part about that video is the God-honest, audience participation.

  15. everyone seems genuinely delighted that the tree or the cabbage or whatever is dilated

  16. whoa! thank you for opening my eyes to new wonders. *rubs eyes in disbelief* who thinks of these things!

  17. My friend swears that she was traversing the aisles of Toys R Us several years ago, looking for a present for her friend's daughter, and came across a blond-haired, blue-eyed Cabbage Patch doll named CHRISTIAN ARYAN. This strikes me way too much of Urban Legend to actually be true, but my friend is not the kind of person to make this kind of thing up. Unfortunately this was back in the days before camera phones, so there's no way for us to really know one way or another . . . Either way, I just keep imagining some bored Cabbage Patch factory lackey who hates his job so much that he keeps coming up with ways to get laid off so he can collect unemployment, and this is his best shot (which is better than the alternative suggestion that some creepy KKK member works for Cabbage Patch and is slowly indoctrinating our children with white pride messages . . .)