Will Tater Elvis wear blue suede shoes?

Photo by Vicki Harris

Photo by Vicki Harris

I've long ago decided the world has lost its direction and is headed to hell in a hand basket. What I don't know is why do we say "in a hand basket."

What exactly does that mean? Why not headed to hell on a Harley Fatboy or strapped to the grill of a '58 Impala?

Regardless, I've now learned that there is no dignity, none, left in the world. Yes, Hasbro Toys has announced it will soon produce an Elvis Mr. Potato Head.

Have they no shame? Wasn't the production of thousands of velvet Elvis' enough? Isn't the stigma of death upon the throne -- in Elvis' case, the upstairs commode -- enough?

Isn't the existence of thousands of bad Elvis imitators wallowing around the globe enough? What's next? Bobble Head Elvis?

Oh, I forgot. They've already done that.

Poor Elvis, dead over 30 years and now we have a Mr. Potato Head, due in August, decked out in a white jumpsuit, shades and sideburns. No word yet on whether it is a baked potato or a frying variety. For that matter, is it the fat Elvis of the mid '70s or the svelte Elvis from the late '60s?

Well, in answer to this great question, Hasbro says in late 2010, a second holiday black leather Elvis Mr. Potato Head will be issued.

Perhaps, in 2011, they can issue "Pain Killer" addicted Elvis Mr. Potato Head. He never removes his shades and drools on his plastic heart shaped mouth.

I know everyone has a right to cash in on the name of a famous relative. But do Priscilla and Lisa Marie need money bad enough to make Elvis a Potato Head? Oh, well, I'd do the same, I suppose, if I had any famous relatives.

I doubt many people would buy a grandfather Gamble Potato Head, although it probably would be a hit at a family reunion, but I suspect Elvis Potato Heads will sell like hot cakes.

According to Elvis' estate, this Potato Head is, of course, exclusive; one of only 15,000 licensed products containing the image of Elvis. Thank goodness the estate management team keeps a tight rein on things to make sure the market is not saturated.

The Potato Head will be released during Elvis Tribute Week in August. I bet you didn't know there was an Elvis Tribute Week. Toy spokesman Dean Gorby said it would be released to broaden the Elvis audience to include young fans instead of just adult collectors.

God help me. The last thing I need is to come home to the 5-year-old boy singing "Jail House Rock" while the 6-year-old girl swoons to "Love me Tender."

Oh, how I long for the day when I'd come home and find the children putting the mustache on Mr. Potato Head and dressing up Mrs. Potato Head.

What next? Will we have a Beatles Potato Head? "Oh look , let's put the marijuana joint in John Lennon's mouth, daddy." Or, "Look, daddy, Mrs. Madonna Potato Head doesn't exactly look like a virgin."

Oh well, like most things coming down the pike these days, all I can do is sit and wait. Man, I can hardly wait until Elvis Tribute Week.

Contact columnist T. Gamble at t@colliergamble.com.