I don’t know about you guys, but during my childhood there was one game that I absolutely despised playing: The game of Operation.
You all know it. The creepy naked dude with his internal organs exposed for children to poke at and remove for their selfish pleasures. Yes children, harvest the organs! HARVEST THEM.
But, that was not the worst part of the game. The terror was in the removal of the organs themselves. For if you didn’t do a decent job during the surgery, a loud and sudden buzzing sound would be released from the man’s body like it was his own bloody screaming.
As a child who was terrified by basically everything, and saw everything very seriously and realistically, this game was absolute horror.
What a nightmare.
Let’s look closer….
Here’s the box – it always freaked me out as a kid. Firstly, the dude on the table is AWAKE. Perhaps slightly drowsy, but definitely conscious. Naturally, I felt bad for him, and the pain he must have been experiencing during the game. For the sake of this post, let’s call this guy Norm.
Norm clearly has a lot of medical problems, as demonstrated by the outrageous amount of surgery being done.
Looking at the box, we can see Norm with his inflamed red nose (which by the way is NOT addressed as a problem for him in the game). Does anyone care about Norm’s obvious nose issues?! No, no they don’t.
On the left, we have Einstein – in pink socks and red striped boxer shorts – holding a butterfly in one hand while jamming a ginormous metal device into Norm’s thigh.
Apparently pants aren’t required when you’re a surgeon. Also, he is unnecessarily standing on a tiny ladder. The whole procedure is disturbingly close to Norm’s crotch. Yes, I said it. You all noticed it too.
Behind Einstein is a small, cheerful boy holding a bucket of water and staring directly into Einstein’s butt. No further comment on that one.
Moving to the right, we have a taller fellow who looks like Ferris Bueller’s principal, Mr. Rooney.
This must have been his after-school job. Mr. Rooney appears to have serious back issues, but at least he’s wearing pants and shoes. And look! A face mask! …..not on his face though. SO CLOSE ROONEY! Below him is a happy little girl holding a very large weapon.
But it only gets weirder my friends! The game looks like this:
Norm not only has a serious nasal condition, but also, terrible hair.
I’m going to point out the weirdest thing here: why on earth are we supposed to remove things like ice cream cones and butterflies and apples from this poor man? I get the creativity here, but from my childhood experience, it was all very disturbing.
Here I was, a young girl, expected to remove absurd objects from Norm’s naked body with a pair of giant tweezers while he looked up at me with that hairdo. I knew it was a stupid game, but I couldnt’ help but take it very seriously and the buzzing sound gave me tremendous anxiety. It wasn’t exactly a sensory-fun game.
None of my friends seemed to understand the fear.
(p.s. I loved my friends)
So there you have it. Operation is an irrational game where children are asked to pull foreign objects, like ice cream cones, from a naked man with a nose deformity.
May this game never see the light of day again.
This game was called “Mr Jitters” in Dutch. Very accurately. I hated the jittery feeling.