Regarding the Christmas shopping season, I'm either a smidgen past fashionably late or a bird so early that no worm is safe, as today I bring you insight into the world of children's toys. Maybe I can help you out this year.
I just finished reading a piece by Julie Fishman on the website "mom.me" entitled "Bizarre Kids' Toys." If I learned one thing, it's that not all the brilliant, demented, incarcerated, criminal minds are making license plates. Some of them are making toys.
The iPotty is a regular potty-training toilet with an iPad stand attached to it. In the spirit of "which came first, the chicken or the egg?" what does it say about mankind if we learn to use a computer before we learn to go potty? Lord help the little fella still in training if Dad can't find the sports section. This officially snuffs the last remaining hope of married women who thought the decline of the printed word would, at long last, provide them greater access to the toilet.
Ever wonder how a tattoo artist learns his craft? Yeah, me neither. I mean, most of the kids that drew on themselves when I was growing up were the first ones to eat the paste and the last ones picked for kickball. Now there is a toy tattoo gun that allows your little future needle freak to hone his, uh...skills? I don't want to offend the tattoo community because, as a rule, those folks scare me, but who buys their kid a toy tattoo gun? Other than the Hell's Angels Christmas party, I just can't see the market for this.
I'm warning you right now, these are only going to get worse. There is a doll called "Baby Glutton" that comes with a special halter top that allows young girls to mimic breast-feeding. Its tagline is "you shouldn't have to wait until you have breasts before you start breast-feeding." Uhhhhh...yeah, you should. Yep, yep, I'm positive on this one, you should have to wait. Therapy, no. Breasts, yes.
"Shocking Roulette" is a toy in which four people insert a fingertip into a hole, you push a button and one of them gets shocked. All profits from the sale of "Shocking Roulette" are split evenly between North Vietnam, Iraq and the Taliban.
Nothing tells your toddler the world is a wonderful place like a toy hazmat crew. Come bedtime, telling the story of why a normal mop and bucket just won't do the trick should be good enough to get Dr. Seuss a night off. Seriously, the little hazmat guys look like lima beans in rubber boots. Isn't this country already far enough behind in adolescent lima bean consumption? The skull and crossbones warning signs would make a nice tattoo, but be careful here because nothing says "Christmas AND birthday" quite like a toy tattoo gun and a hazmat crew under the same tree.
"Safe Crackers and Car" comes with a thief, safe, money-stashing suitcase, police-thwarting gas canister, safe-cracking crow bar and a getaway car. Look, times are tough. If you're struggling to save up junior's tuition and a scholarship looks unlikely based on his three years in second grade, vo-tech does have a darker side. Stealing lunch money is so yesterday. Your kid needs to find the school safe and get cracking.
This one scares me. For as long as I can remember, I've been hearing "We're behind the Japanese, we'll never catch up to the Japanese," and yet, they're the ones that created "Peeing Dog," which, once wound up, pees on the floor. No doubt "Leaking Toilet" and "Exploding Septic Tank" are fast-tracking through R&D as I write.
The "Police Electric Baton Stick" is, plain and simple, a toy Taser. Presumably, those who have a run of bad luck playing "Shocking Roulette" take their fingertips and go home. Then they purchase a toy stun gun and seek vengeance.
"'Gelli Baff' is a bath powder that turns water into phlegm-like goo." This stuff sells itself. Who among us hasn't sneezed into their hand and immediately thought, "If I could just bathe my child in this...." Suggested companion toy is the "Hazmat Crew" for cleanup when your child is done in the snot tub. Word on the street is a plumber invented this stuff since only the Lord knows what it does when it hits the pipes.
For those possibly offended by today's toy highlights, please be informed that I spared you the following: Peekaboo Pole Dancing Kit, Stuffed STDs (yes, that stands for what you think it does), Cyclops Car, Pee and Poo Dolls, Pregnant Midge Doll, Struts (don't ask), Plush Poop Hat (oddly, not an accessory for the Pee and Poo Dolls), Doctor Drill and Fill (dental, not proctology) and Mr. Bacon and Monsieur Tofo (when playing with your food is no longer fun and games, someone will get hurt).
In light of the facts presented in today's column and my now even stronger belief that only criminal minds could've come up with this crap, I am now going to write my congressman and tell him we need more license plates. Assuming, of course, that he's not already making them.
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Things got ugly when Kevin visited his local toy store and insisted they sell him a Pregnant Midge Doll and the Peekaboo Pole Dancing Kit. His bond is $500. Unfortunately, the paper has a strict "no more bail money for Kevin" policy. He can be reached in his cell at LIFEisHEALD@yahoo.com.