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There are two things in this world that draw me in like a siren’s call and stop me in my tracks. One is the stand of last minute goodies strategically placed near a cash register in case you forgot something. Who doesn’t need a miniature bottle of wiper fluid or a deck of magic cards? My attention is captured by these products that call my name and I’m often found placing them in my basket and looking over my shoulder in embarrassment to see who observed my impulsive buy. The other attention grabber is the headline menu on Yahoo news. Who can resist those teaser headlines such as “What is That Thing Over Denver” or “Ten Most Beloved Banned Products”? The latter was discovered this morning and I instantly went to see what these beloved products were.
I was horrified to learn that I own every single one of these wonderful yet dangerous items that have delivered so much joy to my family. The first lethal item on the list was Lawn Darts. I suppose I can understand how chucking a metal spear at your friends might be considered unsafe, especially after a few margaritas and game changing rules such as wearing a blindfold. I can accept that one without too much argument. The next item to soon be removed from shelves is the Slip 'n Slide. Who hasn’t enjoyed the summer fun of diving head first into the lawn that has baked into a nice metamorphic rock under the heat of a southern sun. With bloody knees and bruised elbows, we have tackled the Slip 'n Slide as kids and adults, demonstrating our skill at sliding down a 30 ft long piece of wet vinyl like Olympians. I was once able to perform this feat with a perfectly chilled bottle of Sam Adams in my hand and neither the bottle, nor my bones broke. I vote that Slip 'n Slide remain on the shelves.
Next on the list came Bucky Balls. I have a collection of these sitting on my dining room table that we play with every morning. It is a grouping of small magnetic spheres that you can sculpt into fun shapes like the Eiffel Tower or DNA. It seems that if one is crazy enough to eat a set of Bucky Balls, these little magnetic wonders can reconnect in your intestine and pinch off vital organs. If someone is going to eat Bucky Balls, they are just as likely to eat the muffler on my car or a handful of safety pins, all which could pose equally dangerous internal threats. Bucky Balls should be removed from the list and common sense should be given more credit.
The list included other items, all found in my house…. electric blankets, fondue sets, hammocks, beanie bag chairs and bunk beds. I’m not sure, but I believe I have witnessed my children asleep on a beanie chair on the top bunk of their bed, wrapped in an electric blanket. Had they known what a fondue set was, they would have been dipping bread into a cheesy sauce with the extending forks I had procured from the check-out stand at Wal-Mart. We are evidently the epitome of safety violations and yet, I’ve never lost a kid, pinched off an organ or taken out an eye with a lawn dart.
Before these products disappear from our lives, I plan to host a party using each of these soon to be extinct items. My friend Jenny can whip up some fondue while Kelly and Chris cover the drive with vinyl sheeting. The kids can gather all the hammocks, beanie chairs, portable pocket chairs and five gallon buckets for seating. If we aren’t tossing lawn darts at each other, we can bring out the practice arrows and sling shots. I do hope nobody confuses the Bucky balls on my dining room table with hors d’oeuvres. In the event of a pinched intestine, I do have a plan involving a giant industrial magnet attached to my washing machine that I use to disrupt spin cycles (a whole other story). It may be possible to retrieve the Bucky Balls if needed.
While the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is concerned about our safety, they should truly spend one day in the Brodnax household and they would understand why these products are vital to the happiness of a generation. If we swallow a Beanie Bag Chair, or upset the polarity of our inner magnetic field with our electric blankets, I take full responsibility and will not blame the CPSC.
Wow! A dangerous household indeed.
Your last minute checkout line purchases remind me of what I read in "The Writer's Market" book many years ago about the target audience for certain mass market tabloids: "The kind of people one sees in supermarket checkout lines."
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