No, No, It’s Too Soon
Ye gods and little fishes! We just had Halloween!
I’m going to have to put fresh batteries in the television remote unit because it’s going to be getting a real workout. It just eats up those batteries when I have to hit the mute button several hundred times a day. I’m not opposed to the ads I’m just not ready for the repetitive onslaught that is to come. I don’t need to see the same ads over and over again, day after day. I really don’t.
Does it really help the toy manufacturer’s bottom line to run an ad for the latest “Action Figure” (read “Doll”) at 1:30 AM during the late movie? It’s at times like that that I wish I could still buy “”Lawn Darts” to throw at the TV.
When I was a “Mere Yute” (See “My Cousin Vinnie.”), still in college, I got a job at a large, now defunct, department store in downtown Cleveland. I was in the Toy Dept. – at Christmas. It was without a doubt the worst job I ever had in my life. It was a lot like being a referee in a pine-scented barroom brawl. The customers were vicious. The employees were vicious. I was vicious. Ho, Ho, Ho.
We sold all sorts of toys – a number of which are no longer available because they were dangerous and potentially lethal. We sold those “Lawn Darts” – a child size version of a deadly medieval weapon. Such fun!
We sold those, Oh, so cute, little ovens so that the youngsters could make cupcakes and collect second degree burns just like Mommy! Not every brand of those ovens was well made. We sold some of those “toys” that could get up to 600 degrees. Go into your kitchen right now and see how high your “grown-up” oven goes. My bet is that it goes no higher than 550 degrees. Such fun!
One of the big sellers in my Toy Dept. was the Super Duper Science Lab and Chemistry Set. The kids could learn how to do simple experiments like growing crystals in the kitchen and making a tornado in an empty pop bottle. My brother learned how to make pipe bombs. He also learned how to avoid arrest and prosecution. He discovered how simple the formula was for some very powerful gun powder and… the rest is Family History.
In that Toy Dept. along with a 60 foot tall live tree and an alcoholic Santa, we had a fine selection of weaponry.
We carried the full line of “You’re going to put your eye out!” BB and pellet guns. We had “Junior Archery Sets,” “Zulu Blowguns,” and other “toys” that today would generate lawsuits, War Crimes trials, and lots of reconstructive surgery.
I, personally, carry with me a fine collection of scars from my childhood misuse of toys. Using a simple magnifying glass to roast ants can also make a fine burn on your arm. Running and falling (something I did a lot of) with several rolls of explosive “Caps” in your pocket can and did make for a very dramatic fireball in your pants.
Sure, we did things back then that were kinda, sorta, dangerous, but we survived. We have memories and I’m sure a number of us still have those flattened pennies that we got by playing on the railroad tracks and having the locomotives run over the coins.
Wasn’t it all such fun? And all done without batteries.