Friday, December 17, 2010

Save the Frogmen

This morning I heard Rush Limbaugh attack those who are attacking McDonald’s Happy Meals. The issue as he put is that the Nanny State is coming to the rescue of parents who cannot stare down their kids who demand that they not go to the local vegan health food diner and scarf down Happy Meals instead. And why do the kids want the Happy Meals? Because of the toys inside the box. It is wrong for a corporation to go after kids whether it is with tobacco or fat/sugar/salt, but don’t attack the toys.

When I was a kid McDonalds was a drive-in, and there were no Happy Meals. The equivalent product back then was the cereal box with a toy in it. I loved getting those toys. I would stick my hand into the box, crushing the cereal inside to find the coveted prize. Or I would open the box upside down hoping that the toy was at the bottom. Or I would pour the entire box out on the counter and watch the prize spill out in a cascade of Frosted Flakes (They’re Gggggggggggggggggreat). These are some of my best childhood memories.

I loved the frogmen. They were little plastic divers with one fin-clad foot and one foot that was a tiny thimble with a cap. Put baking soda into the thimble, replace the cap and drop the frogman into a sink or bath tub filled with water. As the baking soda reacted with the water the frogman would dive and resurface over and over again. How cool is that? So cool in fact, that I still have one of the frogmen.

So Rush is right but for the wrong reason. Those who would stop corporations from putting toys in their products are robbing our kids of their childhoods. Let our kids have their toys, and if we must do something let’s insist that our food is healthier. Why not put toys with veggie burger meals?


Grégoire said...

I came of age in the roaring 80s, and I remember the prizes stuck inside Cracker Jack boxes. The tattoos were the coolest!

I'm convinced Rush Limbaugh is the devil, so I don't listen to him, though his concerns about kids and fast food might be more justified than his critics might assume. Take a look at kids in high/secondary school these days and count the rolls on some of them. We could all definitely use more exercise (myself included).

Maggid said...

Thank you again and again for your wonderful posts.

It's about those toys.
i actually convinced a class the Torah was entirely cool - better than a decoder ring -
Imagine, 21st Century Kids going for that - i had to explain what a decoder ring was - and that the text had secrets hiding inside - better than -
you guessed it the ring they'd never heard of before . .
it totally worked.
ah! Childhood!

eashtov said...

Shalom Rav,

You wrote: "So Rush is right but for the wrong reason."

I disagree. To quote Jennifer Rubin from the Washington Post blog linked here:

"First Lady Michelle Obama's fondness for food hectoring is annoying in two respects. First, it is the sort of nanny state nagging that presupposes all of us are incapable of managing our lives and those of our children without the help of our betters, the ones with a White House staff to tend to their garden. But mostly I object because, in comparison to the pressing issues of the day, this is trivial stuff."


Rabbi Rami said...

Whoa, Jordan, toys are not trivial. Especially when they come with food. I know some people (OK, me) whose entire retirement plan is based on the value of the Superman toys I got from Burger King. I used to have the complete set of Civil War trading cards that came with gum and fake Confederate money. I chewed the gum, through away the money, and preserved the cards. They are now worth hundreds and hundreds of dollars. No, not the fake Confederate dollars, though they are worth more than the card (the gum then and now was worthless. Unfortunately I can't find the cards. The gum is probably still stuck under my desk at Washington Elementary school in Springfield, MA.

Now, on to TheNote. The Torah as decoder ring is cool. Read the Bible Code. But it would be even cooler if the Torah came in a Happy Meal or cereal box.

As for Gregoire's faith in Rush as Satan, all the more reason to listen to him. I too loved the tattoos in Cracker Jakes. Of course back in the fifties the prizes were more cool-- real diamond rings and gold bullion, at least that's what I remember. But let me warn you and other readers against going to high schools and counting the rolls on the students. I think you could get arrested for that.

Merry Christmas, all.

Unknown said...

I liked the little juice glasses that came in oatmeal. Now that was a long time ago. One time I got one with the Archies on it. Still have it in my bathroom now. Of course it's probably full of lead....don't drink from it of course. :)