(Written for The Atlanta Journal/Constitution & Fayette County News)
Beanie Baby Addiction
It had come to this. It was 2:00 am and I am parked in the seediest of places; resting my hand on the briefcase on the passenger seat. I never thought my perpetual "habit" would lead me here. First it was one $5 hit, then another, then another. Soon my thirst could not be quenched and $5 turned to $500. The dark blue cadillac pulled into the paper-strewn parking lot. I could hear a police siren in the distance (I thought to myself, "speeders in Tyrone"). Three big-arm men got out the car and followed a smaller, nervous man up to me.
"You got the money," he asked, looking suspicously back and forth, to and fro, like a metronome at a 3rd grader's piano recital.
"You got the stuff?" I tried to sound like I had done this many times, but in truth, I am just a normal middle class parent. "We" don't do these things. Yet, here I was.
"Give me the briefcase, Bones" the little man growled. One of his henchman, the one with the 12 gauge shotgun and a telephone pole for a neck, handed him the "goods."
We call 'em goods in this game.
The springloaded locks echoed in the night as Bones held the briefcase out and opened it to me. "Freckles!" one of the other henchmen squealed when he saw the speckly "Beanie Baby" at the top of the toy-filled case "Shut your trap!" yelled the boss. "We are doing business here." The henchman dipped his head in shame, barely able to keep his .45 horizontal.
I wet my little finger and lifted some dust from "Bongo." I put it to my mouth. "High grade stuff," I muttered solemnly. "I want the whole batch." We then traded "packages" as well as "Rice Krispy Treat" recipes and we went our separate ways.
This may seem like a scene from a movie, yet It has almost come to this. People have jumped into the beanie baby craze, full force. Lines are forming everyday at stores who get shipments of 500 to 1000 beanie babies, and sell out in an hour. What causes madness such as this? Could it be the the air rushing into the vacuum created by "Tickle Me Elmo?" Could it be psychological fulfillment in response to the void created by a "Power Ranger" struggle? No one really knows, yet there is for sure an intense desire to own, Inky, Blacky, Flip, Zip or Nip or any other of the scores of legume-filled animals.
This is just good, clean, American fun This is capitalism as it was intended to be; mothers passing to their daughters the legacy of competitive shopping. Daughters, like baby lions, learning their skills for later in life when they have to hunt a barbie or stalk a "One-Day Macy's Sale." Some have obviously taken it too far, pushing the limits of good taste in the attainment of more and more beanie babies. For the most part though, standing in line for a beanie baby is still better than standing in line for a Marilyn Manson concert or a chance to win the lottery. So, have some fun, just don't let the "habit" get you. As for me, I am going to surf to http://www.ty.com and get my first taste of beanie babies in cyber space.
New Years Quiz
Take this quick quiz to see if you have already failed in your New Year's Resolutions, or are just, generally, a failure.
1. Since January 1st you have lost:
A. Eleven pounds.
B. The cocktail napkin you wrote your resolutions on.
C. So much self-control, you qualify for the "Ozzy Osbourne Lifestyle of Excess" Award.
2. In the 20 days, or so since the New Year, you have:
A. Run every day.
B. Run out and bought an exercise machine.
C. Run out of checks to pay for all the Christmas credit card bills.
3. Your life goal for the coming year is:
A. To live well and prosper.
B. To live more healthily.
C. To live through one more Atlanta Braves washout season.
4. Your work goals for the coming year are:
A. Make your work environment a better place.
B. Leave your mark on every project you handle.
C. Find where they moved your offices without telling you.
5. You have lost 20 lbs since Jan. 1st; you owe your success to:
A. The Atkins Diet.
B. Rigorous Exercise.
C. Staying up nights worrying over Camilla and Tony Soprano.
6. This year you plan to hit it big because:
A. You believe in hard work and dedication.
B. You (and your cats) came up with a sure-fire way to pick lottery numbers.
C. By-golly, you're going to marry that guy from the 'Joe Millionaire' show.
7. The greatest hope for the coming year for you is:
A. To breakdown walls with an estranged neighbor.
B. To rekindle a better relationship with that old best friend.
C. To get your daughter to give you her cell phone number.
8. The best advice you could give to the rest of the world for 2003 is:
A. Never under estimate the power of prayer.
B. Give back, more than you take.
C. Dump that stock you have invested into Iraqi Oil.
Duct Tape for Women
Men and duct tape go together like bacon and bypass surgery. Itís manís all purpose fix it tool. Carl Zwanzig has said, Duct tape is like the force: It has a dark side and a light side and it holds the universe together. But until now Duct tape has just been for men
Well, women rejoice!! Because here are my tips for using duct tape for YOU.. Ďcause you wonít be seeing these anytime soon on Martha Stewart.
Ladies, do you want smooth, silky legs? Throw away your razors, your shavers and those messy creams and waxes. Just place the duct tape over the length of your legs, press down and rip upwards quickly. Youíll scream with joy .. or at the very least, youíll scream.
And Girls are you tired of those expensive biore strips? Need I say more?
For you parents, adhere to the floor with the tape side up and youíll never lose site of your toddler again.
Duct tape is great in the kitchen too. Are you tired of using fragile, wrinkled aluminum foil? Next time just tape your baked potatoes with the gray wonder. It makes for a great diet too, because think of all the calories youíll burn just trying to get the potato out of the tape
And lastly, for the entertainer in
you, fashion into a ball with the tape side out, roll in a bowl of grated
cheddar and finally you have a cheese ball that will last into the next