Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Current Threat Level is Orange

Sometimes things are so funny that you simply have to blog about them.

Here’s a secret about me—I love to read newspapers online and try to make time for it daily. It’s my own little way of nourishing my brain cells when my world is otherwise consumed by motherhood.

Today I was perusing the NY Times web site when I came across this little gem of an article. It references the lovely toy you see above, an airport security checkpoint Playmobil toy. All you moms out there, especially those of boys I’d imagine, are probably quite familiar with Playmobil, and many days my living room is a veritable graveyard of Playmobil guys. The more popular toys are those involving pirates, knights, or dinosaurs, but they also have many “real life” toys to help kids use pretend and imagination to understand things. This is intended to be the latter.

At first it struck me as odd to have a security checkpoint toy. Then upon reading the article it struck me as hilariously funny. (My favorite part of this toy is that the little guys don’t have removable shoes—that’s the quintessential checkpoint P.I.T.A.!! What kind of checkpoint toy doesn’t include guys with removable shoes?)

Soon my laughter turned to sadness that it’s become such a part of our lives and society that a toy like this is even relevant and that “security checkpoint” is such a part of the lexicon. But then I went to Amazon.com and started reading people’s reviews of the toy, and my laughter returned.

Here are a few samplings of the funny reviews in case you’re too short on time to root through them all like I did. But if you need a chuckle, feel free to head on over and check them out for yourself. There’s something for everyone!

“This toy would be a lot more realistic with about 350 people standing in line for an average of an hour. It still makes a nice set with the interrogation room.”

“This toy is a wonderful start but...I think expansion packs would really increase the enjoyment. Could you imagine the fun kids could have with the "Mother forced to drink bottled breast milk to prove it's not explosive" expansion, the "What do you mean I'm the No-Fly List?" and especially the "Body Cavity Search, Wait, What?" set.”

“Thank you Playmobil for allowing me to teach my 5-year old the importance of recognizing what a failing bureaucracy in a ever growing fascist state looks like.”

Another fun part of my trip to Amazon.com was reading the manufacturer's description of the toy:

"The woman traveler stops by the security checkpoint. After placing her luggage on the screening machine, the airport employee checks her baggage. The traveler hands her spare change and watch to the security guard and proceeds through the metal detector. With no time to spare, she picks up her luggage and hurries to board her flight!"

Okay, I can't believe they made the madness that is going through security sound joyous and fun!!

And seriously, that Playmobil person is a woman???

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