Armour hot dogs, army men, and the “wimpification” of America’s toy aisle.

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There Will Be Games

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Hot dog with a gunA recent news story from Rhode Island described an incident in a second grade classroom involving plastic army men. The students were making special hats to celebrate an event and one 8 year old boy created a baseball cap with a patriotic theme. The hat was decorated with an American flag and some green toy soldiers.

The child was referred for disciplinary procedures because the plastic soldiers were carrying guns. Thankfully a school administrator with some faintly pulsing thinking skills remaining in his or her cranium stepped in to defuse the situation, but only after the national media pointed out the folly of this idiotic “zero tolerance” policy.

Green plastic army men create a hazard in our local elementary schools? What if the kid had placed a 1990s era Risk cannon (the new edition has those boring plastic arrows, remember) on his hat, or a HeroScape figure with a sword… would that be a violation? Are most of the adventuresome aspects of the 21st century toy and game industry going to be totally absorbed by the hive-mind of the politically correct milquetoast marauders? Are we destined to become a nation of wimps?

We have all owned toy soldiers. When I was a kid we played “army” in the woods with an arsenal of plastic rifles, old WWII gear taken from grandpa’s attic, cartridge belts with imitation bullets, fake cowboy pistols, and the occasional BB gun. Nobody died. We rode our Sting Ray bikes without helmets and we poured a Niagara of salt on our heavily buttered Jiffy-Pop. We ate hot dogs made of meat, not tofu… which brings this discussion around to Armour hot dogs.

Remember the classic song from that TV commercial? It went something like this:

What kinds of kids eat Armour hot dogs?

Fat kids, skinny kids, kids who climb on rocks.

Tough kids, sissy kids, even kids with chicken pox love hot dogs…

Think about it…

Fat kids? Childhood obesity is a national crisis today but don’t even think about calling a child fat; the chunky kid will report you for abuse.

Skinny kids? They are few and far between, but skinny is probably a pejorative term in today’s lexicon. Try slender or physically fit.

Kids who climb on rocks? Never going to happen; somebody might fall down and file a lawsuit. Better climb that virtual canyon wall on your Wii instead.

Tough kids? The tough kid of that era (Here we’re talking about a kid that would knock you on your ass during flag football or challenge you to arm wrestle… not some demented cat vivisectionist who torments the weaker kids on the playground!) would be sent to anger management counseling today.

Sissy kids? Calling any kid a sissy in 2010 would probably get you assigned to a sensitivity training seminar. I’m not getting near that topic.

Chicken pox? I don’t know diddly about chicken pox… do children still get chicken pox? Any kid with an illness is probably protected by some Federal disability law.

By the way, the phrases “tough kids” and “sissy kids” have already been changed for commercials that were broadcast more recently.

No juicy beef hot dogs cooked on the grill, no salt for our low-fat microwave popcorn, and no jumping your bike over a curb. In this hyper-PC era war toys are often frowned upon. Games that depict violent adventures and games with military themes are already under intense scrutiny. So… if the wimpification of our society has progressed this much in 10, 20, or 30 years (depending on how old you are today) where will we be when this new generation reaches adulthood?

My prediction: Axis and Allies Candyland.

FAtpete is a member of Fortress: Ameritrash.

There Will Be Games
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