Friday, March 19, 2010

My Libertarian Friend and Heavy Metal

We’re sitting at the kitchen table, my Libertarian friend and I. (And, yes, that should be “I” because it is NOT the object. It is the subject, creatively transposed to the end of the sentence. Very stylish of me, and very unusual of me to be so stylish, so don’t be all lifting your hopes that you’ll find some fine literature here. This is a blog, not the New Yorker.)

Anyway, we’re sitting at the table, and she’s ranting about how the US has cracked down on small mom & pop stores and has threatened thrift stores and yard sales. The onus of this big bust? Toys. Specifically, toys made without certain clarifying statements attached to them that assure the consuming public that they are, indeed, heavy metal free. I should have demanded a similar promise from Hal before we got married, but that’s all water under the bridge now. Sort of like a Tsunami that keeps rearing its ugly, wet, maw.

Back to the story, and please quit getting sidetracked.

She’s ranting for, like, 20 minutes, declaring that we’re all being forced to buy from big box stores in order to increase the money we spend because we can’t buy toys from thrift stores or yard sales any more. This is one of the signs of the apocalypse, you know, and I understand the angst. I, too, have myriad children who are not satisfied with the basement full of plastic goods. They would like more more more more.

So, in an effort to satisfy that clamoring crowd, I went to a large preschool group sale. There are dozens and dozens of moms, all with kids my kids’ ages, who take over a church for a weekend and sell all their used stuff.

And boy, did I buy. Clothes, jogging stroller, ballerina equipment and toys.

One toy in particular--a lovely Melissa and Doug stacker which matches a lovely Melissa and Doug shape sorter which we already own.

And, on a whim or under guidance, you choose, I googled “Melissa and Doug recall”. Guess what? No, they have not been recalled in the US. But they have been recalled in Canada for lead and barium. Ah, that’s why the blue is so blue and the red so red.

Now, 2 things and then I’m seriously going to bed.

First, if the product in Canada has too much metallic-laced paint, doesn’t that mean that the product in the US has too much metallic-laced paint? It’s not as though they made a defective product just for Canada. And, if you’re clever, you’ll do what M&D did--put a little label on each of your toys that says you comply with all safety standards in the US. Apparently, we have very sucky standards.

Second, You Go! US lawmaking body that will shut down the resale of poisonous toys that would give my sweet angel baby brain damage and liver damage and kidney damage. Because, honestly, I’d rather that my children get their heavy metals from good old fashioned dirt the way God intended. I don’t need them to get it from the toy I bought for $3.50 and which they won’t be interested in once they’ve eaten the paint off of, anyway.

Just a follow-up, in case you’re worried. No, I did not give the toys to the thrift store or sell them at a yard sale. I shipped them to Canada.

2 comments:

Irish Cream said...

Should've saved the postage and warmed your toes in front of a fire. M&D are all made of wood, right?

Jody England Hansen said...

I have an adhesive I use for some art projects. The warning label says "This product causes cancer in labrats in California". I guess that means it is safe for anything else, especially outside of California.