This crib'll kill you
Sunday, August 31, 2008
This crib'll kill you
Monday, August 18, 2008
Sound of silence
The toy I was most afraid of was a drum set.
Because who wouldn't be? Bang bang bang. Boom boom boom. It's music, the giver of the drum would say, and I would smile and cover my ears.
But no, the little one already has his very own drum and it's pretty mellow. It's a pseudo-colonial all-wooden drum and drumstick, probably wants a fife and a flag to go with it. Offers a nice little boom boom boom. I encourage the little one to play it. Sometimes I bang on it to see if he'll dance.
The toys I don't like to listen to are every single electronic toy he owns. Like the magical counting toolbench that sings. "La la la, I am a toolbench, ABCs and 123s are fun, I am going to sing this over and over because your kid keeps pulling the lever, la la la." Or the big NASCAR steering wheel that turns to the sound of electric guitars and a child's voice going "vroom, vroom." Not to mention the months spent listening to all the toys that played tinny, kiddie versions of classical pieces. There is no way something that annoying is making him smarter. "It's music time!" some of the toys proclaim, as though the fact that there was music playing was not some sort of a clue.
And why is every song a toy plays clearly something in the public domain, and therefore free? Like the infinite variations on "Bingo." Or "I've Been Working on the Railroad." "Turkey in the Straw"? C'mon, you're making the toys out of cheapie plastic, you can't afford to hire someone to write some fresh music?
Because clearly you spent money on voice talent. The people singing these songs (well, not so much the kid going "vroom, vroom") sound pretty good. Unnaturally cheery, but good. I wonder if a gig like this is a step up, career-wise, or down? "Well, I didn't make 'Idol,' but I'm providing the voice for this toy phone with little pictures of farm animals on it. The kid can call the farm animals on the phone ... hey, where are you going?"
There is an upside, of course. Batteries do run out. Maybe the little one won't notice if we don't replace them. Like in that toolbench, for example.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Who smokes in their bathing suit, anyway?
Why not just throw it all out, you ask? Fair question. We were all the way down the beach, near the water, and it would have been tough to maneuver. Also, the real reason: I hate throwing out other people's trash. Hate it. Never do it. I don't want to be that guy: the one self-righteous enough to tsk-tskingly clean up after other people's messes. (The same person who cleans out the office microwave or dumps out the old coffee grinds after everyone else conveniently forgets to do it.) Who expects thanks for it, or at least respect, but never gets it because no one likes being reminded of their moral inferiority. And touching trash is icky.
I have a really, really hard time believing the town (Point Pleasant, if you're wondering) doesn't have sanitation people go through in the morning to neaten up the sand a little. Though granted that wouldn't do much if people are continuously using the sand as their own personal ashtray throughout the day. Which brings me to my real point ...
Stupid bennies. I say this as a former South Jerseyan. People come in from out of town, and I don't know, I guess they figure it's just Jersey anyway and already trashed (I make no excuses for the Turnpike, but take an exit once in a while and see what the rest of the state looks like, bub), so they can make idiots of themselves and leave their crap everywhere and clog up the roads on their merry way out of town. Really, you need to tell people not to stub out their cancer sticks in the sand where kids are playing? This needs to be specifically spelled out in writing somewhere? ("Dear bennies, remember not to poison the kids. Thank you.")
It's almost enough to make me nostalgic for the beach in winter -- when there's nobody else on it.