Friday, July 21, 2006

Happy Meal Pop

The other day my kids and I had lunch at the Meat Clown's establishment. With my son's Happy Meal came an interesting toy. It's a hand-held music player, capable of blaring a single hard-wired song by a British girl group put together on a reality TV show, emulating the Spice Girls. For obvious reasons I haven't taken the thing apart (yet), but I imagine it's actually got a microprocessor and a sizeable chunk of flash memory. Pretty impressive for something you get with a hamburger.

But it's a nasty piece of work, for several reasons. It's loud enough to hurt the kids' ears, especially since it's shaped like a phone handset (or is that a toilet freshener?). Also, judging from a minuscule "garbage can forbidden" ideogram on the back side, its paired LR44 batteries aren't environment-friendly. Finally, it does get a tiny bit on your nerves when your three-year-old suddenly gains the power to play music at you: but only this one song, again and again and again.

And the music? It could have been worse -- pretty unremarkable, but not without qualities. Still, if the record company thinks I'll order a CD... No, amigos, this is the kind of marketing ploy that provokes boycots.

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Anonymous von Mugabe said...

Girls Aloud is a pretty good name for a bubblegum pop band, at least you've gotta give 'em that.

22 July, 2006 18:06  
Blogger Martin said...

I'm gonna start a reggae band called Niet-Blankes and sing songs in Afrikaans.

22 July, 2006 18:12  
Blogger Martha said...

You have a food establishment called Meat Clown? Or is this a euphemism for the ubiquitous McDonald's? I hate hate hate the stupid plastic toys the kids get from there. There is nothing to do with them but throw them away. But we haven't come across anything as nefarious as the song device you describe....yet. I hate noise making toys in general. The kids, of course, love them, and they are literally indestructable. We had one that was particularly awful, and we decided to destroy it, so great was our passion. J hit it with a hammer, and ran it under the faucet, to no avail. It still played its tinny little song whenever anyone bumped it. Finally, we took it to the dump, and literally, you could hear it playing as it fell into the giant crusher. It's probably still playing in a landfill somehere (and leaching toxic chemicals into the ground).

25 July, 2006 20:31  
Blogger Martin said...

Yep, I meant McD.

And yep, noise toise are evil! But there's one cool thing you can do with them: put them in the freezer and they start playing slower and at a lower pitch. And microwave them if you want to silence them.

26 July, 2006 07:34  

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