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mcdonalds_logoAccording to legend, just about every unfortunate happenstance (short of divine intervention) can be blamed on Murphy’s Law (see link below).

It is Murphy’s Law that a freshly buttered slice of bread will always fall face down on the kitchen floor, a glass full of milk needs to be spilled, and children are never ready on time for school on the morning of a field trip.

I wonder if “Murphy’s Law” can be blamed for the fact that children’s toys have ceased to be fun and become an infinite source of parental subterfuge and trash can fodder. In fact, toy manufacturers and marketers have made toys (by definition) a modern oxymoron.

And while we’re at it, who was “Murphy” anyway?

Apparently, before Murphy himself applied his indelible stamp to it, the notion of a universal law which states that “anything that can go wrong will go wrong” has been around for centuries.  In fact, Irish poet Thomas Moore (http://en NULL.wikipedia NULL.org/wiki/Thomas_Moore) was the author of the buttered-side-down version.

Since then books (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.com/gp/product/0978638891?ie=UTF8&tag=flopowmom-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0978638891) and websites (http://www NULL.murphys-laws NULL.com/) have been written about it. From poets and physicists to the U.S. Air Force, notables from all walks of life, it seems, are desirous of being prophets of Murphy’s apocalypse.

I beg to differ, however; I have my own spin on Murphy’s perversion of Newtonian physics. I believe that the forces of commerce and untold legions of children have combined to create a world of anarchy and chaos beyond even the wildest imaginings of Murphy himself.

Since the day I started a family, it seems that “Murphy” has been shadowing our every move, like a prankster of evil genius, frolicking at the end of the long line of children dancing through life to the tune of the Pied Piper of Hasbro…and McDonald’s™ and Burger King™, to name but a few.

What we both know, as older parents, that since the era of innocence when we were kids, Murphy’s world has vociferously blossomed.

Back then, there were plenty of toys most certainly—from the green plastic toy soldiers (like the sort featured in Toy Story (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.com/gp/product/B0009MAO46?ie=UTF8&tag=flopowmom-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B0009MAO46)),  to the Lego™ bricks that have been abusing the insteps of adults for decades, to my older brother’s metal rocking horse.

But these were confined to storage in our bedrooms.

Not only that, we had games we played which included a great deal of improvisation with household items from bed sheets to mixing spoons. But the advent of the almost viral infiltration of the common television set into the living rooms of the supposedly civilized world during the 1950s and 60s became the instrument of mass marketing on an unprecedented scale.

That and the more recent rise of the industrial behemoth of the Asian continent, pumping out tons cheap toy-trash for just pennies per unit,  which has turned our homes into thrift shops bursting with pointless plastic gewgaws packed in boxes that probably cost more to make than the injection-mold-seamed junk they contained.

Our homes have become virtual recycling plants for plastic snack byproducts.

With every Happy Meal™, children now get a free McToy or with every princely purchase at Burger King™, a competing prize. Let’s not forget that that these precious little commodities are educational too. During the McShrek era, this chubby didactic model produced a burp at the push of a button (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=NDWZ9bWrcgY NULL.).

For a price, you can now acquire the whole collection on eBay™.

I can tell you McMarketing-guys, ‘I‘m not lovin’ it’.

Then there are the nutritional bonus points of globally available Asian trash-toys, lest we forget.  In the 1960s, we worried about children imbibing the lead paint from our window sills. Thanks to Chinese toy manufacturers, we’ve evolved and improved since then.  Now we cut out the middleman and lash out a heaping helping of lead paint directly on the toys (http://www NULL.nytimes NULL.com/2007/06/19/business/worldbusiness/19toys NULL.html) instead.

The modern world of children’s toys has gone plain Murphy-mad.

The human race will not be silenced by simultaneous global catastrophes of rampant tsunamis, raging earthquakes nor the violent return of Vesuvius. We will drown in a sea of toy-trash that will eventually surpass the volume of the world’s oceans.

Soon we’ll be boxing it up it and jettisoning twenty ton crates of McShreks, Teenie Beanie Babies or Monsters vs. Aliens into the earth’s orbit because we’ve run out of landfill space.

It reminds me of a Star Trek episode “The Trouble With Tribbles (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=F3kHy4fqtpU)” when some cute cuddly space pets reproduced exponentially and consumed an entire planet’s grain store to explode in the thousands from the storage banks.

McToys are not even warm and cuddly. McToys do not purr. They do not improve the ambient affective state of human beings.

They just drive parents into covert night operations where all of the McToys and the Burger King™ princely prizes must be extracted from bedrooms while our children slumber.

It’s only the beginning. Soon, Goodwill trucks will refuse toy pick-ups at risk of being tainted by McShreks or little pink and purple McPonys.

“Murphy!” I say. “Enough, already. Enough!”

(Authors note:  Extensive use of the Trade Mark symbol is made to “protect intellectual property” and demonstrate just how ridiculous overuse of the “TM” symbol really is!)

Notes for this blog:

Ref for “Murphy’s Law”: Murphy’s Law (http://en NULL.wikipedia NULL.org/wiki/Murphy%27s_law)

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