Tuesday, August 21, 2007

What's a Consumer to Do?

Announcement! While in a bar with my daughters this weekend, the man who served as DJ for our wedding 10 years ago pointed out Filbertine's resemblance to Pebbles, i.e. that lovable, fruity prehistoric baby on the cereal box. It's true, my daughter looks a little like Pebbles. Well, ok she has a topknot like Pebbles, at least. And she sometimes has a bone in her hair. That's good enough for me, so henceforth I shall refer to her as Pebbles.

Anyway, when I say I was with my kids in a bar, you know that I am either a) Britney Spears, or b) in Wisconsin. Yes, the girls and I had a lovely visit to Wisconsin that included a visit to the Kenosha County Fair (pony ride, corn dog, pigs, cattle, dogs made of vegetables, kiddie airplane ride, merry-go-round, huge ice cream cone), and the Rathskellar of the Danish Brotherhood. I even got to see a new release movie! My brother and I strapped Filbertine -- er, Pebbles -- into the back of the car and went on down to the Keno Family Drive-In, where we heartily enjoyed the showing of "SuperBad" over a box o Reeces Pieces.

Thanks, both sets of grandparents, for hosting the girls and I for another lovely weekend. While I was gone Epu finished painting the halls and put a rather smart hole in the bedroom wall. He's still trying to run ethernet cable through the house.

When I got home, I found that Epu had kindly saved me a few "mommy" type articles from the Trib. One of them said Toys R Us has suspended sales of vinyl bibs because bibs from one supplier had lead levels higher than the store allows. We have one of those bibs, so today I checked out the press release.

Way to serve the consumer, Toys R Us. I have no idea what I am supposed to do with this bib. It says I can return it if I "wish." Are they saying only people who bought bibs after May have to worry?

I think I will keep it and simply follow the standard advice about vinyl bibs: discard if it has cracks or wear. All (or most?) vinyl contains lead, which is why you are not supposed to drink out of the garden house without at least running the water first.

Which brings me to another deep thought about all the recalls lately. There are recalls and then there are RECALLS. Products containing toys that rip through intestines and cribs that can hang a kid are RECALLS. They could lead to death. Products that may have some lead in the paint, or toys that have pieces that might come loose and become choking hazards, these are recalls. You might want to keep an eye out for them, but they're probably not going to kill your kid.

Seems like there should be a threat-level system like the national security threat level for recalls. It's great that a lot of companies are improving their testing right now, but the increase in recalls is, I'm sure, giving parents recall fatigue. The feeling is setting in that everything is probably somewhat dangerous so oh, who cares what they play with? And then a truly dangerous toy ends up staying in the house along with the bib with "non-hazardous" levels of lead.

Ah, well. At least I found a bathing suit that covers my mommy paunch in front and the worst of the cottage cheese in back, without having a ruffle or a full skirt would make me feel a generation older. I found it in Wisconsin, of course, where they know all about the paunches and the cottage cheese to boot.

Get it? To boot? Booty in the boot, junk in the trunk?

I crack myself up.

1 comment:

Bert said...

Aw man. Before I read that last line, I was totally going to make the boot joke. :)