Beanie Babies ain’t got no soul

So here’s the deal – I can’t sleep. I am one of those people commonly referred to as “night owls” or “serial killers” who roam the streets at night looking for others who suffer from my condition. OK, so I don’t roam the streets . anymore . as much. Heh eh . hmmm.

Anyway, this insomnia ain’t leavin’. I toss, turn, throw the blankets off, put the blankets on, drink warm milk, drink NyQuil . anything to get to sleep. And by the time I do finally “climb aboard the sleepy train” (hi, Mom!), it’s the middle of the afternoon, during a lunch meeting with a potential employer (in zombie-like tone: “Yes Mrs. Stevens, I have much to offer your company, but first I must gradually nod off and fall face first into this delicious bowl of minestrone. When can I start?).

But as of late, something has been working. I have found what may be a solution. Television. Is there anything it can’t do? Yes, TV has been providing me sleep at a reasonable hour the past few nights. The soft glow and soothing voices lull me into a deep slumber unlike any method I previously have tried.

My heartfelt thanks to the folks at the Home Shopping Channel and their latest promotion: Beanie Baby week, perhaps the single most absurd thing I have seen during this young semester. No, wait. I walk by “Trustees’ Gate,” “Professors’ Gate” and “America’s Gate” every day. OK, I take it back. So, the Beanie Baby craze isn’t the stupidest thing ever.

However, one must admit this has gotten a little out of control. Last week I witnessed one, single, solitary sack of beans, tailored to look like a bear, selling for $295. The bear was blue. And fuzzy. Yes, a nice little bear. But take a deep breath and then shout at the top of your lungs: “TWO HUNDRED AND NINETY-FIVE DOLLARS!?!?!” Feel better? Me neither.

And you should see the guys peddling these cute little stuffed animals. Large guys. Mark McGwire-size dudes looking like they just left the “Monster Truck Clash of the Titans,” hysterical about the incredible deals they can offer you on smushy-cushy widdle toys.

The other night, they were offering an entire batch of these “Beanies” for the laughingly low price of $2,000. I thought this guy was gonna blow a gasket. I’m sure he managed to break a few bank accounts.

And as long as I’m on a tirade about recent fads and crazes, what the hell is all this laser pointer crap? Can someone please get in touch with me and tell me why shining a red dot on something is at all entertaining? I have witnessed the abuse of laser pointers at movies, concerts, bar and bat mitzvahs, funerals – anywhere people have assembled and do NOT want to be annoyed by some pimply faced freak who shelled out his entire allowance for a business tool.

OK, OK, I suppose I’m sounding like an old “fuddy duddy” who has no fun and despises those who do. Not true. I love to “party down” and, on occasion, I’ve even been spotted “getting my groove on.” In addition to that, I adore a well-thought-out and executed prank. Did ya ever try the one where you fill an manila envelope with shaving cream, slide the front under the door of your “friend’s” room and step on the back, thus, releasing the envelopes contents throughout the room? You should.

It’s just that these laser pointers and Beanie Babies got no soul in comparison to the wackiness of the Cabbage Patch Kids and Pac-Man that marked my childhood.

Now, I’m sure Beanie Baby fans are ready to kill me for putting the Cabbage Patch Kids below the Beanie Babies on the all-time ranking of dumb things. But, there was one thing about the Cabbage Patch craze that made it all worthwhile for me.

Does anyone remember Garbage Pail Kids?

For those of you unfamiliar with this brilliant reaction to the absurdity that accompanied Cabbage Patch fever, Garbage Pail Kids were a series of trading cards that depicted kids who looked uncannily similar to the Cabbage Patch-ers.

But their names and hobbies were not as cute as they were nausea-inducing. Who can forget the “aw-shucks” antics with names such as “Barfin’ Barbara,” “Russ Pus,” and – by golly, these writers knew how to make a fourth grader smile – “Haley’s Vomit.”

So, until a sufficient backlash against Beanie Babies can be mounted, I still will feel empty about the whole thing. Especially these Beanies with hyper-inflated collectors’ prices.

C’mon . who will help me put up the money to start a line of “Beanie Bastards?”

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