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The last couple of years, in particular, I find myself exhausted trying to keep up with all of the things we are supposed to be offended by. Before you get offended that I am not socially aware enough to naturally be very obviously offended by all of these egregious things, I am not talking about the things we actually should definitely be offended by.
I think most of us know the basics of not being an a-hole to or hurting the feelings of our fellow humans and trying to act as such. It’s the many smaller things, like singing “Baby It’s Cold Outside” or watching “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” with your children, or not realizing that having chairs that are not extra large in your home or office can be considered a microaggression to overweight people. (All things people have actually gotten offended by in recent years.)
So, trust me, I am with a lot of you in saying, “This sh*t is ridiculous. I am not playing this game.”
But, my friends, you can’t just dismiss this so easily. I mean, if you haven’t extensively researched the background and comments of every owner and/or corporate board member of every restaurant chain you frequent, the next time you Tweet a picture of your favorite sandwich with the caption, “Glad I wore my stretchy pants” (also a microaggression), you could be branded by the Twitter mob as an “-ist” or a “-phobe” faster than Hester Prynne can say, “Scarlet what?”
I know you just thought you were eating lunch, but you were wrong. You may try to defend yourself or say you are truly sorry and express sincere regret, but they will not care. Now you will suck, and be whatever you have been labeled as for eternity. You are not allowed to make any mistakes whatsoever in your entire lifetime, not even the smallest misstep. So you have to at least pay a little attention in this neo-Puritanological world we live in, lest you be branded as whatever and hung in the social media square while the angry mob chants until you virtually die (forced to delete your accounts and live a life in hiding, unconnected and in shame).
So, considering the society we live in, where nothing is funny anymore and our children shouldn’t be exposed to any of Santa’s reindeer (except Rudolph) because they are bullies, I am stunned two children’s games produced by the Goliath Toy Company have not caused outrage and calls for bans and boycotts. And these aren’t obscure toys that have flown under the radar, either. They are top-selling games that have been heavily promoted in ads on all of the cartoon networks the kids watch, as well as by those kids who make a million dollars a year on YouTube “reviewing” toys (the amount of money they make doing this is truly offensive).
The first one is called “Pop the Pig.” In this game, children are asked to take turns rolling the die. Whatever number they roll, they shove that many hamburgers down this poor, overweight, crazy-eyed pig’s throat. His belly is popping out of his clothes and his tongue stays sticking out, making him look like he may eat you if you don’t shove the burgers down his gullet fast enough. So they keep stuffing and stuffing him until finally his belly explodes all over the table.
Where are the people saying it’s promoting gluttony (a deadly sin!) by teaching children to shove up to 12 burgers in your mouth at a time? Or those counter-arguing that it promotes healthy eating habits because his stomach literally explodes (a teaching moment) when he is stuffed too full with unhealthy burgers? Or those saying this creates an environment where children think it’s OK to pick on those who are overweight? Or that feeding a pig beef is really kind of weird and probably offensive to several religions?
Where is the outrage, people?!?! Don’t we need a panel of “experts” on cable news discussing this? I’m truly disappointed in you.
And “Pop the Pig” isn’t even the worst one. I present to you “Catch the Fox,” where children also roll the die, but then put “chickens” in a shirtless fox’s pockets. After putting said “chickens” in his pockets, they then “press his head down” until his pants fall down. Let’s face it, these chickens look more like coins you are putting in the fox’s pocket until he strips down to his underwear. So, um, does that remind anyone of anything? Thankfully the children don’t have to roll the die to see who has to buy the fox overpriced champagne in the “VIP Room” for “bonus points.”
But even more disturbing, once his pants fall down, all the coins, I mean “chickens,” they have gleefully stuffed in his pockets fall out and the giggling children see who can scoop up the most of his money, I mean “chickens,” and put it back in their own pockets, I mean “game boards.”
If this isn’t promoting patronizing strip clubs and then exploiting and robbing these poor strippers, I mean “foxes,” after they have earned their “chickens” fair and square — well, then, Diamonds is just a “jewelry store” on Airport Boulevard.
The only thing saving this game from a complete meltdown on social media is the fox appears to be male, a double standard we should be offended by. As if males can’t be strippers who are exploited. Just ask the Chippendales. Wait a minute! Chippendales … Chip and Dale? What kind of animals were those delightful little cartoons? Oh yeah, never mind, they were chipmunks, but close enough to foxes that we should most definitely be screaming that this is a dangerous hidden message being fed to our children!
Am I right? No.
These games are really dumb, and we should certainly be offended by that, but the lack of outrage from those who make it their mission to be outraged is outrageous. And I, for one, am offended by that.