The Wisdom of Children
by Simon Rich
A Day at UNICEF Headquarters, as I Imagined It in Third Grade
(UNICEF sits on a throne. He is wearing a cape and holding a sceptre. A servant enters, on his knees.)
UNICEF: Halloween is fast approaching! Have the third graders been given their little orange boxes?
SERVANT: Yes, your majesty!
UNICEF: Perfect. Did you tell them what the money was for?
SERVANT: No, sir, of course not! We just gave them the boxes and told them to collect for UNICEF. We said it was for “a good cause,” but we didn’t get any more specific than that.
UNICEF: Ha ha ha! Those fools! Soon I will have all the money in the world. For I am UNICEF, evil king of Halloween!
SERVANT: Sir . . . don’t you think you’ve stolen enough from the children? Maybe you should let them keep the money this year.
UNICEF: Never! The children shall toil forever to serve my greed!
(He tears open a little orange box full of coins and rubs them all over his fat stomach.)
UNICEF: Yes! Oh, yes!
SERVANT: Wait! Your majesty! Look at this! Our records indicate that there’s a kid out there—Simon—who’s planning to keep his UNICEF money this year.
UNICEF: What?! But what about my evil plans? I was going to give that money to the Russians so they could build a bomb!
SERVANT: (aside) I guess there’s still one hero left in this world.
UNICEF: No! (He runs out of the castle, sobbing.)
SERVANT: Thank God Simon is keeping his UNICEF money.
SECOND SERVANT: Yes, it’s good that he’s keeping the money.
THIRD SERVANT: I agree. Simon is doing a good thing by keeping the money from the UNICEF box.
SERVANT: Then we’re all in agreement. Simon should keep the money.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Posted by Jamie at 4:20 PM
Saturday, October 27, 2007
One of the best parts of the day is when the mail comes. It's particularly enjoyable lately because it's Christmas catalogue time. Last year, Kyle bought some fly fishing stuff from a company that sold his information and is responsible for the deluge of crap we receive from October to December.
I secretly love to tell Kyle when a catalogue has come. He rages about wasted paper and swears that he will never buy anything from said fishing company again...no matter how awesome their product is. Even better is when he phones the companies to get off their mailing lists and they refuse to remove his name.
Hands down, the best/worst is America's longest running catalogue - Hammacher Schlemmer (even the name is wasteful. Those crazy Germans with all their consonants!). Need ideas for Christmas gifts? Hammacher Schlemmer has the most ridiculous products you could ever dream of giving that hard-to-buy-for person.
Would you like a jumpless jump rope that allows you to engage in the training regimen enjoyed by Olympic boxers without interrupting the flow of your workout routine by getting the rope caught in your feet?
No? How about the 6-foot tall classic animatronic fortune teller, Zoltar? Only $8,999.99 (plus $500 shipping).
Maybe you'd be interested in a mechanical core muscle trainer for the low low price of $1,499.95. The gentle swaying of the saddle forces the core muscles of the body to expand and contract.
Okay. Perhaps an alarm clock that rolls away and hides when you hit the snooze button would be more to your liking. Wait...that actually is kind of awesome.
Oh evil Hammacher Schlemmer, despite all my mockery you got me... You got me.
Posted by Jamie at 9:52 AM
Friday, October 12, 2007
I've had a long dry spell when it comes to seeing the neighbourhood nuns... maybe they're getting their groceries delivered.
When I was a kid, we had this wonderful Catholic sister who lived in an apartment building down the street from my house. Her name was Sister Aquinas. She drove a tiny car the colour of an orange tic tac, which she would pull over at a moment's notice to chat with neighbourhood kids and hand out pieces of juicy fruit. She also had a watch with a disciple at every hour.
Today I was looking online and saw a site featuring photographs of an order of French Nuns who run a soup kitchen in Harlem. Some of the women started taking tae kwon do lessons for exercise. Of course, they don't go around drop-kicking New Yorkers but apparently, five-foot tall Sister Mary (pictured above) is pretty awesome. Look at that air and those furious fists! I'll bet the next photograph was of the tae kwon do teacher crumpled against the far wall.
Posted by Jamie at 12:28 PM