A few years ago, I saw an episode of some sitcom in which one character said to another, "Well. it looks like somebody is missing the prize in his Happy Meal." It was a pop-culture image thrown in to describe someone's glumness because the writer knew it was a reference most in the audience would get. And that's the problem, damn it!
Happy Meal toys and other promotions that come with high-calorie children's meals will soon be banned in parts of Santa Clara County unless the restaurants meet nutritional guidelines approved Tuesday by the county Board of Supervisors.
"This ordinance prevents restaurants from preying on children's' love of toys" to sell high-calorie, unhealthful food, said Supervisor Ken Yeager, who sponsored the measure. "This ordinance breaks the link between unhealthy food and prizes."
Voting against the measure was Supervisor Donald Gage, who said parents should be responsible for their children.
Parents? What in the world is Gage talking about?
If only my parents had broken the link between all those unhealthy Cracker Jacks and the crappy little toys that came with them. I don't know that I would have learned to eat better, but I might have discouraged from a lifelong pursuit of the latest electronic gadgets, which, in the end, turn out to be just more crappy little toys.
It's a tragedy, by the way, what happened to Cracker Jacks. If you remember all those cool prizes when you were a kid -- the plastic rings and little cars, magnifying glasses, small figurines -- don't go buying a box and expecting a satisfying burst of nostalgic vibes. All they have these days are crappy little cartoons on crappy little pieces of paper. Probably some kid swallowed one of the plastic toys and his parent sued. As The Onion once put it, "Fun Toys Banned Because of Three Stupid Dead Kids." Now it's the Stupid Fat Kids spoling all our fun.