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5:52 a.m. - 2005-11-21


Every year, we do this thing called Operation Christmas Child which those of you with a single compassionate bone in your body may have heard of.

Basically, you fill up a shoebox full of gifts and necessities, take it to the church and they send these shoeboxes off to those parts of the world where flies and bugs are constantly swarming around children's eyes while they stare into a TV camera and a guy says "Please help".

And when I say "we" do it ... this is actually Susie's project.

This year she did four shoeboxes ... two boys and two girls.

So while she was putting the boxes together yesterday, I decided to peek in and see what all she was packing in there.

First off ... she means well. She really does. As much crap as I give the woman here at times, she's got a good heart and cares about her fellow man.

That said ... PIXY STIX?!?

I can only imagine ... one of these kids who hasn't eaten anything more appetizing than dirt in the last year getting a Pixy Stick in their hand.

First off, they have no clue what this is.

They shake it.

They play with it.

Then ... finally ... several days after receiving the shoebox, a Pixy Stick gets accidentally torn.

A colorful powder starts falling out of it and hitting the desert floor below them.

The kids have no idea what this is.

Finally, somebody gets brave and dives head first into the sugary goodness in the dirt.

They come back up, all wild eyed and frantic because this is the first time they've ever tasted sugar.

They're in Heaven.

But ... there's only 3 Pixy Stix in the shoebox.

They rip open the last two straws and down the powder.


Hope you enjoyed it kid, because there's no more where that came from.

Then she packed in the glow stick necklaces and bracelets.

I'm guessing that it won't take long for the kids to figure this one out because there's pictures on the packages of kids wearing these as necklaces and bracelets.

And once they begin to bend the sticks to conform to their tiny little pencil necks, the glow stuff inside will break and start to glow.


Cool glow sticks!!

And the kids will stay up all night, running around in the desert as their glow stick provides a beacon of light in the otherwise pitch-black desert.

Then ... the next day.

These glow sticks only last a few hours.

The glow stick will be dead.

The child will be devastated.

The people of the village will think the child did some sort of voodoo on the necklace and killed their only light.

They will stone the child to death for being a devil's child.

I tried to explain this to Susie with the use of graphs and maps and neon-colored rubber bands to act as glow stick bracelets.

"They'll be fine," she snorted.

"No. No they won't," I tried to reason. "These people ... they'll declare a Jihad on us or something."

"You're thinking too much into this," she said.

"Am I?" I asked in a high pitch tone. "I'm thinking that these kids don't get shit all year long except for a shoebox at Christmas time and this year they get glow sticks that give them a beacon of hope that someday they'll get to snort cocaine off the toilet tank of some trendy Manhattan bar, leave the bathroom totally buzzed and the DJ will throw them more glow necklaces to wear on the dancefloor under a huge black light while they dance until they drop ... and within hours that dream is snuffed out by these Dollar Tree glow sticks."

She removed the glow sticks from the boxes.

Andrew and I had a blast with them last night.

Playing the new Madonna CD at full blast while snorting Pixy Stix off the back of the toilet tank and waving our neon necklaces above our heads.

Susie also got the kids crayons and coloring books.

And while this sounds like a good idea on the surface, the coloring books she got them were all Christmas-related.

So they now have books full of pictures of little kids getting bicycles and dolls and XBox 360s under a decorative festive tree in a comfortable house near a fireplace.


Meanwhile, these kids are getting toothbrushes and nail clippers.

I'm sure the kids will name their nail clippers something like "X!Cha" or "Zboogoo" and go to sleep with the nail clippers next to them on their bed of broken bricks.

But they'll be dreaming of moving to America where someday they can have a bicycle in a color other than brown because everything they own is brown and then they can grow up and do cocaine in the bathroom of trendy Manhattan bars.

And that's what this project is all about ... giving the kids hope.

God bless America.

And Finland.

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