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December 10, 2010

This is the third installment in a 20-part series entitled, "Harmful Christmas Gift of the Day." I worked as a Picker of items at an Amazon.com processing warehouse for a good chunk of the holiday season, and the only thing I got out of it was a list of disturbing, harmful items parents are buying for their children (or each other) this Holiday. This article and many more at my site http://www.YeahHeDid.com! Today's item: Good Luck Mini Pigs!

Today's Harmful Christmas Gift of the Day is special in that it's not necessarily the item itself that needs to be addressed (though it absolutely does), but the quantity of the particular item. I'm not talking modest numbers... maybe 5... maybe 10... of this item. I'm talking hundreds. We'll get to that later.

Today's item is the Good Luck Mini Pig... or, rather, an entire giant farm's worth of good luck mini pigs... a tub of 192 to be exact. I guess you can never have too many. Here's a picture of a few of the little guys:

At this point, I think it's important to stress that I have no idea when it was decided that little hand-painted, "soft to the touch" pigs were a good luck charm. I always thought good luck only came in the form of a battered, filthy, and often disease-carrying penny you find face up on a sidewalk, one you quickly and worriedly picked up because you didn't want that cute next door neighbor girl of yours watching you scour the ground for some of the world's most useless currency... or in the form of an old, dried-out rabbit foot covered in brightly colored troll hair from the mid-1990's.

The person who was able to get these to become a symbol for good luck is extraordinary. Why little hand-painted pigs? Well, the only reason I can think of is that making these little guys was the man's only gift in life (an idiot savant of sorts), and he apparently had the clout, friends, or distribution network to get these things to sell. How? It's hard to say. I don't know the kinds of people that would support this. Either way, he's rich and I'm not. So I'll limit my judgement.

We're much more interested in the kind of person who is buying a giant tub of these things... 192 in all. 192 good luck mini pigs. The obvious guess is that he (we'll call him Peter) is buying these for all of his friends who either legitimately need good luck or need a cheap, "I'll do it because you're my friend" laugh. The biggest problem with this argument is the wildly unfounded assumption that somebody who believes this strongly in mini pigs has 191 friends (if one is for himself). I don't even have 192 friends that I'd be comfortable giving one of these to, and I've met a lot of people.

So who is he buying them for? Is it possible that they're all for him? That he's willing to fork over 75 bucks (I know. Ridiculous.) to be able to scatter these things all over his personal world (home, office, in-laws (assuming he's married. we probably shouldn't), car, etc)? How many is Peter bringing along with him when he goes out? When I was little, I used to stuff the pockets of my always too large, never too clean Miami Dolphins jacket (this was a longggg time ago I swear) with every little thing I owned right before I went out.

I was better at it than anyone else in the world. I took entire Star Wars star fleets to Little Caesars, and half the world's known Pokemon to Shop Rite (151 at the time. should have stayed that way. another rant for another day), Pokeball and all. But I never, ever got anywhere near the numbers we're talking here. It doesn't matter how large of a person you are, or how long, pocket-filled, and creepy your jacket is. You're not gonna be able to store 192 of these things on your person.

So what's Peter doing? Well, whatever the answer is, I don't think it's in his best interests, and I don't think it's healthy. My best guess is that Peter fills all of the major "love" and "friend" voids in his life with these little suckers. He thinks that the sheer numbers will make up for everything he's missed out on in life... that he'll be so overwhelmed by them that he won't even remember the fact that he hasn't had a real conversation with an real human being in two weeks... not counting the angry customer service phone call he made to Amazon when his pigs didn't arrive in 2 days like he expected.

It's not a stretch to assume that he's probably engaging in conversations with the pigs, and maybe even hosting weekly (or nightly) meetings with them, much like I did with my stuffed penguins on the long nights that I couldn't sleep when I was young. The major difference? I was 6. He's more than likely at least 35.

You've gotta give Peter a little credit though. At least the little lifeless, soulless, plastic toys he's buying have a good luck stigma attached to them. So you never know. With any luck, these things will be in a box on the top shelf of his bedroom closet by the end of the month, when he finally meets the girl of his dreams (Ramona) through a series of online singles database searches... knowing full well she'll leave him if and when she gets a glimpse at the dark, lonely, and altogether creepy road he walked on before he met his new love... one that wasn't full of decent women like Peter described in his Match.com profile... but was instead dominated by 192 identical little plastic mistakes he paid way too much for.

Peter: trust me. You've gotta make your own luck in this world... letting hundreds of under-paid, under-appreciated Chinese workers to do it for you (the inventor of these pigs has inevitably outsourced) is no substitute. Go out there and realize your dreams! Use the $75 to take that girl from work who you awkwardly meet eyes with and even run into sometimes out to dinner. Real company is a lot better than plastic company... even if you're not seeing the numbers you used to with your pigs. You only need one.

This article and many more at http://www.YeahHeDid.com!