Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day Card Haul 2009

Each year I forget, but then each year I am reminded that being a teacher on Valentine's Day sucks a fat one. The premise in and of itself is not at all threatening: Children bring cards and candy for each other. In practice, however, one is met with an entity that can only be described as Unlicensed Day Care Meets IRS.

Basically, there is no good way to organize this. It's not enough that thirty children have thirty things to pass out. Unlike a birthday treat, each item must be matched with an intended recipient. I believe the U.S. Postal Service has some sort of system in place to ensure that the right people are getting the right mail. This system has been honed and crafted over the course of two hundred years, beginning with one of the fathers of democracy, Benjamin Franklin. These kids have a plastic bag.

To get to the point, the passing out of valentines is a pressure cooker of a situation. Allowing small groups of students at a time to pass stuff out drags out an already painful stretch of time. Letting everyone distribute at once is asking for a free-for-all, the likes of which have not been witnessed since the Battle Royal that kicked off Wrestlemania IV. That's right, the one where Bad News Brown kicked Bret "The Hitman" Hart in the back of the head with his patented "Ghetto Blaster" move to clinch the victory.

Enough is enough. These are the "cards" I got.

1. Sassy Bunny. I hate this line of products. Anyone wearing one of these shirts deserves to get punched in the chest.

2. Toy Story. Are you fucking serious? How long have these been sitting on the shelf? What are you passing out next year, "Shirt Tales?"

3. Barbie. Promoting unrealistic expectations since 1959. How exactly does one celebrate the golden anniversary of oppression?

4. Some Sort of Monsters. I have no idea what this is. There's a large Hell's Angel horned monster, a basketball player, blue guy, and an ostrich with a palm tree for a head. When I was little I watched "Tom and Jerry."

5. A Hot Wheels Car. Due to the economic downturn, the resale value of this card has plummeted below the Blue Book quote.

6. TMNT. Excellent choice by the kid who gave me this one. Michaelangelo was the consensus choice for most kids from my era, just because of his nunchaku. If you were truly in the know, you would have realized that the katanas were the superior weapon, and your favorite turtle would have been Leonardo.

7. Dog Sticker Puzzle. Honestly. Do you think I have time for this?

8. Judging from various school paraphernalia I've seen, I'd say that this was The Jonas Brothers, Camp Rock, or possibly both. No matter what it officially is, a new level of horrible has been reached.

9. Sandman from Spiderman. A long, long, long time ago, I searched nearly every retail location in a fifteen mile radius on a quest for valentines pertaining to the NBC sitcom "Wings," but I came up empty. At long last, I can finally express my undying love with an image of Thomas Haden Church.

10. Darth Vader and R2-D2. These are both cool, but I am left feeling a little uneasy. I think it would be okay for a boy to give another boy the Vader valentine, but the text on that R2 card is wandering into a gray area.

11. Spiderman. And we end with a classic.

If you're interested, check out how this compares to last year. Only 364 days until next year's haul.


dayf said...

The monsters are from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. It's an interesting show, but I think the college stoner crowd likes it more than actual kids.

As for Barbie, yeah, she's a vapid bleach blonde bulimic richie rich sorority type girl who has probably had more work done on her than Joan Rivers to look like that at 50, but you know what?

She ain't Bratz.

--David said...

Er, well, actually Barbie (mattel) own Bratz now, too after the lawsuit with MCA. Wait.... I have no idea what I'm talking about.

I think the classic Toy Story was a nice touch... No basketball for you this year, though...

Kevin said...

As far as contemporary cartoons go, I've enjoyed some Foster's now and again. It beats the hell outta Spongebob.

I was always a Leonardo fan. Leonardo leads, after all. Donatello, OTOH, was a whiny bitch.