Why our Kids will Never Amount to Anything

Have you ever checked out the prizes in Cracker Jack lately?    Look at what I got the other day…


It’s a sticker that you’re supposed to put on your light switch.  Apparently, this is supposed to be “fun”.

Lamest.    Prize.    Ever.

When I was a kid, Cracker Jack used to give out magnifying glasses, whistles, small toys, mazes, tiny guns, etc.  

Now THOSE were prizes.

But a scrap of paper…?   I’m sorry, that is NOT a prize.  

That’s just STUPID.

I feel sorry for today’s kids.  In our Politically-Correct, sanitized, safety-oriented lawsuit-ridden society, we’ve become so fearful that we won’t even allow our kids the joy of finding a small prize in a box of candy.  (God forbid should little Damien choke on the small parts and sue the company!)

Our parents and grandparents grew up with bottle rockets, cap-guns, candy cigarettes, violent cartoons, fire-crackers, slingshots…AND Cracker Jack toys.   They were allowed to experience life, discover things on their own, and they learned to cope with danger and risk. 

And look at what they accomplished.  Our grandparents invaded the beaches of Normandy and pushed back the Nazis, and our parents put a man on the moon.

Meanwhile, we give little Kaylee and little Joshua lame-ass stickers to put them on their light-switches. 

What the hell is THAT supposed to teach them?   

Besides, what self-respecting kid would actually even want to DO that?

I weep for the next generation.






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18 Comments on “Why our Kids will Never Amount to Anything”

  1. Ellen Wilson Says:

    The only reason I weep for the next generation is they seem to full of self absorbed creatures. Of course I felt that way about my generation in the Reagan ’80’s era.

    Man, I love Cracker Jack! I don’t remember getting magnifying glasses, though.

    And I loved my animal crackers. The little zoo box, remember?

  2. Friar Says:


    I love Cracker Jack, but it’s not quite as good as it used to be. The corn is now all the same size, perfectly spherical. It’s like it’s genetically engineered or something. And they’ve cut back on the caramel coating.

    When I was five, I remember there was a magnifying glass/whistel toy. Almost every kid on the street had one. It was fairly big, too, and you could start fires with the lens.

    Those were the days.

    Never had animal crackers much. I knew of them..but Mom didnt’ buy them much (she was too much into nutrition).

  3. Matt Tuley Says:

    No kidding. And our stuff had even gotten pretty lame. I realized this when my grandother showed me some of the toys they got in Cracker Jack when she was a kid. Toy cars made of metal, metal figures (she had a pilot)… Amazing. I think it’s less about letigation and more about boosting the bottom line. Gotta keep the shareholders happy. Sad.

  4. Friar Says:

    I dunno. I’m wondering if it’s the nanny-state mentality about preventing kids from not choking, or being afraid of getting sued if the kids choke. Because you don’t get small toys in cereal boxes either.

    Man..that would have been really cool to see your Grandma’s Cracker Jack toys. (Imagine getting prizes so cool that you would actually save them for that many years!)

    Wonder if today’s kids will be showing their lame-ass light switch stickers to their grandkids, 50 years from now! 🙂

  5. steph Says:

    I’m with you on this. Considering how babied kids are these days, how ever did we survive?

  6. Friar Says:


    I think we were the last generation to be able to ride bikes without helmets, build tree forts, play with sharp objects and scrape our knees.

    I feel sorry for today’s kids. They look at their Arthur and Caillou cartoons and laugh, but they just dont’ realize how much things SUCK compared to when we were young.

    When I was 8 years old, my Uncle gave me a slingshot to play with and a pack of firecrackers. That had to be one of the most FUN WEEKENDS of my childhood.

    (Especially if you combine the two, using the slingshot to launch a lit firecracker).

    Yet somehow I survived and managed to not blow myself up!

    Yeah, THAT was fun. (Imagine doing something like that today, though)!

  7. Ellen Wilson Says:

    @Matt- I’m sure the Cracker Jack toys are made in China now.

    Funniest thing I have ever seen and I want to get one: Chinese blackmarket workers making Snoopy t-shirts. They spelled it “Spoony.” I love that! Haaa! Spoony.

  8. steph Says:

    Friar: Yes, and we had BB guns and toys with small pieces and climbed trees and ate copious amounts of peanut butter (and pop rockets and fun dip) and played in ditches and gravel pits. We rollerskated with no protection and swung upside down from monkey bars. We broke bones and banged heads and got stitches and had crutches. We were not pandered to and we knew our place and if we forgot we got the strap.

    Ah. The good ol’ days, when surviving was actually SURVIVING.

  9. Friar Says:


    Oh, yeah. Peanut butter (you were still allowed to bring that to school back then!)

    Pop rocks and Fun Dip. (Hey, you can still buy that in some well-stocked convenience stores).

    Do you remember when swings were made of WOOD? And you could swing so high the chain would go limp, and you’d experience a brief moment of zero-G?

    Can’t do that today, with the hip-crushing leather strap swings they have.

    Man, those were the days. When playground were DANGEROUS!

  10. steph Says:

    Oh my God, I TOtally remember that zero G feeling, accompanied by the wicked jolt you got when you came back down!! And dragging your legs in the sand while hanging on for dear life to the metal merry-go-round when it was going to fast to keep up with, and finally being able to hop on, and then trying hard not to go flying off. Man, we’d crash to the ground after jumping off, and stay there, just to regain equilibrium. And remember those hard-ass metal teeter-totters, and almost flying over the handles when your friend hit the ground? Ouch! and WHEEEEEEE!!!

    PS. Do you remember Kisko freezies? The huge wide ones with the straw up the side? Did we eat those! Too much sugar nowadays, I imagine. I can’t even find them on google!

  11. Friar Says:

    Those merry-go-round were AWESOME..especially if you cajolled an adult into spinning it for you. Once, my Dad just went haywire and started spinning it as fast as he could. Holy crap, we kids were terrified and were hanging on for dear life, but we were also screaming with delight. Now THAT was a ride!

    And every kid learned about the teetor-totters the hard way. At least ONCE in your life, some little prick would jump off the teetor-totter and you’d SLAM into the ground and hit hard. (It was part of growing up…you learned who you could trust and who you couldn’t).

    Havent’ seen those monster Cisco freezies any more….I guess you’d have to eat several of the medium sized ones. (The fluorescent blue ones will turn your poo green, if I recall).

  12. It’s funny you say this about the younger generation today. I’ve had a similar discussion with hubby the other day and we both feel sorry for the kids today. They have much more pressure to deal with and have forgotten to how to be kids when they are 13.

    Sex, drugs, fashion, you name it, but not everything that shines really is good for such a young person who STILL is a damn child.

    At least when we were kids we were allowed to be. Heck, I played with leggo’s still when I was 16 and am not afraid to tell. Today, kids with 16 are first time mothers and dad’s. All I say is no thanks but thanks, no kids for me.

  13. Friar Says:


    Hey, I did legos too…well into my teens (I still like the play with them if my nephews will share their toys with me).

    You’re right..today’s kids can’t be kids. They’re not allowed to play and have fun..but they’re exposed to sleazy pop stars, and sex and drugs before they even enter high school. You wonder how they’re going to turn out when they’re 18.

  14. […] the Captain, too! As a follow-up to my rant about Crack Jack , I’ve realized they’ve stopped giving toy prizes with cereal too.  (When was the […]

  15. @ Friar: exactly. When I venture out into the shops on occasions I’m consistently confronted with the youth today and the picture isn’t pretty to say the least.

    Kids barely old enough to recite the alphabet stick their tongues down each others throats, smoke, dress like death, smoke dope and what not. Unfortunately the balance between those who do grow up as healthy young teenagers seems to be in dis-favor of the force.

    The dark force prevails wherever we look these days and to think that I would have to raise a kid that will stay “normal” is a bleak idea to say the least. I feel sorry for them as peer pressure really makes them act like idiots and the law doesn’t help as respect is a commodity that happened in bygone days. Even teachers can’t reprimand kids anymore for fear of legal issues, let alone the parents.

  16. Friar Says:


    When Rock and Roll came out in the 1950’s, parents were upset that it would ruin the kids and turn them all into deliquents. It was the end of the world as we know it.

    Blue Suede Shoes, and Peggy Sue. Oh, my. Terrible, isnt’ it?

    I wonder what those same people would think, if they were suddenly transported into the year 2008, and saw all the skanky pop stars, sex on TV and 10 year old girls trying to look like they’re 18? They’d probably think we had descended into hell.

    On one hand, we dont’ let kids be kids, and on the other hand, they’re exposed to all kinds of adult garbage.

    I wonder what our society is coming to? (But my parents probably said that..and today’s kids will probably be saying that in 30 years).

  17. 6 Weeks Says:

    […] Today we have a nice piece of artwork from our friend, the Friar.  I’m guessing that this one was the inspiration for his post about why our kids will never amount to anything. […]

  18. […] chokes on a small toy, remove any fun prizes from CrackerJack or cereal boxes.  Replace them with cheapo-stickers and lame-ass […]

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