Children are really, really dumb—and this is why parents have to be dicks about certain things. Toys, for example. Seriously, your average eight-year-old will stick a lit flare in his mouth given half the opportunity, and most toy manufacturers are more than happy to capitalize on this sad fact. That's why, in the interest of "child safety," the Mercury presents our annual list of the most inappropriate toys for 2006, and... and... BILLY! You take that filthy syringe out of your mouth... RIGHT... NOW!
#10. A BALLOON
In case you're just joining us, "a balloon" can be super dangerous and wildly inappropriate. Case in point: I was once a "donkey" for the Medellín drug cartel. They hired me to smuggle heroin across the border, but unbeknownst to me, the smack is placed inside a balloon, which is then placed inside the donkey's (my) anus. Well, let me tell you! A lot of things can go wrong inside the anus, and if a defective balloon filled with heroin is stuck up inside there? Things can get very ugly, very quickly. I'm not saying kids shouldn't get balloons. I'm just saying it's a good idea to keep a plunger handy.
#9. BOW AND ARROW
I've found that a "bow and arrow" set is not only dangerous, but a very inappropriate gift—especially when given to a Native American child. As it turns out, their people are still really sore about the whole "stealing-their-land-and-infecting-them-with-smallpox" thing, and while these arrows may have rubber tips, they can be readily removed, and the shafts sharpened to a razor point that can easily penetrate the eyeball of a honky westward expansionist. See also #13 on our list: "Tomahawks."
#8. MEDICAL CART AND KIT
Picture the following scenario: You are once again sleeping off a hangover, when your nine-year-old sees you and starts screaming at the top of his lungs, "CODE BLUE! CODE BLUE!" Before you know it, the little shit has ripped open your shirt, hooked you up to a pretend EKG and is "shocking" you with his pretend paddles. Cute, huh? Well, it's not so cute when he decides to crack open your ribs, and perform a non-pretend emergency bypass. And since he's your kid? YOU'RE responsible for his malpractice insurance! That's fucked.
#7. VENTRILOQUIST PUPPET
Is that the creepiest thing you've ever seen, or what? Give this to your kid on Christmas and you might as well throw in 30 years of therapy.
#6. DORA THE EXPLORER AQUAPET
Hmmm... this toy reminds me of something, but I can't quite put my finger on it. Oh! Yes, I recognize it... IT'S MY PENIS. Look, I don't know what this "Dora" person intends on "exploring," but it's not going to be the vagina of my daughter, that's for goddamn sure! If she wants a small, ineffective penis, she can wait until she's MARRIED—just like her mother did.
#5. B GIRLZ ETHNIC TALKING DOLL
While "ethnicity" in and of itself is not inappropriate, this doll is advertised as saying "over 100 phrases"—which will undoubtedly include, "Oh, no you didn't," "Bitch, I will kick the bulimia out of your ass," and "Girls with booty like mine do not talk to boys with faces like yours."
#4. LI'L TATTOO ARTIST
This mini-airbrush machine allows kids to design their own tattoos. So where's the machine that encourages them to go to college and not stick a half pound of metal into their face?
#3. MOTORCYCLE DRESS UP
Call me "old-fashioned," but I believe you should sleep with someone of your own sex before declaring yourself "gay." (See item #6 for stocking stuffer suggestion.)
#2. ROBOSAPIEN V2
Okay, this one is freaking horrifying. This two-foot-tall robot "responds verbally to environmental stimuli," "bends, sits, stands, lies down, and shows his 'martial art' skills"—AND GET THIS—is "capable of autonomous behavior." WHAT THE EFF?? In case you were dozing during that last part, "capable of autonomous behavior" is shorthand for mysteriously activating itself in the middle of the night, stabbing the parents while they sleep, and then bringing to life everything director James Cameron imagined in the Terminator movies. I say we round up every last one of these goddamn robots and drop them in a vat of molten metal—NOW.
#1. VIP AIRLINER
Oh, this toy isn't inappropriate—if you're OSAMA BIN LADEN. Imagine if you will, this humongous remote-control airliner with a 55-inch wingspan and a multi-function transmitter in the hands of a neighborhood bully or Islamic fundamentalist-in-training. If you're lucky, someone's tree house will be demolished. If not, 12/25 will be the new 9/11. For the love of god, people! When toys like this show up underneath the tree? THE TERRORISTS HAVE WON.