I remember when I was a kid, one of the 'cool' things you could buy at 7-11 was a pack of fake cigarettes - they were candy/gum cigarette-looking things that emitted a dust cloud of sugar when you blew in the them. Sad, and ultimately disgusting, I know - but we wanted to be like out parents! In time, some parents started to get the idea that smoking in front of their kids (or sending their 10 year olds into the Mobil station to pick up a carton of Marlboro reds - thanks Dad!) was probably not sending the best of signals.
Now, I just ran across this product in my local 7-11: The "My Very Own Berry Assistant" from Novelty Inc.
The copy for the product on the Novelty Liquidators site (where you can buy 12 of them for $9 - load up now for birthdays and holidays!) says:
"Toy Berry Assistant that looks just like Mom & Dad's"
This is bad, folks. Our parent's generation taught us how to kill ourselves by eating poorly, smoking and not exercising. We're feeding our kids tofu, banning the world of smoke and signing them up for baby gymnastics - but it will all be for nothing if they end up having work-stress-related heart attacks when they are 12.
So, next time you get the urge to type out a message while sitting at the dinner table, use this litmus test: would you smoke a cigarette right now? If not, then put away the pda and spend some quality time with your kids. You'll all live longer (and you can always sneak the email in outside on the porch once the kids go to bed).