Rich K., here to fight for you, the consumer, during sweeps week!
How ya doing, Kansas City? This is Rich K, Something Awful's leading investigative correspondent, the only Internet journalist with enough guts to launch hard-hitting reports into what really matters. I'm here to protect you, to protect your family, to protect your pets and your pets' children from those evil corporate fatcats who willingly endanger you just to pad their bloated pockets with ill-gotten gains. I'm not afraid to ask the questions that need to be asked; I'd storm into the Whitehouse shrieking and screaming like a madman if I thought it could protect you, the viewers. I'd even agree to wear pants if I thought it would conceivably make a difference.
I'm back from my six-month forced hiatus off SATV (Something Awful Television), and I'm ready as heck to start causing a ruckus and fighting for your rights today, the middle of television's sweeps week. Yes, that's correct, I'm here to once again dig in my talons of integrity and seize the inside scoop on everyday products you, the average consumer, have lying around your home, unaware they could SPONTANEOUSLY KILL YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN AS YOU SLEEP. I'm a scambuster, I'm a crime-fighter, I'm a guy who isn't afraid to put it all on the line and get to the bottom of things. I've single handedly saved millions of people thanks to my previous groundbreaking reports, which I have typed in bold print to emphasis the fact I know how to use the bold print tag:
Oxygen: Nature's Invisible Killer
Roofing Tar: Nature's Visible Killer
Church Stained Glass Windows: Nature's Translucent Killer
Serial Killers: Nature's Serial Killers
In the wake of all this horrible Hurricane Katrina tragedy, the war in Iraq, and the recent coup of the Atlantis government, I have decided to once again focus my attention on what really matters: protecting America's children. It's been my goal from day one to make sure every parent of every household in America can rest easy at night, knowing I'm out there discovering hundreds of thousands of invisible, common, silent, deadly killers swarming around us like... like a beekeeper who just fell into a vat of honey and while this really didn't immediately irritate all the bees around him, he got a bunch of honey in his eyes and then he walked into a wasp's nest and then all the wasps attacked him and maybe also there was a farmer who was growing wasps and thought the guy was trying to steal his wasp crop so he grabbed a pitchfork and started stabbing him as well.
I've blown the lid off countless shocking scandals that rocked America. I, Rich K., publicized an illegal fatcat furniture scam during my segment entitled, "Sit Back, Relax... AND DIE." I was the first (and only) reporter to reveal Charmin toilet paper's ability to catch fire and burn you to death if you happened to accidentally go to the bathroom on a lit stove. I led the lawsuit against Nestle when their vile "Nestle Crunch" candy bar failed to include a warning explicitly stating, "NEVER USE THIS CANDY BAR AS AN ENEMA KIT, PARTICULARLY AFTER YOU'VE DRIVEN NUMEROUS TOOTHPICKS AND RUSTY SCREWS THROUGH IT." When America wants justice, America looks to Rich K., and I deliver. And justice sure as heck doesn't care about adding that stupid "é" character in the word "Nestle," because that lame crap is for spineless wimps who drive Geos and use the Metric system.
A recent reader tip sent shivers down my spine, as they insinuated a "learning" toy constructed for children may actually be a LIFE-THREATENING HAZARD CAPABLE OF DESTROYING COUNTLESS LIVES. I immediately phoned my editor to relay this hot tip, but the automated voice on the phone suggested he was not in the office at the moment, and additionally went on to explain his pet grooming store's operating hours range from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Fearlessly, I trekked ahead alone, confident that my relentless pursuit of truth and justice could not be stopped by any corporate strong-arming, corrupt politicians, voices of reason, or countless restraining orders which I refuse to read because they aren't printed on the backs of paint store receipts. After searching from shop to shop, I was finally able to track down an establishment possessing lax enough security to obtain the "learning" toy in question. Ladies and gentlemen, you may want to brace yourself for what I'm about to reveal.
THE LEAPSTART LEARNING GYM
This so-called "Leapstart Learning Gym," manufactured by a company named "Leapfrog," is being sold to our children, and our children's children, and our children's children's children (if they are really slutty). This toy seems innocent enough, doesn't it? A quick look at the company's website, which I can't locate right now because my brain is overflowing with PURE JUSTICE and this sometimes interferes with my BASIC MOTOR SKILLS and ability to STOP SHRIEKING EVERY TIME I TOUCH A PEACH, states the following:
This interactive learning toy will grow along with your infant. There are two modes: one for infants and "lie-down" play and the other for older babies and "sitting-up" play. Lie-down play consists of a musical mode and a learning mode.
The word "lie" appeared in that description TWICE. Also note the ludicrous claim, "this interactive learning toy will grow along with your infant." You know what else grows with infants? That's right: intestinal parasites.
To you consumers not as familiar with raw, hallucinogenic American justice as myself, you may ignorantly view this toy as a fun and educational resource for any newborn. Sure, the blinking lights and soothing music may entertain young Baby Marmalade, but are you aware of life-threatening dangers this hulking, twisted knot of corrugated plastic conceals? I carried the Leapstart Learning Gym into the SATV Investigative UltraLab NewsWatch Smart Station 2000, and after convincing my wife to back the Ford Taurus out of my workspace, I was able to properly dissect and analyze it. The results may shock and horrify you. They may also horrifyingly shock you, like you just got struck by lightening while being chased by a vampire, and not those gay vampires in Danielle Steel novels who spend 600 pages sauntering around and whining about forbidden romance.
Let's take a closer look at the Leapstart Learning Gym and detail the numerous ways it can destroy your child, both physically and mentally.
1) Two push buttons depicting images of the sun and moon. You know what other culture drew pictures of crap like this everywhere? The ancient Aztecs, that's who. Or maybe the Mayans. I don't know, is there even any difference between the two? They're both dead. So if you support your child joining an extinct South American cult who worshipped pagan gods and believed in ludicrous notions such as "really big statues of dogs or whatever they built outside of their huts," then go ahead and toss your baby under one of these contraptions.
It should also be noted that, upon pressing either the sun or moon button, the time of day did not abruptly shift accordingly. What is this supposed to teach our children? The futile, hopeless nature of wasted ambition? Great thinking, Leapfrog! What a tremendously rewarding learning experience! Why don't you add a button labeled "FREE GOLD" and then when the baby presses it, a giant brick flies out and crushes their face. At least that will teach them a lesson about the real world.
2) A spinning globe. This one is just ridiculous; the Earth is at least 40 times bigger than this thing here. Why bother putting it in your so-called "educational" toy if it's completely inaccurate? I don't want our children growing up thinking the Earth is the size of a softball and contains absolutely NO cloud coverage or magnetic poles. To add insult to injury, the globe can be spun in various directions, allowing the child the chance to "play God." Don't be surprised if the next gift your baby requests is a Dungeons and Dragons fantasy book. The intoxicating power will lead your child straight to the Cult of Satan (for more information, please watch my exposé entitled, "Have Satanists Infiltrated the Arby's On 14th Street?").I'm not afraid of the bigwigs or the fatcats!
3) Some kind of lusty female frog with questionable motives. She appears to be holding two very large condoms in her hands, an absolutely disgusting display of abhorrent behavior. Babies younger than three months should not be exposed to some warped company's views on birth control! I touched on this fact during my recent segment, "Are Traffic Signs Promoting Sexual Promiscuity?" Many infants lack the skills to even apply condoms; when I handed a pack of Trojans to the baby down the street, he just kind of stared at them and then started crying! Luckily the police showed up to arrest the baby for being really loud, and they safely escorted me away.
4) A star button. Upon pressing this, a really loud whirring sound is produced. What is the point? How does this teach anything? I'll tell you what it teaches: IT SUGGESTS SATAN IS THE ONE TRUE GOD. Think about it; a star inside a circle? That, my friends, is a pentagram, and pentagrams are the symbols Dungeons and Dragons players use to summon magic elves inside the Bags of Holding. If Leapfrog was truly concerned with teaching our children, they would make it so that, upon pressing the evil Satanic pentagram button, 10,000 volts of electricity would course through the infant's flailing corpse while a really loud voice proclaims, "JESUS IS LORD."
5) A big red pill which shows numbers and animals. The pharmaceutical industry, eternally pushing designer drugs down our throats and attempting to overmedicate America (as shown in my report, "Is Pfizer Spiking Orange Juice With Zoloft?") has convinced Leapfrog to prominently place an outrageously large capsule on their "learning toy." Tell me Leapfrog, why is "learning to solve all your problems by taking drugs" something our children really need to know? And while we're asking questions, tell me why this red pill contains images of elephants, seals, and tigers? Why do you want our kids, the leaders of tomorrow, swallowing endangered species? This wasteful, disgusting outlook probably has some direct connection with the depleting rainforests and disintegrating ozone layer and that stupid whirlpool from Ultima V which sucked you into the Underworld and forced you to battle corpsers.
6) A carousel of plastic instruments which rotates clockwise. This may not initially seem harmless... at until you consider a few facts. What if the plastic instruments were knives? And what if the plastic carousel was barbed wire? And what if the motor causing it to rotate was instead a huge drill press which drove into the ground at hundreds of thousands of miles an hour? Do you really want your child to play with such a toy? If you caught my broadcast, "Disney World: Harmless Theme Park, or Dangerous Minefield of Broken Glass and Jagged Shards of Infected Death?" then you'll invariably know what I'm talking about.
7) A speaker which emits select music and speech. Out of all the potential hazards, I can safely proclaim this one offended me the greatest. Who is in a position to decide what sounds America's children should or should not listen? How do we raise our kids when corporations brainwash them with hypnotic signals and commands to purchase lip balm and wart removal cream? Although I could not personally hear the audio produced from the unit (the doctors said I lost 99.5% of my hearing as a direct result of my investigative report "Why Won't the FAA Let You Stand Directly Behind Airplanes When They Take Off?"), I sensed a repetitive rhythm, perhaps one used to induce a trance-like state in the child? Then I heard something which sounded like "(something something something) milk rodeo (something) the (something) best tube." What does this mean? If I, a grown adult, cannot decipher it, how can anybody expect a young childlike baby in its infancy to understand such a thing?
If this analysis wasn't convincing enough, let's take a look at the so-called "educational toy" in action. I was able to obtain a baby through my "connections" in the black market "having sex and then having your wife squeeze a living creature out of her vagina" industry. I used her (the baby, not my wife) as a test subject, to see how she reacted to the Leapstart Learning Gym. The results will make you vomit in terror.
Baby Lauren appeared to initially enjoy herself and the pagan, mind-controlling rhymes of chaos Leapfrog's contraption produced. Unfortunately, this joy quickly transformed into pure abject horror, as the Leapstart Learning Gym succumbed to the evil, vile intentions of its creators. Behold the unspeakable terror Leapfrog's masterpiece created:
THE UNIT FLIPPED OVER, INSTANTLY CRUSHING OUR BABY AND MUTILATING HER SKULL INTO A SUBSTANCE WHICH RESEMBLED GROUND BEEF. Also I have been instructed by SATV's lawyers that this event never actually happened, and the photo is just an artist's representation of what may have actually happened if the events in my mind were somehow able to materialize like in that one episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles where Krang had that helmet which made all his wishes come true, but he just kinda ended up wishing for really stupid crap like nice tablewear and the sheet music for "Rosanna" by Toto. But it could've, and that's what truly matters here.
Okay, my producer giving me that signal which means I should wrap up my report now, especially since his aim is improving and it really hurts when I get hit in the face by a phone book. Before I go, I'd like to offer my final, conclusive proof that the Leapstart Learning Gym is an evil, horrible piece of fabricated death that should be avoided at all costs. Please take a look at this side-by-side comparison:
Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen.
Boats! They're great. But what should we name them? Let's find out...
The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.