Zack's Anger Diary: Build-a-Bear Hell

Dear Diary …

I’m all about making this world a better place. So this is a teaching moment. Cuz you are doing it wrong, and I’m gonna teach you how to stop doing that. And this time … you mean well … but you’re screwing it up … so I’m gonna help you.

See … cuz … I have kids. And most of you that I’m trying to help … you don’t have kids. And you’re buying things for my kids … which I’m totally appreciative of … but you’re buying them the complete wrong things. I thank you for your generosity, but I’d also like it if your generosity didn’t turn into a big fat headache for me.

So … here’s the three things that you non-kid havers shouldn’t be buying for kids …

1) Anything loud or messy.

This is pretty self explanatory. Musical instruments, moon sand, Play Dough … ugh Play Dough. That’s the one you think “Oh I LOVED Play Dough as a kid!” … I stupidly thought that myself when I bought my daughter the Play Dough Burger Maker, and was then tortured with all that dried up nastiness stuck in the fibers of my carpet. And then I thought about, all my memories of Play Dough as a kid come from like … one experience. And then I figured out why … I played with the Play Dough Burger Maker one time, and then my parents threw that monstrosity in the garbage and I never used it again.

2) Things that take batteries.

You know me, Diary. I have a long-documented hate of toys that require batteries because they use to many of them and they die too quickly. No batteries!

… and this is the big one …

3) Gift cards.

Now I know what you non-kid havers are thinking “That doesn’t make any sense. A gift card is PERFECT because then they kid can get exactly what they want!”

Yeah well … you’re wrong.

Because the first thing a gift card does is make the child hate every single toy they currently own.

My daughter has too much stuff as it is … and on her birthday she got even more stuff. So now she really she NEEDS nothing. Problem is, somebody gave her a Build-a-Bear gift card. So now that’s all her little brain was focused on … “When do I get to go to Build-a-Bear to use my gift card?”

I’m still cleaning up the carnage of your birthday party. You’re surrounded by an orgy of toys … hundreds of dollars of toys. This should be enough for you!

“Yeah … but when do I get to go to Build a Bear to use my gift card?”

And then the extra problem … Non-kid haver says “Oh they can get anything they want” … Yeah well I can guarantee you this … whatever they want costs more than whatever you gave them.

$20 to Build-a-Bear … That’s like giving somebody a $100 gift card good toward the purchase of ... oh ... an entire house.

$20 gets you nothin'. It might as well say “Guaranteed headache for Daddy” on it instead of gift card.

Look … I applaud these people for coming up with amazingly successful businesses … but when they depart this Earth, I confess that at least part of me hopes they end up in a place where they get attached to one of those giant Build a Bear tubes, and they gotta put their mouth on that tube, and then all that stuffing just BRRRMMMP right into their insides with that machine. And all the while with that awful loud Build-a-Bear music blaring into their skulls.

Diary … they sell underwear there. For bears!

Poor kids in Africa don’t have food, meanwhile we buy underwear for stuffed animals with our Build-a-Bear gift cards.


Oh and let’s not forget … you got a gift card for my one kid. But I got two kids … and my son is three … so the explanation “Well you don’ get anything because you don’t have a gift card of your own.” Yeah … that’s never gonna work.

So now I gotta buy him something. And he’s in full sensory overload in this explosion toys and goodies. Practically foaming at the mouth. And they’re too stinkin’ nice there! He picks out a bear, fills it, brushes it’s hair … because, yes, they have beauty stations ... and then completely changes his mind as we’re going to pay.

"Oh that’s OK sir … We’re happy to accommodate your child whenever he changes his mind."

Don’t do that! Now he’s just gonna think he can change his mind for the rest of his life ... at the register, in the parking lot, at home the next day. No!

You’re like the grandparents of stores. Mommy and Daddy try to do the right thing, get the kids to eat his vegetables, and then you just fill ‘em full of candy when we aren’t looking.

You see what your gift card does to us? Now I’ve got a sobbing child, writhing around on the floor of Build-a-Bear. Happy Birthday!

Till next time Diary, I say goodbye.