This is what all those pennies you gave on Halloween went towards

9 Nov

One detail that sticks out in my mind from Judy Blume’s “Blubber” is the UNICEF box Jill takes with her trick-or-treating with her BF Tracy (who is a gorgeous Big Bird). I had no idea at the time what this was but figured out enough to know it was akin to the Jewish National Fund blue and white tin boxes they went home with us in kindergarten to fill with pennies to buy trees in Israel. As a result, as a child I lived under the distinct impression that Israel was one forest. With orange trees and the Wailing Wall stuck somewhere amidst the greenery. However, they were all really small trees because we had all just recently planted them, as proved by the coveted “A Tree Was Planted in Israel in Honor of You” certificate that my father still has somewhere in his piles of junk along with letters I wrote from camp.

Back to “Blubber” and UNICEF boxes. This stuck out in my head because what kind of kid asks for charity when bagging huge amounts of candy? I figured Jill must be a really nice girl with parents who were raising her with better morals than my parents were if she took a box for pennies for poor international kids with her on freaking HALLOWEEN! It was like asking for cans of soup for your birthday to donate to the food pantry. So nice, right? Well, UFB has recently discovered what UNICEF was doing with all those pennies good folk donated back before Halloween got ruined by razor blades and Tylenol. The cold hard truth lies here:


Poor people are so much more deserving of sympathy when they are cute and helpless...and too short to hold a gun properly...yet.

 No, you are right: I am going to hell for thinking making fun of the United Nations attempt to help children get things like basic health care and education and a photo op with Angelina Jolie. Wouldn’t be the first time. It looks so benign, but just open the floodgates…


unesco 1

A lighthearted romp through the brutalities UNICEF works to eradicate.

 There’s a balloon missing. What is UNICEF providing struggling countries with that we don’t see here????


unesco 2

We come in peace, in the name of future trade agreements that will benefit us far more than you.

 POISON! That’s what we forgot to include in the birthday balloon bouquet for developing nations! Oh, man, look at how TRUSTING and SIMPLE and PURE those villagers look! They look deserving of your pennies, people. And of pesticides that will require you to shell out more shekels later to treat the cancer-ridden village. But, wait! There’s more!


unesco 3

Our plans are succeeding! More young men are being made sterile from poisons used to render their crops inedible, forcing them to buy food from us!

Miss Johnson cried so hard from that crazy bracelet they gave her, mostly because she was hoping one of the young mothers would give her one of their babies instead. Angelina and Brad have the CUTEST accessory baby and she wanted one, too. Plus, she’s pretty sure the case of the runs she has is from the village elders cursing the bracelet since she’s been coming between tradition with her new ideas. I wouldn’t be surprised if the “girls” they refer to are in their 70s.


Okay, okay, this was in general a very nice book to teach privileged kids about life beyond white picket fences and how their pennies can translate into stuff like polio shots. Which ARE very important (especially since kids still get it in India today among other places). But can you blame us for noticing a tiny little thing like DDT???!!!! You do? Oh, try us later this week.


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