Posted by: laughs4dads | August 21, 2010

Laughs4Dads Weekend Update

Within the past week, there have been several news stories that relate to recent posts on this blog, so I thought I’d do this unscheduled post to keep my readers up to date, in case they really have nothing better to do.

Earlier this month I wrote about stocking up on supplies for the new school year. Now comes word from Tom Henderson on ParentDish that some financially-strapped schools have added a few things to the usual list, like toilet paper and hand sanitizer. It’s only a matter of time, then, before some company figures out a way to add these items into the new-fangled 3-ring binders that already resemble Swiss army knives:

“Announcing the new Super Duty, Majorly Deluxe, Awesomely Complete, Cyber Binder, with built-in retractable USB cable so you can plug it into your computer for no apparent reason; mini-speakers for your iPod; hands-free Bluetooth; mini toilet paper holder and Purell® pump. Oh, yes, and there may be a 3-ring binder in there someplace.”

Back in April, I wrote about some of the fancy (and expensive) baby strollers on the market (except they’re called “prams” so they can sound British and worth the money). Now comes word that the $400+ Zooper Tango Double Stroller is being recalled because of a faulty frame latch which, apparently, can cause the whole thing to collapse. Zooper, which is not a subsidiary of Toyota, is offering free repair kits which contain straps that can be wrapped around the frame to prevent it from an untimely demise, but which, to the uninitiated, sounds an awful like they’re basically holding the thing together with a large rubber band.

Finally, last month, I wrote about young entrepreneurs who are running successful online businesses selling pencil toppers. But in case I gave the wrong impression that cute decorations for quaint antique writing instruments are the only products with which children can make a killing, I give you Kieron Williamson of Great Britain, an 8-year-old who recently sold over $200,000 worth of his paintings.

Now, I’m no art critic, but, to me, the work on his website falls clearly into the “really, really good for an 8-year-old” category. Okay, it’s really, really much better than most adults could do, too, certainly someone like myself, who can’t even trace a recognizable picture.

But here’s the thing. They call Kieron a “mini-Monet,” but I think that calling him a “mini-Kincaide” might be more accurate, if less alliterative. I guess people are buying his stuff speculatively, in the hope that, when he becomes a grown-up artist selling limited edition light-up figurines and such, they’ll be able to proudly display his early work and say, “I discovered this guy before he was dabbling in collectible dinnerware.”

But I would question the wisdom of lining up to pay thousands of dollars for paintings by an artist who has been quoted as saying, “Cows are the easiest thing to paint. You don’t have to worry about doing so much detail.”



  1. Have you heard about the school that is selling advertising space on lockers to generate revenue? Up next… ads on overhead storage bins on airplanes!

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