The eagle-eyed inspectors at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection have prevented Houston from suffering a scourge of unimaginable proportions: clacker balls.
You may be too young to remember, but an entire generation of baby boomers was almost wiped out by playing with clacker balls, two balls on opposite ends of a small rope that, ummm, clacked together if you did things right. (Hey, there was no cable or Call of Duty at the time.)
But the U.S. government -- a.k.a. The Man -- banned the toy for its tendency to shatter right near kids' faces. A design flaw, to be sure.
But the hunger for clacker balls cannot be so easily quenched, it appears. We don't know whether a new generation has latched onto them, or if it's boomers getting nostalgic for things shattering dangerously in front of their faces, but federal officials intercepted a shipment of 4,900 of the toys which were "destined for Harwin Drive."
Oh, but it gets worse.
Also nabbed were "275 plastic flashing ladybugs," which either would blind kids with the sheer laser intensity of their death-ray light or, more likely, could be broken into parts that presented a choking hazard.
The shipment of 32 cartons of unsafe toys came -- wait for it -- from China. Since China is known for nothing so much as its fanatical dedication to producing safe products, we can only assume the so-called "toys" were part of a nefarious plot to kill kids.
From the CBP press release:
"Our officers work diligently to ensure the facilitation of legitimate trade through our ports of entry by reviewing entry documents and selecting shipments for thorough inspection," said Houston CBP Acting Director of Field Operations Judson W. Murdock, II. "This seizure is an example of commodities that not only violate US trade laws but also pose a serious hazard to the American consumer."
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