The "Stick:" Now available at

Taking reduce, reuse, recycle to the pinnacle, a great piece from McSweeney's, reprinted below for your enjoyment:

By Ralph Gamelli

**** Nice toy, but not for all children
By JJ (PA)
We gave our son The Stick for his fifth birthday this past summer, and at first he loved to jump around the yard, slaying dragons and evil knights with his magic sword. Then the girl across the street got her hands on it and started to prance around, pretending it was an umbrella handle. Our son was devastated. We tried to tell him The Stick could be anything he might imagine. If he wanted it to be a sword and only a sword, then that's what it was. But he was inconsolable. I'd have to advise the parents of sensitive children to go with another toy, or at least speak to the neighborhood kids in advance and reach a consensus as to what The Stick represents.

*** BE SMART!!!
By Smart Shopper (Austin, TX)
Please don't pay full price for this, people. I know this is the big Christmas toy this year and every kid wants one, but on December 26 the prices will probably drop by 50 percent. Wait until the price goes down.

** Snowmen are people, too
By Julie Parks (Maine)
We ordered two Sticks for our daughter, so she could use them as arms for her snowman. Unfortunately, when we opened one of the boxes, we found The Stick infested with termites. Although it's possible this happened during shipping, the makers of The Stick agreed to send us a replacement. Winters are long in Maine, but it's been three weeks and we're still waiting. Meanwhile, the snowman stands out in the yard with only one arm. My husband thinks we should snap the good Stick in half to make two stubby arms, but I don't think our daughter deserves that. Neither do consumers.

*** Frustrating ... any help?
By D. Monroe (Richmond, CA)
My boy is enjoying his Stick, but no instructions came with it. He's used it as a walking stick, but isn't sure which end is the handle. It's the same problem when he uses it as a baseball bat. Did anyone else not get instructions? Can you read them online somewhere? Any help will be appreciated.

***** Never goes out of style
By Grampa Dan (FL, USA)
Older kids may scoff at this classic as they wallow in their brain-rotting video games, but the Stick will never be beat. And it's a great bargain, too! The wife and I bought a single Stick, sawed it into five pieces, and now all our young grandchildren are having a grand time talking on their "cell phones."

* Not what we'd hoped
By Sheila Lampert (CT)
Our 8-year-old is a very bookish type. We gave her The Stick in an attempt to help her get out of the house more and be more physically active. She not only refuses to play with it but whenever we mention it she gets an exasperated look on her face and says, "You paid $89 for a common stick? Why didn't you just break one off a tree?" I'd have to advise the parents of smart-ass know-it-alls to go with another toy.

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