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Lincoln Logs, Tonka trucks not such hot items this year
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Dear Santa: Well, it’s that time again and I thought I would write you. Postage has gone up and I just thought I’d save a little bit by publishing it in the paper.


I’m sure glad you still get the Forsyth County News at the North Pole.


I’ve been pretty good this year. Not my best, but certainly not my worst. I eat too much, don’t get enough exercise and probably watch too much TV. I go to church most Sundays and try to be nice to kids and older folks.


Santa, I’m not as savvy as you. We don’t have little kids anymore and I’ve reached the point that I not only don’t know, I don’t understand some of the hot toys this year.


For example, I’m not sure what you do with a Zhu Zhu Pet, some kind of electronic hamster, but there are people who are camping out at stores waiting on them to arrive. They have names like Mr. Squiggles, Num Num, Pipsqueak and Chunk. As you remember, I fought a boy in third grade for calling me two of those names.


I think the best thing about a Zhu Zhu Pet is that it doesn’t produce something that rhymes with Zhu Zhu and stinks. I never owned a real hamster, but I had a few ducks, rabbits and a bird that was supposed to sing the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s “Messiah.” 


They say that the King of England was so in awe of the Hallelujah Chorus that he stood up when it was performed. That bird didn’t stand up or even ring the little bell in his cage. He never made a peep. He just made a lot of stuff that rhymes with Zhu Zhu.


They’ve got another gizmo called a Mindflex. This requires putting on an electronic headband and then concentrating on a little ball that floats on blowing air. If you think left or right, the ball is supposed to move in that direction. If you have one of those headbands that would run a push mower, I could just sit on the front porch and read the paper and just think from left to right and cut the yard in no time.


I guess the stuff that was popular back in my day, like Lincoln Logs, Tonka trucks and things like footballs, baseballs and basketballs are just too dull for today’s kids. If it doesn’t have some kind of electronic device tied to a computer or TV, it’s not going to make it into your sack.


As you know, there are a lot of folks who are hurting this year and I hope those who might have a little extra would share it with organizations that are helping you out. 


There are so many people who work so hard to make sure there is a little something for every family. I know that makes you smile.


Harris Blackwood is the author of “When Old Mowers Die.” His e-mail address is