Having decided the Consumer Product Safety Commission should have better things to do with their time than protecting stupid people from the question, “What if I ate some magnets,” I decided to go buy some of these wonderful toys before it was too late.
Day one of the Buckyballs recall. It’s too late.
eBay – a search for Buckyballs showed only one storage container and a hint to search for 216 magnets: Cheap Chinese knockoffs of the once-popular neodymium magnet toy that has caused so many injuries requiring surgery. Apparently, the danger is, you swallow one and you’re dumb, but okay. Swallow two and they could get into different parts of your intestinal tract. That’s when it gets fun.
Guts are used to call someone tough, decisive, “She’s got guts.” … “Go with your gut.” But apparently guts themselves are pretty soft and squishy. Neodymium magnets love to get together, and if the only thing keeping them apart is a little bit of squishy guttyworks, the love will find a way – straight through intestinal walls.
Apparently intestinal injuries are painful – I learned that much from Quentin Tarrantino.
So if you’re going to risk intestinal injuries, you should probably go for the pure American stuff, no telling what kind of shortcuts the Chinese took. I don’t want any Melamine or lead in my Buckyballs – not that I’m intending to swallow them but, hey, accidents happen.
Thanks, CPSC, for making my neodymium magnet purchase so much more risky!
No luck on Craigslist – but maybe I just don’t understand that community. Amazon, however, was flush with people still selling actual Buckyballs – not to mention all kinds of other brands. In 5 to 17 days I plan to be rolling in lethal vessels of electromagnetic fun.
I got into a chat with vender VBX about their sourcing – from China. I contemplated conducting a vigilante turing test on their chat representative, “Brandie” – who’s photo looked suspiciously like Mary Lynn Rajskub – but decided to be more classy than that.This search got me curious, however. If you swallowed two, three, or even four Buckyballs, they’d just stick together and someday you’d have a really tough time in the bathroom, depending on how many you …. You know what. Nevermind.
You’d have to actually swallow more than one magnet, more than an hour apart to get them in different parts of you alimentary canal at the same time. That means you’d have to be stupid not once, but twice, to end up in the operating room.
“Nothing bad happened the first time, so …”
Karl Hille lived and breathed local news beat reporting in Greenbelt and the Baltimore/Washington region for more than 12 years until the 2007 recession. While learning and improving the online side of the Baltimore Examiner operations, his platform dropped out from under his feet, then his rebound job at a regional business news magazine downsized him three months later. Now, working for the “dark side” – public communications work by day for the awesome government agency – he is going back to school to find the critical intersection of news, investigation, and the Internet – and re-learning how to be a student while he’s the only guy on campus sporting a fedora.