Sunday, September 05, 2010

The Most Education You'll Get All Day

Anyone out there remember Highlights magazine? The awesome educational magazine for kids that they used to stock at all the dentist and doctor's offices? And they had "Goofus and Gallant," and the Timber-people whose clever last name I forget, and all the "hidden pictures" games? Yeah, I loved Highlights when I was younger.

On a recent trip to a yogurt shop, my friend and I found a stack of old Highlights magazines and flipped through them for a while. Great memories, but I have to say that reading these things as an adult really makes you realize just how gullible you were as a child. I don't think they put very much thought into anything that goes in that magazine, under the assumption that anyone reading it wouldn't notice anything wrong anyway because we're just children.

Let's take the front and back covers for example, shall we? Here's the front:

And here's the back:

The assumption here is that the front is the "normal" picture, and the back has a ton of problems with it for some reason, and you can spend many an enjoyable hour figuring out "what's wrong" there. I, however, beg to differ, as I think you can clearly see that the second picture is just fine, even espousing many good values. For example:

Here we see a kind-hearted little boy sharing his fudgsicle with a friend. We also see diversity in friendships, as rarely do we see Caucasian children and snow children playing together.

We're also teaching children the importance of good hygiene!

This young girl is helping with the chores, even though she's obviously all ready to head to the beach for some oyster-ing. Now that, children, is a generous sacrifice of her time.

And lastly, we see at least TWO examples of spectacular posture. Backs straight, heads up! Excellent balance, children.

See? What's the problem here? I see nothing wrong with this picture at all, although I do wonder about the purpose of the cat pooping out some sort of vegetation. (You can go back and search for that one if you'd like.)

The front cover, however - the "normal" one - has manifold problems that we really ought to consider carefully. Is this what we want our children to be learning:

I'm fairly certain this girl has the largest cupcake known to man. Hello? Where is her mother? No child that size should be consuming that much sugar and fat in one sitting. Instead, she should be finding me and giving me that cupcake, so that I can find a more appropriate way to dispose of it. Ahem.

Oh, AND? She's littering with the crumbs all over the place. There is going to be a massive ant problem at that mall within a week. Thanks, little girl.

And where exactly is PETA when you need them? This poor rabbit is clearly being tortured for his cuteness. Why is no one asking "what's wrong" with that? And, even worse...

This rabbit is being tortured by a pedophile, presumably using him to lure small children close so that he can have his wicked way with them. Seriously, does he not look like the creepiest Uncle Creepy ever?

These poor children are either Siamese twins with weird skin pigmentation issues, or normal children who were fused together in some radioactive spill. Either way, their caretaker should not be turned around ignoring them, staring idly at a large ice cream cone. What kind of a vicious uncaring lady is she?

Oh, and young Peter Parker here really needs some help, because he should not be allowed out and about on his own, tossing webs willy-nilly out in public. His secret identity is going to be completely blown by the end of the afternoon.

And last, but not least, this store appears to be selling "GRANNIES." I mean, all they've really shown us is the "GRANN," but where do we think that's going? Unless we assume they're so stupid that they don't know how to spell ("GRANNOLA?"), or there's an entire store for "GRANNY SMITH APPLES," (even though there are NO apples anywhere in the store windows, and there ARE rocking chairs, presumably for the available grannies to sit while waiting to be purchased), I don't see what else this can mean.

And this is the normal picture? I'll take the "wrong" picture, thanks.

Now, readers: What have you learned from our little lesson?


Breathe Gently said...

I've never seen that magazine before, but I thought the cupcake was a big bucket of sand. I could probably spend hours poring through those covers too. At least it passed the time for you! ;)

Mrs. Chili said...

Oh. My. God. You are a riot.

I grew up with Highlights, so this was hysterical. Thanks for the early morning laugh.

Rowyn said...

I too grew up with Highlights (I think we might even have had a subscription) and remember it fondly. Thanks for making me laugh!

Anonymous said...

Hahahaha!! Now when my children's subscription comes in the mail, I am going to spend hours finding problems! Thanks for the laugh!

Clair said...

That was fun. Thanks for the memories. I used to pour over those for hours while sitting in the doctor's office.

tpiglette said...

I LOVED Highlights as a kid! We had a subscription that my dad's "host parents" gifted to us every year. Now I wish we had some old ones so I could go back and look at them again!