Kinder egg

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Kinderegg

Opened Kinder egg with toy capsule. The toy is from the Christian relic series, reproducing the Holy Hand Grenade of Anti-orcs in miniature (inset).

A Kinder Surprise egg, or Kinder egg, is a chocolate candy with an encapsulated toy inside. The original Italian name coined in 1974 is Kinder Sorpresa, or "children’s suppressed (anxiety)". It is produced by the confectioner Ferrero SpA who also makes and races Formula One cars made of chocolate. Kinder eggs are exported legally everywhere in the world except to the United States and Chile whose governments consider the eggs a greater threat than ISIS or the Zika virus. Thus the surprise part when someone crosses their borders with an egg and gets not only police treatment rivalling that of the regime of Enver Hoxha in Albania, but a substantial fine as well.

The Kinder egg was invented by Al "The Bull" Ferrara (OF, .259, 51 HR lifetime),[1] who after a career in American baseball, returned to his roots in Italy, changing his name back to that of his great-grandparents. His patent was accepted just days before fellow major leaguer Willie "Wonka" Kirkland (OF, .240, 148 HR lifetime) had perfected his jawbreaker, also with a hidden toy. Kirkland was relegated to obscurity and Ferrara rose to fame in the EEC, now the EU.

There have been other companies that included toys in candy or confections, Cracker Jack perhaps being the best known. The practice has been traced to China's Ping Dynasty (BC 554 – BC 553) where gunpowder and a primer were put into treats left in houses abandoned to invading Mongol armies. Recipes were brought to Italy by Marco Polo where the candies were used in the successful defense of Venice in 1306. The concept spread throughout the West, leading to the invention of Christmas crackers in the UK. A US variant was the exploding cigar. Another was joke candy with horrible tasting centers marketed under the brand name Whitman, which was only given to disliked tradesmen and enemies. The last two have been banned by the Geneva Convention.

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Production

Jackasspenguins

Penguins going to work.

The eggs are laid by penguins who are fed a special diet of white chocolate and milk chocolate, and are then also fed a daily ration of one large sardine or squid a day containing the toy capsule. Jackass penguins (Spheniscus demersus), also known as African or black-footed penguins, produce the standard-type eggs. The much larger Emperor penguins (Aptenodytes forsteri) produce the larger Kinder Maxi. The eggs are then each wrapped by machine in thin foil, boxed and shipped to retailers.

Penguins are ideal because lower temperatures are needed to keep the chocolate from melting. Geese cannot produce the consistent size needed. Dodos cannot handle the low temperatures, and their total extinction remains a barrier to production requirements. Using genetically altered pygmy ostriches proved to be a failure.

"The original packaging method was to just stick the foil wrapper up the penguins' you-know," said head penguin wrangler Marco di Bisti. "They didn’t like it, as you might imagine. And it was hard to keep the human workers very long. The same skills were in high demand in the sex trade and so, admittedly, they got paid much more there."

Exactly how the penguins are able to make these eggs remains a closely guarded secret. Rival chocolate makers point accusing fingers at Ferrero's breeding farms in now-abandoned Pripyat, near the Chernobyl nuclear reactor site. They cite high beta radiation levels reputed to be in Kinder eggs. Cadbury officials petitioned the Ukrainian government to explain the reports of 3-headed penguins with fangs rampaging through the streets. Ukrainian officials countered that the nation has always been a major breeder and supplier of jackass penguins, so-called for their loud donkey-like braying. However they conceded that historically, the finest specimen ever with the loudest donkey-like bray came from neighboring Georgia, and was born in 1878.

Ferrero introduced mini-eggs, then micro-eggs in the 1990s. They then released subminiature eggs in 2004, offered in 12-packs, with toys made by the same processes used to make electronic components. Company officials were initially happy to hear that those products were disappearing off the shelves as fast as they could be stocked. Ferrero was later dismayed when it was found that the little eggs were blinking out of existence due to quantum mechanical forces coming into play.[2]

The toys

Tankboy

Larger toys come in Maxi eggs.

Kinder eggs have gained great popularity with adult collectors, who stuff themselves and their kids full of chocolate and keep the toys. Not only is there competition to see how many different toys can be had, collectors also compete to see who has the highest recorded blood sugar index. Another favorite sideline is for collectors to hire clowns to see how many can fit inside one of the tiny toy vehicles. This collecting interest has carried over from Cracker Jack toy collecting. The maker of that confection nowadays only packs a tiny piece of paper bearing an insult in Cyrillic characters as a prize, rather than any kind of real toy.

Many of the toys require assembly. Most collectors are too young to have built plastic models as a child; no instructions are provided. So a cottage industry of craftsmen have sprung up to put these toys together, craftsmen who have learned their skills by assembling IKEA furniture.

Special toys of note have included a previously-lost Fabergé egg, a piece of the True Cross, a mini n-dimensional portal to other worlds, various weapons of mass destruction and a 5-level matryoshka doll set, with the smallest depicting Vladimir Putin bench-pressing 400 kilos.[3] Toys have been produced in themed series often based on popular movies, pop music stars and cartoon characters like George H. W. Bush.

As toy collectors expect great variety, Ferraro has had problems keeping up with demand and has sometimes passed off odd items as toys including rocks, construction debris and rusty nuts and bolts. Dubbed the Reality Series, those items have gained a large following.

In 2001, a Toronto, Ontario man was suspected of stalking children and was arrested without bail. He was found to be a collector, following children to trade them for their duplicate Kinder toys. Relieved parents then secured his release from jail, escorted him en masse back to his home, then burned it down with him trapped inside. They recovered most of his toys intact, divvying them up on the spot.

United States prohibition

AbuGhraib2a

A Canadian tourist.

Legal import of Kinder eggs is barred in the US. That stems from a law enacted in 1938 barring non-food elements, like toys, inside candy.[4] That’s not as if potentially dodgy ingredients and poor factory sanitary practices of the time couldn’t do you in by themselves. The landmark 1939 Supreme Court case The People vs Jorge Lukas later upheld the right of children to choke on just candy alone or anything else for that matter, so long as there were no toys inside. In 1947 in Meriden, Mississippi, 8 children died of broken jaws and other head trauma while tossing whole unhusked coconuts into the air to catch in their mouths. Using a broad interpretation of the court’s ruling, the children were thus saved from federal indictment.

The response to smuggled or Kinder eggs carried by unknowing tourists has been extreme. [5][6][7][8][9][10]It is clear that US border patrol officers have read George Orwell’s 1984 and assumed it to be a training manual. Fines are quite steep, with $2500 per egg threatened by one officer, who is probably also one of those saying the US Constitution was suspended permanently by the Patriot Act. Still, media reports have kindled a renewed interest in the US for the Theatre of the Absurd.

It is reported that since Italians have no love for their children, no choking complaints have ever been made in Italy over Kinder eggs. 3 UK mothers whose children died from ingesting toys in candy presented their case to the House of Commons.[11] Cooler heads prevailed and Kinder eggs were not banned there. Brexit has been entirely blamed on Kinder eggs, though Nessie’s love of them has given the Scottish people second thoughts. To the horror of collectors, Japanese-built AIBO robots are programmed to knock down small children to eat their Kinder eggs whole, foil and toy included. However, countless children's lives are potentially spared.[12]

Incidents

KinderChickenMan

A typical Kinder Egg smuggler.

The mother of 210 lb. 7-year-old Katherine "Kitty" Wampess sent her child out on Halloween, tossing her the car keys and sternly warning her to be "back by morning". Supplied with 2 plastic shopping bags, Kitty nearly died when she lifted a bag to her mouth to inhale the candy inside, "Y’know, just to empty it to make room for more candy." Found inside Kitty was a Kinder egg with its toy. Kitty’s mother is now suing Ferrero for $80 million. [citation needed]

A Regina, Saskatchewan man dressed as a chicken stuffed 46 eggs up his behind and attempted to cross the border into the US. United States Border Patrol agents became suspicious when the supposed chicken joked "Why did I cross the road?" in a male voice rather than the expected female chicken cluck. He was arrested, searched and waterboarded a few times for practice. He was fined, sent to Guantanamo Bay but was later released into the nearby shark-infested Caribbean.[citation needed]

An Arizona family returning from vacation in Canada were rushing the father back through customs. He had choked on the toy he had swallowed in the duty free shop at the border. Border patrol officers, seeing telltale signs of chocolate around the man’s mouth, detained him, x-rayed him and arrested him. He was then sealed into a very large evidence bag, where he died. The family was fined, with $350 added for stinking up the evidence room. [citation needed]

Kinder eggs in history

  • The Second Football War or El Tsimmis segundo between El Salvador and Honduras in 1974 was not caused by a disputed match as is often reported. Instead, it stems from an embassy party in Tegucigalpa where children of high-ranking officials were given Kinder eggs as gifts. The Salvadoran Foreign Minister's son received one of the rarer toys and a dispute arose with the Honduran Minister of Bribery's son over exactly whose toy it was. Once again, the countries went to war. The war ended when Generalissimo Juan Lupe-Palmeiro ironically and tragically choked to death on a Kinder egg toy lobbed into his tank.
Wickedwitch2

The alleged sarin gas attack. The combination of a defective egg (arrow) and a mini fart igniter caused a major panic.

  • After leaving a frat mixer in 1979 and party-hopping to another gathering, a young Osama bin Laden, unaware of the hazard, wolfed down a Kinder egg to try to counteract the effects of a reported 18 cups of tea. He then choked on the toy inside, gasping and sputtering loudly. He was noticed and mocked by many of the other partygoers. Humiliated, he vowed revenge against his Saudi and Aramco hosts. Thus came to be the organization known as Al-Qaeda.
  • The 1995 Tokyo subway sarin gas attack or ホ—リカウ, サリン事件 turned out to be due to a defective Kinder egg being carried in a commuter's backpack. Police initially blamed the Morinaga candy company, later switching the blame to cult Aum Shouldwego.[13] The commuter later took full blame for the incident by committing suicide, swallowing a handful of Kinder toys. The government then made a full official apology to the cult and its leader Shoko Asahata. He would later shave off his beard and change his name to Shinzo Abe. Now the prime minister of Japan, he is one step closer to fulfilling his dream of the total destruction of the world by way of nuclear holocaust.
  • Kinder eggs have been used for smuggling small amounts of drugs and military secrets. In every case, the perpetrators were caught. They were found in diabetic comas after eating so much chocolate to destroy evidence after unwrapping. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was exposed when chocolate was smelled on his breath wherever he went. He is in seclusion, fearing death by CIA agents armed with Kinder toy weapons. While no smuggler has ever been found dead from choking on a toy, investigating DEA and FBI agents are given rigorous training and wear hazmat helmets to avoid temptation. Nonetheless, 18 agents handling evidence have been found dead to date with a toy stuck in their windpipe.
  • UK Prime Minister David Cameron suffered three incidents of choking on Kinder toys, where he reportedly turned blue and suffered unspecified amounts of possible brain damage. These occurrences seem to have preceded each of his decisions to intervene in Libya, Iraq and Syria though his defenders explain it as just due to plain stupidity. In conference with party leaders in 2015, Cameron, with his mouth full of Kinder egg (with toy removed by staff), proposed Shadow Minister for Defense Against the Dark Arts DeReese Armeigh as a replacement. The rest thought they heard Theresa May, who was confirmed as the new Tory leader.
Curiosity2a

Elon Musk in costume spacesuit photobombs the Mars rover Curiosity.

  • In 2013, the camera on Mars rover Curiosity picked up unusual objects nearby and in the distance. Further investigation found the smaller objects to be Kinder eggs, the larger objects to be billboards with Ferrero advertising. Jet Propulsion Labs (JPL) immediately cut the video feed, leading conspiracy theorists to claim that evidence of alien life was being blocked from public view. JPL goons soon found Elon Musk who admitted he had shot the eggs and billboards to Mars in a Space-X prototype rocket. He expressed no remorse but did regret that the life-size Martin the Martian figure and the McDonald’s "Golden Arches" building replica did not survive landing on the rocky surface. Curiosity’s dustbuster attachment cleared most of the eggs. Unfortunately, an egg was crushed under one of the rover's wheel treads, exposing the toy. It jammed the wheel, burning out the propulsion system and destroying Curiosity. Meanwhile, truthers continue to claim this was just another fake landing paid for by the Ferrero company as an advertising stunt.
  • In 2014, visitors from the 25th Century were causing shortages of Kinder eggs, since antique toys became hugely popular in that era. Unfortunately, impatient time travelers would unwrap eggs before leaving the 21st Century, some carelessly dropping foil shreds into their time machine control panels. Electronics shorted out, stranding them. As of 2017, there were over 8,000 stranded visitors, confined to Ascension Island,[14] the only place left that accepts refugees. Riots ensued when time travelers demanded their toys back.

See also

References

  1. "You could look it up." – Casey Stengel.
  2. No, I really don’t understand much of this, either.
  3. These were withdrawn when Russian drivers were seen playing with these while on the road, overloading dashcam video sites with the resultant accidents.
  4. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, if you really must know, which does not apply to large corporations with cash and large envelopes.
  5. Chan, Hoishan (July 19, 2012) "Kinder crime: Why a traveler was busted because of a chocolate egg", from CNN, for reals, you guys.
  6. National Post (July 18, 2012) "Canada tourists detained …" , another sadly true report.
  7. Lynn, Jamie (July 17, 2012) "Seattle men busted at the border …" Tragedy reported in komonews. Retrieved on July 15, 2017.
  8. CTV British Columbia (July 18, 2017) "Couple detained at U.S. border over Kinder eggs". Will this madness never end? Retrieved on July 15, 2017. Good dog!
  9. Note the preceding events were from one month in one year. It’s not a complete list for that month, either. If you don’t get the point by now, you could look it up for yourself.
  10. You really can look it up yourself. Or carry on here, even better. I need a nap.”
  11. Birmingham Post (November 28, 1998) "Mother calls for ban after girl chokes on Kinder egg". Sad but true. Still, I've choked on stuff as a kid and my parents didn't try to blame anyone except me. Fair enough. Maybe it's because they had life insurance on me? Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  12. The robots are now being trained to loot stores in order to obtain eggs. The toys are prized by programmers.
  13. Aum, maybewaittenminutesmore.
  14. This is truly nowheresville, only of interest to migrating birds and pilots needing to bomb Argentinians.

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