Chocking on Freedom

There were few things that gave me more of an ecstatic feeling of joy when I was a kid as much as getting a Kinder Surprise. If you are an American who doesn’t pay much attention to what gets banned or green lighted in this country, then a Kinder surprise is the European relative to… what am I saying? There is nothing compared to Kinder surprise! Imagine you are holding an egg shaped chocolate, the aluminum foil wrapping spells with vibrant colors “Kinder Surprise,” sometimes depicting a Santa Claus, or a deformed giant bunny, depending on the holiday. Your fingers run across the smooth aluminum surface and start unwrapping this sweet gem. Finally you see it: your eyes are fulfilled with the glowing brown chocolate color, you see the line dividing the two egg shells, you gently attempt to separate them in uniformity and then…Voila, the Snow-White chocolate layer appears beneath, the sleek surface of the perfectly divided eggshell is a feast for your eyes, your stomach is growling to devour this marvel and as you place it in your watering mouth and your larynx pushes it down your esophagus and your eyes flinch wide open. You stop breathing, you choke your throat with your nerve racking hands and fall hard on the ground, your body is shaking and rattling like a fish out of water, your gargling sounds from your swollen throat echo across the empty kitchen floor as you desperately try to save yourself. It’s futile, your last big attempts to take a lifesaving breath have no effect. Your shaky hands let go of your bruised throat and they collapse on the cold floor as you bloodshot eyes appear ironically serene as your heart slowly stops beating.

After you are pronounced dead on the hospital morgue, the doctor scribbles down your cause of death on your death case. What’s the cause? “Choked on Kinder Surprise,” Of course, because you are so dumb that you forgot that the word “Surprise” after “Kinder” actually means something. Hmm…perhaps a surprise like a little present that you are not supposed to eat? This serial, remorseless, plastic murderer has a spectacular height of 4 cm and a terrifying 2 cm diameter. He takes on also several different appearances such as bright yellow or orange so that he cannot go unnoticed.

Still, innocent lives are lost due to this murderer, thank God that the United States has permanently banned this voracious diet corrupter, now I can enjoy my non-lethal double bacon Decker cheeseburger with my “medium” sized Diet Coke peacefully. Oh and inside that little capsule of death, one would find nothing more than a toy, either a miniature dinosaur, a puzzle, a squirt gun, a dreidel and many more wonderful tiny gifts. Then again no, I’d rather give my 9 year old girl an Uzi to play with.

Things like this are a specialty of the U.S; it is what puts her in the international headlines. Let’s set aside the cliché arguments of “This country has the constitutional right to bearing arms and we are free to protect those who trespass against us…” argument. Besides from law abiding citizens, one has to be a skeptical and self-aware individual and such traits, I fear, are lacking from gun wielders at chipotle. Now, by saying “self-aware” I do not imply being capable to understand what one is doing, but mainly to develop the capability of questioning “why” and “what happens if I do that.” Such thinking could prevent a father from handing his 9 year old a  3.5 kg (7.72lbs) sub-machine gun or a mother bringing her handgun to a Wal-Mart and placing it in her purse next to her two year old son. Now we are drifting away into a never ending argument of human stupidity, so let’s get back to chocolate.

First, let’s put aside a common misconception: Kinder Surprise was never really banned in the US because it has never been approved in the first place. The states had banned the eggs of death long before they even started getting manufactured in their Italian home in the early 1970’s.  That’s because the US has had a ban on candies with embedded toys since 1938. So for 77 years, the States have been restricting importation of chocolate with an embedded toy without ever trying it. The illegality of a chocolate egg does not compare with the magnitude of other bans such as the Prohibition of the twenties, but at least we had a chance to drink alcohol first.

Personally, though there is nothing more disturbing from the thought that there are more gun stores in America than grocery stores (51,438 gun retailers versus 36,536 grocery stores). Now, whenever guns or gun control in specific have been brought up in a conversation, I base my arguments on 3 indisputable facts: U.S. residents own roughly 50% of the world’s civilian-owned firearms, more people have been diagnosed with mental disorders in America than anywhere else on earth and there more school shootings in America than anywhere else in the world combined. Perhaps they are all somehow connected… If that is not enough to stir up your thoughts, don’t forget that if guns made a country safer we would have been the safest country in the world, but we are not; we are far, far away from that.

Those who believe that crying over some banned chocolates is pathetic and that their ban is not a big deal, you’re right, it isn’t. Put it, though, in contrast with the 32,000 people who died from gun homicides in the U.S alone in 2011 next to the six children that have died from choking on Kinder Surprise worldwide; then tell me about real danger.

Art Credit: Kayra Carrillo

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