You thought the foreign agent that'd attempt to bring down American would be named something more discreet (or cooler) than "Mister Squiggles," didn't you? Hence, the ingenious of it all. Mister Squiggles is here, and he wants to destroy us.

I was going to try to avoid them, but it seemed my cynicism was part of the desired effect of the Plot to Take Down America, hamsters-up-Richard-Gere's-ass jokes and all.

See, these are Zhu Zhu hamsters. In the great tradition of Tickle Me Elmo, Tamagotchi, and Nintendo Wii, they are the "Toy of the Season." Which means American consumers will be taking whatever desperate measures they need to in order to acquire one. They will spend their money on these little fuckers, oblivious to the cost, in order to satisfy what they assume is their child's desperate need to own the same toy all the other children have (or can't have). And this season, someone called the Zhu Zhu hamster the one. Why are Zhu Zhu hamsters so great?

1. They don't leave any waste.
2. If your child is allergic to hamsters, they are wonderful pets.
3. They come with names, so your child doesn't have to do any work.
4. They do not promote violence (Nintendo Wii) or uncomfortable touching (see: Tickle Me Elmo).
5. Unlike the other terrible toys, you don't have to put them together.

Think again, fans of cute.

The light-brown version of the Zhu Zhu hamsters, "Mister Squiggles," has unsafe levels of antimony, according to Dara O'Rourke, co-founder of the California-based GoodGuide. "We found levels of about 93 to 106 parts per million," O'Rourke told CNN. "The new federal standard is about 60 parts per million." Antimony is used in textiles and plastics to prevent them from catching fire, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry. Prolonged exposure can cause lung and heart problems, ulcers and diarrhea, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.


1. The waste they leave is actually, unlike hamsters, not of the biodegradable stripe.
2. Your kid is a wuss. He should probably develop a better resistance to bacteria.
3. When we need to think of creative maneuvers to fend off attacks from foreign powers, our resources will have atrophied from that which has already been done for us.
4. The violence comes socially: children, in fits of Zhu Zhu jealousy, will start to betray each other and secretly hate each other. How can we fight an enemy abroad when we can't restrain ourselves from making our children part of our violently materialistic fetishisms?
5. Wearing away at our ability to construct things? Evil, but smart.

BUT, you say, these toys are AMERICAN, man. St. Louis, American. They're only "named" in Chinese. Again, wrong:

Zhu Zhu Pets are made by tiny Cepia Inc. of St. Louis, with just 16 employees in the U.S. and 30 in China, making their success even more unlikely.

Right, and who do we owe a lot of money to? The Chinese. Yes. The Chinese. And instead of taking fingers—the old fashioned American way of collecting—they just sent these guys to come get us, our money, and kill us. Eventually, you'll be taking orders from these guys. And do you really want that to happen?

Viva, my friends. It's time to execute every last Zhu Zhu pet in America. You've seen Terminator 2. You know how this could end. Don't let it.