As regular readers may know, I’m wildly broke, and always looking to not be. But I got a new job!
Yesterday was my first day on the job writing PR for the company “Graco Children’s Products,” and wouldn’t you know it, that just happens to be the day that they had to recall 4.7 million strollers because 10 infants had their fingers cut off by the strollers (FML LOL, am I right?)
My new bosses wanted me to come up with some positive responses to the somewhat negative press out there. After seeming not too pleased with my first two suggestions: “Free tickets to ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I’ for anyone whose child didn’t have a finger cut off by a stroller,” and “comparing everyone who complains about their wounded child to the Taliban,” they suggested I go through a few particularly damaging pieces, written by ABC News, CNN, and Fox News, and then respond in a positive, pro-Graco fashion. This is my rough draft, if anyone has any notes, send them along.
Actually, they didn’t hate the “Give Away Movie Tickets to the ‘Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I,’ until they realized that we probably shouldn’t be reminding people of things being broken into multiple pieces.
“Atlanta-based Graco Children's Products received six reports of fingertip amputation, four reports of partial-fingertip amputation and one finger laceration, the (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission) said.”
Our strollers are safe, as evidenced by the fact that out of the 4.7 million strollers we’ve recalled, not quite 10 fingertips have been lost. Sure, that’s a bad thing, but in sum, it’s only like, one really unlucky kid. Perspective.
About 202,000 strollers were also sold in Canada, and about 10,300 more were sold in Mexico.
Come on, America. Do you want Canada to have tougher kids than us? Sure, today it’s just 202,000 infants who could have their fingers cut off at any time. But tomorrow, it could be the Olympics. Even the Summer Olympics. Or worse.
Coming in 2022: Maple Dawn.
“The firm manufactured the strollers in China and will be providing a free repair kit beginning in December.”
In December, we’ll be providing a free repair kit for your babies. You’ll be able to re-attach your baby’s fingers without having to pay any money whatsoever to Graco. However, the fingertips will be manufactured in China, so you may get a Chinese finger. Graco: the customer’s needs are always first.
After Lunch Note: I now believe this is a repair kit for the stroller. While that’s disappointing for our PR, it’s probably good for mankind that we don’t have that kind of technology yet.
It would be the only sweatshop in the world where if you lose a finger, it actually puts you ahead of your coworkers! Ha ha. That’s just a little, light, “We’re-Lucky-Entitled-Privileged-People-In-A-Free-Country” humor.
The recalled models are Aspen, Breeze, Capri, Cirrus, Glider, Kite, LiteRider, Sierra, Solara, Sterling and TravelMate model strollers.
Graco Baby Strollers, the perfect stroller for you and your family, because we named each of the strollers after your white hipster children.
Breeze, Capri, and Cirrus have a nice day, Cumulonimbus looks on from the back.
“… users should exercise extreme care in the interim when unfolding the stroller to be certain that the hinges are firmly locked before placing a child in the stroller. They also are advised to immediately remove the child from a stroller that begins to fold.”
Graco Baby Strollers strongly recommends that, in the event of your baby stroller cutting off your baby’s fingertips, you should quickly remove the baby from the stroller. We understand this stance may upset some, but we stand by it.
“Under current federal law, there is no minimum effort that manufacturers have to make, or money they have to spend, to get the word out about the safety recalls.”
At Graco, we go above and beyond the call of duty. Sure, we didn’t have to recall our strollers after they cut off some kids’ fingertips, but we’re a customer-first company. America, we’re here for you.
I turned those into my bosses. I haven’t heard back yet. Wanting to impress on my first day, I looked through the office and found some papers lying around, and figured I could improve them, too. Here’s the actual recall notice, with some punch-ups by me:
To further alleviate any consumer concerns, Graco will offer free hinge covers to caregivers who have purchased any of the affected strollers.
We admit mistakes were made when the strollers we put together might have cut off your baby’s fingertips. For that, we apologize greatly. But, to make things right, we’re going to give you something else we made. This, we assure you, will be fine.
“While nearly 85 percent of the select strollers were sold more than seven years ago, we are committed to the safety of our products and have included all strollers that used the same hinge design sold during the last 14 years.”
… I actually thought that was perfectly written. I did scribble in the margins: “If your seven year old is still in the stroller, maybe he doesn’t really need fingertips.”
An email went around the ad department asking for an advertisement for the strollers. I worked on it for a few hours and came up with this:
Introducing the EXXXXXXTREME BABY STROLLER
Tired of sissy, wimpy babies? Want to toughen your infant up, but don’t know how? With our unique “Possibly Cutting Off Their Fingertips” technology, your baby will learn all about our cruel and unjust world. This’ll make a man out of your baby, even if they’re a girl.
The EXXXXXXTREME BABY STROLLER: “We’ll give you something to cry about.”
I got an email saying my bosses wanted to see me tomorrow morning. I wonder what about?
Greg Benevent is a writer/comedian in LA with more fingertips than he knows what to do with. Yell at him about children/whatever @gregbenevent or by stalking his name on Facebook.