Have y’all heard of the little magnetic balls called Bucky Balls? I would call them a toy, but the website makes it very clear that they are NOT for small kids. If swallowed, the magnets can tear holes through intestine walls to join up with each other. I looked for a gruesome picture of this on the Internet, but we are out of luck.
My daughter received a set of Bucky Balls for her birthday. She’s old enough to keep them out of her mouth and make really cool configurations with the little ball magnets outside of her intestines. They are fascinating and addicting—more than Legos or any other building toy. I went to an evening meeting last week, and my daughter tagged along with her Bucky Balls. During the boring parts of the meeting, I stared at her creations, mesmerized by how she could arrange the magnets. Is she gonna make a cuff bracelet? Ooooo…yes! And look at that! She pinched a row off and the rest of it stayed together! Magic!!! Occasionally, I reached over to pluck a few away from her stash, but she was quick and would only let me have three or four at a time.
My dad ordered some serious magnets a while back. He grew up in my grandfather’s machine shop and now works with jet fuel, so he knows what he’s doing around dangerous products. He ordered the magnets for a legitimate project, but he admitted that he was also excited to experiment with them. The magnet company motto was “For industry, for fun, for industrial strength fun.” The magnets even arrived with wooden blocks between them—this was gonna be cool!
I never really heard the result of his magnet trials, except through my mom. She said that the magnet part wasn’t going to work and that Dad had really hurt his hand. That’s all the detail I got before we started gossiping about something else.
It’s a long story, but I set up an email address for my dad and still get his emails from that address copied to me. One day, after the magnet experiment, I saw an email thread between the magnet company and my dad and clicked on it out of curiosity. Here’s what I read:
From the magnet guy: “Hello James, How are the magnets working out for you? How was your experience with our company?”
My dad’s response:
“The magnets worked a little too well. I got too close to the other magnets while holding one in my hand, and the loose magnets came screaming in like meteors from across the garage floor. Yes, I hollered my finest profanity as I tried to see through the tears welling up in my eyes. My fingers were mashed, and I had a huge blood blister in my hand where the magnets slammed in. Two magnets were shattered like glass, and the sharp pieces were locked into positions that would not allow me to free my bruised fingers. Anyway your service was great, and the magnets worked as advertised (90 lb. force)! Holy %^^&%$##%!
Next time send a warning label.
Magnets — fascinating, fun, and possibly from Satan.
This leads me to warn you: Be cautious around those who are described as having a “magnetic personality.” He or she may captivate you and then smash your fingers or burrow through your guts. Trust me—my friend has an ex-husband she’s been trying to poop out for years.
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