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Care Package Shows You Care About Caring
December 10, 2007 - 2:44pm

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It’s nearly finals time, and parents everywhere are worried for their children, who live so far away at university and are under such stress. Mom and Dad understandably want to do everything in their power to make sure their kids don't flunk out and wind up living at home next semester while they re-think their priorities, spending every night drinking beer in the kitchen with that Epperheimer kid.

Several companies have found a marketing opportunity in parents' concerns and sell care packages to help students through. One such company, Hip Kits, sells The Stuff Box, which was touted "Best Overall Care Package and Best Value!" by The Wall Street Journal. A breathless copywriter on the company's website says this is "The college care package students rave about. Snacks, treats, and uncommonly hip stress toys help your student ace their exams. Add 'Slang Flashcards' or a 'Juggle Kit' to ease some of the tension and help them relax with a good laugh."

Indeed. Sales are up across the land for prepackaged gift boxes that demand no more effort than pulling out a credit card. And since I'm an entrepreneurial fellow, I've developed my own line of care packages made from stuff around the house. Who better knows your kids than one of their teachers? Compare their product to mine, below, and the choice will be clear. Choose Churm!

Hip Kits, The Stuff Box: Churm Cares, and So Do We, Dear:
Cost: $29.99
*****
Cost: $435.00
*****
Tag line: "Fun!"
*****
Tag line: "Don't be a failure like your Uncle Pete!"
*****
Mystery Stress Toy (squishy, bouncy, always fun)
*****
Hemorrhoid Pillow (squishy; you want piles at your age?)
*****
Microwave Popcorn (great study food)
*****
One-quart jar, Nathan's NY Kosher Pickle Halves (enough garlic to make your mouth burn; that'll keep Jessica, that little skank you've been seeing, off you while you study
*****
Bubbles (good clean fun…literally)
*****
Hand sanitizer (use after you shake hands goodbye with Jessica; your father and I never liked her but didn't want to say anything)
*****
Mini Cereal (especially good at midnight)
*****
Meds (Dr. Robert said upping the dose would help you concentrate)
*****
Skittles (a rainbow of fruit flavors)
*****
You don't need those (they rot your teeth)
*****
Planters Nuts (quick protein snack!)
*****
Didn't we buy you a full meal plan in the dorm?
*****
8oz Assorted Chocolates (oh yeah)
****
You're allergic
*****
Glow Squirt Fish (nite-lite, water-weapon, constant companion)
*****
Peter Cottontail (Your snuggly when you were 3. Mom found him when she was cleaning out your closet at home in your absence and was getting rid of a few things)
*****
Lollipops (blow pops, tootsie pops, or jolly rancher pops)
*****
Why'd we pay all that money for orthodontia?
*****
Nature Valley Granola Bar (it's healthy, shhh, don't tell them)
*****
Yeah, right
*****
Jelly Belly Gourmet Jelly Beans (inspiration for budding chefs)
*****
You changed your major again?! How does somebody go from being a mechanical engineer to a chef just like that?
*****
Oreo Cookies (you're never too old for milk & cookies)
*****
For god's sake, here's a wad of cash: Go buy a sack of junk food at the Mobil Convenience Mart
*****
"Laugh" Extraordinary Greeting Card (opens to poster: "Sit loosely in the saddle of life.")
*****
Poster of Mom and Dad (captioned, "You do remember who's paying your tuition, books, and housing, right? And how nobody ever did that for us?")
*****

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