Friday, May 15, 2009

Why I Was Forced to Eviscerate a Frog Today

I'd like to state up front that I am referring to a frog piñata. Back off, PETA.

It's May in Stimeyland, which means both Jack and Quinn have birthdays, and this year it means they each get a party, albeit smallish ones. Regardless, both this weekend and next I'm cleaning my house top to bottom, ordering some pizza and a cake, and stringing up a piñata for some kids to beat the shit out of.

(I did save some time by planning virtually the exact same party for both of them. With slight variations. Apologies to the one family that has been invited to both parties.)

Jack's party is tomorrow, so this afternoon I was putting together goody bags and trying to think of games I could force our guests to play. I also decided that I would go ahead and stuff Jack's piñata. The theme for this party being Frog and Toad, his piñata is an almost obscenely happy frog.

I was considerably less happy when I opened up the frog's candy hole to find this:

In case you can't tell, what you see there is paper. My piñata arrived stuffed full of paper. Which was going to make it extremely difficult to stuff with candy.

After spending some time trying to pry the paper out of the tiny, inappropriately placed hole...

...I used my cramping fingers to ask Twitter what to do. I'd like to thank @goodfountain for her brilliant advice: "Pull the paper out."

Well, damn. Wish I'd thought of that.

What were inside the piñata were entire smashed up newsprint-size sheets of paper. They weren't coming out of the little hole. Frankly I can't quite figure out how they got in there in the first place. I ended up having to cut the frog's, ahem, candy hole bigger. A frog episiotomy, if you will.

And even being able to cram my entire hand in there, it was tough to pull out these giant crumpled, packed-in sheets of paper.


Many, many minutes later, this is what I ended up with.

But I was finally happy. Others, not so much.

I took advantage of the gaping hole in the piñata to fill it, then taped it back up.

Seriously. I should be a plastic surgeon.

Or a professional complainer. I sat down at my computer and typed up an email to send to Oriental Trading from whence my piñata had come.

Dear Oriental Trading,

My order arrived quickly and was exactly what I ordered.

I do take exception with the condition of the Frog Piñata that I ordered. When I opened up the tiny "Fill Me Here" tab, I found that the piñata was entirely stuffed full of sheets of paper. Which made it difficult to fill with candy. (Although the extra interior packing did help ensure that it came in perfect condition.)

I ended up having to cut the frog's entire backside open in order to remove all of the paper. Then I had to tape him back up. Not exactly as fast and easy as I'd hoped. Nor as aesthetically pleasing.

I order nearly all of my party favors and most of my party supplies from you. After this experience, I may be less likely to order piñatas from you in the future.

However, if I ever want a bright blue frog centerpiece, I will definitely come straight to you.

I'm hoping for some sort of frog piñata credit. I think what I'm going to get with that email is ignored. But at least the frog is all sutured up.

Now I'm off to do the zillion things I have to do to get ready for Jack's party. My to-do list is long. Oh! I just remembered something I have to add to my list:

Find a bat.

EDITED TO ADD: Read my update about how Oriental Trading is now stalking me and refunded my piñata money. Yay!


  1. I did appreciate Goodfountain's snarky reply today...anyway, it looks great now. Hope the party is frog-tastic!

  2. I've had varying degrees of success with Oriental Trading Company -- some of the stuff is really good for a quick little prize - but ever since they changed management, I'm sorry to say the customer service is crap. (It was about two months ago that they made the switch, I think.) I used to get my orders really quickly -- now, not so much. And of course I know now not to order a pinata. Shame, because that is probably exactly where I would have thought to look!

  3. I hope they give you something to compensate that frog for his pain and suffering!!!

  4. Aren't you glad you didn't wait until right before the party to stuff the frog?

  5. A frog episiotomy. From the woman who thinks cats have no arms. Will wonders never cease. After all, how did you know it was a girl frog?

    Have fun tomorrow!

  6. YES! K___Pizzeria! My favorite. That post was HYSTERICAL!

  7. A pinata episiotomy - I love it. Especially the picture will all of the paper. What were they thinking?!

  8. Oh my God! You had me laughing outloud! What a crappy pinata! I have a bat if you need it.

  9. The little frown on the frog got me. I'm weeping.

  10. The silver lining here is that frog is going to bust open with the first or second wack. You won't have the common pinata problem of the kids getting bored & wandering off, leaving the dads to pick up the slack and start hitting it. Seriously!

  11. I stand by my suggestion - obviously it worked!

    I hope your parties are a smashing (heh heh) success!

  12. *snort*

    This is but one of the many reasons I adore you!

  13. So are you going to get the frog a little donut pillow for the froggy episiotomy?

  14. The frog is super cute. The paper, great packing idea. The not so easy to remove paper from hole -FAIL

    Blog Hopping ;-) Good luck in the Mac and Cheese Contest! Thanks for entering!

  15. I was always afraid to give small children a weapon to beat something with. Call me a sissy but ... I still have all my fingers and toes and my kids skulls are all intact. I'm sure you're just better at organizing and supervising than I am!

  16. Sorry, with all my computer issues, i missed this. The thing to do would have been to take some scissors and snip at the paper, then pull out the resulting smaller strips. The problem is you have to watch your fingers, and it takes more time than snipping open the frog's butt. OTC is likely to send you a coupon. That is their usual response. Last time I had a problem, they sent me $25. Which was kinda nice. You might want to look into Rhode island Novelty; very much like OTC was a few years ago, complete with relative cheapness. I also like Kipp Brothers Toys and U.S. roy Company- like you need more sources for cheap cheaps and party crap. ;)

  17. Oh, REMOVE the paper?? That is GENIUS!

  18. And in the midst of all this party prep, you said to yourself "I'll document this for a blog post!" and make a froggy sad-face. Awesome!

    Happy Birthday, Jack!

  19. At least you didn't have the experience we did several years ago at another child's 3rd birthday. They had a clown pinata (i.e., a human effigy) and it was hanging as if from a noose. Then, we have a bunch of parents cheering the kids on by yelling "Hit him in the head!"

    Good times.

  20. HA!!HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAH!!!! Oh, thank you for posting those photos!!!! They were grossly, inappropriately funny!!!! What were they THINKING?!

  21. Well, the problem is solved now, but I was trying to think of a way you could light the newspaper inside the frog on fire without destroying the frog itself.

  22. Elaine, it's like you are Alex or something. That is exactly what he would do. Which is EXACTLY why we have a rule that he is not allowed to start any fires without asking me first.

    And that rule has come in very handy, I tell ya.

  23. why would it be stuffed with paper--how annoying!! great you were able to get the pinata up and running--hope the party was wonderful!

  24. Great job on that frog. LOL! I can imagine the work that you did with that pinata. I really hope the party went well too.

  25. I received a catalog from them and was all "[sniff] 'Oriental' is offensive" and "as a woman of Asian descent, I should not use this company" but then paged through it and was all "Wow, this is some cheap shit" and "free shipping? Sign me up" and I totally used Oriental Trading Company for all Lumpyhead's birthday party favors.

    The invites, too.

    I hang my head in shame.

  26. Hilarious - empty paper. Sorry it was funny and I also hope your party went well and I too am a professional complainer.

  27. For future reference, the best place to get a pinata is a Mexican grocery store! All other places kinda suck. At the Mexican store you can also get Coca-Cola in tall, old-fashioned glass bottles. So go there!

  28. OK since this has been your longest blog hiatus ever I think ... did you survive birthday party hell?!?!?!? Did someone beat the gerbil instead of the frog????

  29. Dear Stimeyland...
    Your frog expisiotomy was an absolute hoot! Thanks for sharing. Please don't take the "change of management" to heart. Yes, I work here, at Oriental Trading Company! We are currently in the process of upgrading and standardizing all of our products. Through helpful comments such as yours, a new process has been put in place on our web site for customers to rate the quality of our product. We do not take the ratings lightly. Anything dropping below 3.5, it's back to the drawing board. It is our plan to get and keep all of those ratings up so as not to loose valuable customers as yourself. We're sorry our frog failed, but please don't give up on us. Our main objective is to make our customers happy.


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