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WASHINGTON (CAP) - As boys and girls finalize their Halloween costumes and gear up for an evening of trick-or-treating throughout the nation's neighborhoods, President Barack Obama is asking parents to be extra vigilant with their children's capers and other high jinx to ensure healthier, more environmentally-sound pranks are being pulled this year.
"As a former child myself, I understand the need and desire for a touch of tomfoolery on All Hallows' Eve," Obama said. "But we can't lose sight of what it means to be a healthy prankster, a safe prankster, a conscientious prankster.
"Remember what they say," Obama added. "Trick or treat is really neat, but going green just can't be beat."
The president then laid out a set of guidelines that he said he hopes "teens, tweens and pre-teens alike" will follow before heading out for their yearly shenanigans this Halloween. Among the recommendations are ditching the toilet paper for more environmentally-friendly flushable wipes, smashing pumpkins and then bringing the pieces to the local food pantry, and exchanging regular eggs for the healthier alternative of Egg Beaters.
"All of the splat with none of the cholesterol," Obama noted. "And think how easily that'll clean up with those flushable wipes."
Many parental groups have come out in support of the president's Halloween suggestions, including Mothers Against Everything (MAE) who released a statement saying, "We know what we're against, and we're not against this." However, various industry organizations have blasted the plan, calling any change in Halloween traditions "as un-American as the nose on [Obama's] face."
"Flushable wipes my ass," said Art Fontelroy of the Toilet Paper Producers Guild of America. "I mean, you can't replace the beauty of a roll of one-ply arcing over the branch of an oak tree with a piece of floppy wet cloth. It just ain't right.
"We do 25 percent of our annual business this month alone, second only to high school graduation season," Fontelroy added. "If he keeps this up, we're gonna have to ask for a bailout - no shit."
Obama also cited a recent study which found that due to the ever-increasing obesity epidemic affecting the nation's youth, more and more children are unable to run away after "ding dong ditch" and are getting caught before they even get out of the front yard.
"And where I grew up in Chicago, if you didn't get out of the front yard before the homeowner came to the door, you would be shot," Obama stated. "The fear alone helped keep us thin. Well, that and my smoking."
Obama then sidetracked himself into a conversation about healthcare, reminding everyone present at the press conference that "the best way to keep health costs down is to stay healthy." He then excused himself for his late-morning aromatherapy session.
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