Chinese Factory Worker Can't Believe The Shit He Makes For Americans

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Vol 41 Issue 24

All Of Math Teacher's Examples Involve Moon Pies

BAY CITY, MI—According to sources at Bay City Middle School, all of 51-year-old math teacher Lance Stonitch's in-class examples express numbers in quantities of Moon Pies, the snack item consisting of marshmallow fluff packed between round graham crackers and coated with chocolate, vanilla, or banana icing. "Let's say Jimmy and Janie eat 40 Moon Pies in two weeks," Stonitch said Monday. "Their friends John and Joe are coming to visit for two days, and John and Joe eat Moon Pies twice as fast as Jimmy and Janie. How many Moon Pies does Jimmy need to buy the week of the visit, to have enough Moon Pies for everyone?" While most of Stonitch's students have no idea what a Moon Pie is, eighth-grader Trace Crutchfield said, "Whenever Mr. Stonitch says 'Moon Pies,' we just think of that as a generic unit."

Portugal Finally Gets It Together

LISBON, PORTUGAL—To the relief of surrounding countries, Portugal seems to have finally gotten its ducks in a row, sources reported Monday. "Man, I didn't think P. would ever get it together," said Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. "But it really cleaned up its act and got its shit straight. Who would've guessed?" Cyprus said that if Portugal can do it, maybe it can, too.

Coke Party Takes A Couple Minutes To Get Going

POMPANO BEACH, FL—According to partygoers, an impromptu cocaine bash on North Ocean Boulevard took three to four minutes to really get hopping Monday night. "This place is like a morgue," said Paul Manero, moments after doing a line. "I wonder if they've got any of those daiquiris left. Oh God, look, things are warming up. Hey Mark, do you have any of those daiqui—know where I got these shoes? I got them at—what's that? Hey, did I tell you I went to Chicago last week? Yeah, it was—hey, what's this song? Chingy? It sucks! This rules!" According to clean and sober sources, the party actually blew all along.

GM's Rising Costs

General Moters announced that it intends to cut 25,000 jobs in the coming years, explaining that it is losing money on every vehicle that it sells in North America. What are the costs of producing a typical GM car?

Medical Marijuana

Last week, the Supreme Court upheld the federal government's right to ban marijuana use, even in states that allow it for medical reasons. What do you think?

Everything That Can Go Wrong Listed

FULLERTON, CA—A worldwide consortium of scientists, mathematicians, and philosophers is nearing the completion of the ambitious, decade-long project of cataloging everything that can go wrong, project leader Dr. Thomas R. Kress announced at a press conference Tuesday.

I Wish Someone Would Do Something About How Fat I Am

Let me level with you. I'm fat. Not heavyset, but F-A-T, fat. I'm not saying this because I'm proud. It takes a lot of courage to admit it, but I have a problem. Strangers gape in amazement. Children taunt me behind my back. People have trouble looking at me when I eat, and for good reason: I'm huge. But gosh, I don't like being this way. I hate it as much as you do—maybe more. What I want to know is, how come no one is doing anything about it?
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Chinese Factory Worker Can't Believe The Shit He Makes For Americans

FENGHUA, CHINA—Chen Hsien, an employee of Fenghua Ningbo Plastic Works Ltd., a plastics factory that manufactures lightweight household items for Western markets, expressed his disbelief Monday over the "sheer amount of shit Americans will buy."

Chen makes yet more stupid crap for consumers overseas.

"Often, when we're assigned a new order for, say, 'salad shooters,' I will say to myself, 'There's no way that anyone will ever buy these,'" Chen said during his lunch break in an open-air courtyard. "One month later, we will receive an order for the same product, but three times the quantity. How can anyone have a need for such useless shit?"

Chen, 23, who has worked as an injection-mold operator at the factory since it opened in 1996, said he frequently asks himself these questions during his workweek, which exceeds 60 hours and earns him the equivalent of $21.

"I hear that Americans can buy anything they want, and I believe it, judging from the things I've made for them," Chen said. "And I also hear that, when they no longer want an item, they simply throw it away. So wasteful and contemptible."

Among the items that Chen has helped create are plastic-bag dispensers, microwave omelet cookers, glow-in-the-dark page magnifiers, Christmas-themed file baskets, animal-shaped contact-lens cases, and adhesive-backed wall hooks.

"Sometimes, an item the factory produces resembles nothing I've ever seen," Chen said. "One time, we made something that looked like a ladle, but it had holes in its cup and a handle that bent down 90 degrees. The foreman told us that it was a soda-can holder for an automobile. If you are lucky enough to own a car, sit back and enjoy the journey. Save the soda beverage for later."

Chen added: "A cup holder is not a necessary thing to own."

Chen expressed similar confusion over the tens of thousands of pineapple corers, plastic eyeshades, toothpick dispensers, and dog pull-toys that he has helped manufacture.

"Why the demand for so many kitchen gadgets?" Chen said. "I can understand having a good wok, a rice cooker, a tea kettle, a hot plate, some utensils, good china, a teapot with a strainer, and maybe a thermos. But all these extra things—where do the Americans put them? How many times will you use a taco-shell holder? 'Oh, I really need this silverware-drawer sorter or I will have fits.' Shut up, stupid American."

Chen added that many of the items break after only a few uses.

"None are built to last very long," Chen said. "That is probably so the Americans can return to buy more. Not even the badly translated assembly instructions deter them. If I bought a kitchen item that came with such poor Mandarin instructions, I would return the item immediately."

May Gao of the Hong Kong-based labor-advocacy group China Labour Bulletin said complaints like Chen's are common among workers in China's bustling industrial cities.

"Last week, I took testimony from several young female workers from Shenzhen who said they were locked in a work room for 18 straight hours making inflatable Frisbees," Gao said. "Finally, the girls joined hands on the factory floor and began to chant, 'No more insane flying toys for Western pigs!' They quickly lost their jobs and were ostracized by their families, but the incident was a testament to China's growing disillusionment with producing needless crap for fat-ass foreigners."

Continued Gao: "As Chinese manufacturing and foreign investment continue to grow, and more silly novelty products are invented, we can expect to see more of these protests."

In the meantime, Chen continues to stew in bitterness. Though he dislikes his work, competition for manufacturing jobs in Fenghua is stiff and he must support his wife, mother, and 2-year-old son.

"My cousin Yuen is self-employed," Chen said. "He disassembles old computers that are acquired from overseas and extracts the traces of valuable gold and silver from the circuit boards. He asked me to join him. The work is very toxic, but at least I would not be looking at suction-cup razor holders and jumbo-dice keychains all day."

Chen added: "For now, I must refuse the job. Somehow, the only thing more depressing than making plastic shit for Americans is destroying the plastic shit they send back."

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