Here, There, and Everywhere

      Those determined individuals who insist on purchasing products made in the United States of America must have to compromise their principles a bit when shopping these days.

In the morning they might emerge from a bed covered with a sheet set distributed by a well-known company headquartered in Minnesota but might feel let down if they read the label indicating the bedsheet set was made in Bahrain, a country with a name that sounds like a grouchy reaction to a 90% precipitation forecast.

Off go the sleep pants and shirt made in Vietnam, on go the black crew socks taken from the plastic package with the red, white, and blue label suggesting an American product until one reads the small print under the “Made in USA” banner: “Finished in El Salvador.” The grumpy comment muttered by those Yankees yanking on the socks might be “I wish we were finished in El Salvador.”

Over the boxer shorts made in Honduras go the slacks assembled in the Dominican Republic of US components and the red-checked shirt made in Bangladesh. After slipping on a down coat also made in Bangladesh sold by the famous outdoor clothes manufacturer from Maine, one removes a light coat of snow from the sidewalk with a shovel or a layer of leaves from the porch with a broom, both made in Canada, while sucking on a soothing cough drop also made north of the border.

Later when back inside, reaching for a taste of American sweetness in the form of the red-and-white round candies from “American’s candy maker since 1904” brings no solace when the bag tells all that the peppermint treat is a “Product of Mexico.” And, of course, reaching for a generic brand of cough or vitamin C drops will bring one close to the words seen on merchandise in most every department of every store in this country: “Made in China” or “Product of China.”

Waving the white flag of surrender has already supplanted Old Glory in plants across the USA. What will be the next step in this invasion into all parts of our homes? I suggested as much in a bit of doggerel composed many years ago.

 

“Made in Korea. Assembled in Peru.”

I saw no reason for the label to lie;

But what has me shaking a bit is that

I found it with my corned beef on rye!

 

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