NEW YORK - In this city that never sleeps, in this city where everyone says, "This is New York - I can do anything I want," the unthinkable has finally been breached. This just past Christmas was to have brought happiness and joy to the Smith household. They bought a gift for their baby that has become a rite of passage - a giant, three-foot teddy bear, purchased at that emporium of modern taste, Ikea.
Little did they know the evil that lurked in the heart of that teddy bear. For this teddy bear was made in a Chinese factory, with the forced labor of prison inmates. And one of those inmates had surreptitiously placed cloned stem cells, taken from unwilling participants in laboratory experiments, into the heart of every teddy bear that passed him on that dreary assembly line.
When the baby's parents unwrapped that teddy bear and placed it in his crib, the bear waited until midnight, and then came to life. The baby's cries woke his parents. They sat bolt upright, and then rushed into his bedroom. They switched on the light, and were horrified: their baby had scratch marks all over him. Mrs. Smith asked her husband, "Do you think the cat did this?" He replied, "No. I locked Snickers in the bathroom. Besides, that's just an old wife's tale. I'll look again, just to be sure."
He left the bedroom, and headed towards the bathroom. Mrs. Smith kept anxiously looking at her baby. Her husband came back into the room and said, "The bathroom door was closed. I looked inside, and Snickers was curled up on the floor." The Smiths turned off the light and went back to bed.
The next night after midnight, they heard the cries again, and rushed into the baby's bedroom. They turned on the light and were terrified - they saw fresh scratches. Mr. Smith said, "I'm calling the police."
A short time later, their telephone rang. Mr. Smith answered it with a breathless "Yes?" "Hi, it's Jose down at the front desk. There's a Detective Corleone from the NYPD here to see you." "Send him right up," Mr. Smith said tersely. There was an immediate knock at their door. They opened it, and the Detective walked into their co-op. They quickly reiterated what had happened, and led him into their baby's bedroom. The detective looked around the bedroom, and closely looked at the teddy bear. He then said, "Please come with me into your living room."
He asked them to sit on the sofa, and said "Did you buy that giant teddy bear from Ikea, just before Christmas?" "Yes," they replied in unison. Detective Corleone then said, "This is the third call we've gotten tonight. I don't know how to tell you this, but Ikea has been selling evil teddy bears." He then got up, went to the baby's room, and returned holding the three-foot tall bear. He placed the teddy bear on the floor, took out a pocket knife, and slit open the bear's chest. "There," he said triumphantly. The Smiths looked inside the cavity, and recoiled. Buried inside the stuffing was the beating heart of a chameleon. "I'm going to have to take this teddy bear with me, for your own safety," Detective Corleone said. Mrs. Smith started sobbing.
The detective wrapped the bear, and admonished them just before leaving, "Be careful about the teddy bears you buy from now on. The next time it could turn out worse."
This story has been brought to you by the AFL-CIO and the ILGWU, who wants to remind you to "Always look for the union label."