Perhaps I just don’t understand the full scope of the Department of Homeland Security, but I never imagined it would be involved in policing toy stores for product knock-offs. Neither did Stephanie Cox—owner of Pufferbelly Toys in St. Helens, Oregon—yet she was recently contacted by someone in the department and shortly after that two agents showed up in her shop.
“I was shaking in my shoes,” Cox said of the September phone call. “My first thought was the government can shut your business down on a whim, in my opinion. If I’m closed even for a day that would cause undue stress.”
When the two agents arrived at the store, the lead agent asked Cox whether she carried a toy called the Magic Cube, which he said was an illegal copy of the Rubik’s Cube, one of the most popular toys of all time.
He told her to remove the Magic Cube from her shelves, and he watched to make sure she complied.
After the agents left, Cox called the manufacturer of the Magic Cube, the Toysmith Group, which is based in Auburn, Wash. A representative told her that Rubik’s Cube patent had expired, and the Magic Cube did not infringe on the rival toy’s trademark.
**GASP!!!*** SHE WAS SELLING A RUBIK’S CUBE KNOCK-OFF?!?!? I DON’T BELIEVE IT!!! MAN, IT’S A GOOD THING THOSE AGENTS RUSHED IN AND FORCED HER TO STOP SELLING THESE INSTRUMENTS OF DOOM OBVIOUSLY MANUFACTURED BY TERRORISTS TRYING TO UNDERMINE THE U.S. ECONOMY BY CAUSING A COLLAPSE IN THE VITAL RUBIK’S CUBE MARKET!!!
Wait a minute! What I meant to say was: What the fuck? Didn’t we just have ABC air a video tape from someone claiming to be an American al Qaeda member who’s promising more bloodshed on American soil soon? Why aren’t these assholes out looking for “Azzam the American’s” buddies? If this Magic Cube is an illegal knock-off then why the hell aren’t they raiding the offices of the Toysmith Group and stopping the problem at its source rather than harassing some shop owner first? Surely there are more important issues the Department of Homeland Security could be dealing with?