While we're talking diamonds...My sister works customer service for Tiffany & Co., and I'm always psyched to hear all the reasons people call to harangue a luxury marketer. I've done the phones circuit, too--have been guilted into listening to stories about kidney stones and estranged beloveds after reporting someone's shaming password--but her stories are different: Um, yeah, so I saw that movie? And I think I have a blood diamond? So like. I want to return it. 

And as my sister recounts how she tripped over the party line, I'm already thinking about when we were kids & our favorite cereal was that crazy Swedish Chef one and how it assured us: IMPRESS YOUR MOM--TURN THIS BOX INTO A DIAMOND! All we had to do was tuck it deep into the earth and wait a billion years while the carbon did the dirty work. Yeah, sure--but we thought if we collected enough boxes and buried them at least for a little while, maybe we'd still get something chrome-y and fun & could therefore bypass Claire's. It was exciting at first, but our neighbors just "didn't do" compost.

At the time, I was only a few years past actually believing I could fly, so it hurt to be lampooned by a box's cruel trivia. If only I could have taken my angst out in a smarmy science fair project, a la whatever poor things find themselves choosing from this list.

The one that draws a tear quickest is this one:

The Exo-ultra-matic-pain-zapper. make some bogus box, have kids clap their hands until they hurt and then report if some mumbo jumbo and a bogus box makes the pain go away. This could prove how susceptible people are to placebo.