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My Merry Hess Mess

Toys for 56 year old men.  Hmmm.  Not sure that’s what Hess had in mind when they donated 1000 toy Hess trucks to Mayor Doherty’s Sandy victim toy drive.

Then again, maybe they don’t really care.  The goodwill to be gained from the press coverage was worth the 10 to 20 grand the trucks might have cost them.  (Also, don’t forget that our marina has purchased a lot of gas from Hess over the years.)

But they really should have given us a lot fewer of these trucks.  Even if they gave us only 200 or so, they would have still gotten the same beneficial press.  And maybe none of them would have ended up being a Christmas present for a 56 year old man who, except for a lost week of wages, was not harmed by Sandy.

The dozen or so of you who attended the most recent borough council meeting know that I was kind of perplexed as to why Hess would give us so many of these things.  I was concerned about what a town of only about 5000 people would do with 1000 toy trucks.  The mayor jokingly asked if I wanted one and then told me he planned to share them with other Sandy-hit towns, including Sea Bright and Union Beach.

Fair enough, although I probably would have given most of them to the Salvation Army in Asbury Park and to Madonna House in Neptune.  There’s a lot more families that are just plain-old poor than there are that are poor because of Sandy.  To kids with too few toys it makes little difference why they’re poor.  And as you all know, I think private charities are much better equipped to leverage the most human happiness from whatever resources are available than any political organization can be.

Fast forward to Christmas Day at the Schneck family.  The wrapping paper is flying.  I gave my popcorn-loving 14 year old daughter a Presto hot air popcorn machine and a big jar of Orville Redenbacher popcorn.  (Those microwave buttered-popcorn bags she was using really stink up the house and especially stink up the microwave.)

And she gave me……….a Hess truck!

Let me tell you.  This truck is sooooo cool!  From the Hess website:

This heavy-duty Hess Truck and fully motorized multi-terrain tractor is built to move mountains, and debuts an exciting new feature!  The chrome detailed truck and trailer is loaded with lights that work in flash or steady mode, and has 4 realistic sounds for ignition/idle, horn, backup alert, and ramp activation.  Hidden in the rear of the truck bed is an extendable rear loading ramp, which lowers for the self-propelled, multipurpose tractor to do the heavy lifting!  With a fully motorized rubber track for forward and reverse motion, working lights, a locking front bucket with release button, and 360° swiveling back bucket, it’s ready to take on the toughest terrain!

The 2013 Hess Toy Truck and Tractor also includes a new interactive feature for virtual gamers.  The 4 realistic sounds on the truck also activate bonuses on the Hess Tractor Trek app game!


And it’s built really solid.  I really like it.

Well I played with it for about 10 minutes and then my eyes narrowed and I turned to her.  “Where did you get this?”

“I won it at St. Rose (grammar school) daddy…..each class got two trucks to raffle off to the kids and I won one of them.” (I’m not going to publish her name because the mayor wants all charity recipients to remain anonymous.)

My guess is that the town sent 50 of them over to St. Rose, which I suppose was a nice gesture, and I guess I’m happy that my daughter won one of them, but obviously it’s not right that I ended up with one of these toys which were meant to go to children who were victims of the storm.

Well I’m not giving it away 1) because it was a gift from my daughter, and 2) because it’s soooo cool.  But I am aware that there would be a certain level of hypocrisy in enjoying this truck after previously making an issue of who the recipients of Hess’s generosity would be.  So I assuaged my feelings of guilt by donating the $25 value of one of these to the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots organization.

I can now play with my new toy guilt free:

One Comment

  1. Tom Burke wrote:

    Well, I’m Jealous……

    Saturday, December 28, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

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