You know the ones, sad, hurt animals staring helplessly at the camera, shaking with fear, pleading for folks to save them by sending money now. Commercials that can cause even the most hardened-of-heart viewers to break down and cry like a baby.
"Since 1900, the estimated number of wild tigers has declined from 100,000 to as few as 3,200. Your monthly donations could mean the difference between survival and extinction for species and wildlife around the world...."
A photo is flashed of boastful butchers with blood-soaked, tiger-skin trophies.
Well my dear readers, this is all it takes for the altruistic Nicholas to want to help, not to mention of course, the acquisition of a fluffy soft stuffed tiger that's yours for free with a single donation.
"Mummy, pleeeease can we help?" begs Nicholas.
Tiny tears pour from his face as he looks at me with an angel-like expression of profound concern.
"We need to save them," he pleads, grabbing my hand and looking deep into my eyes.
This is the second time in less than a week, he has bounded into action, appealing to his similarly soft-hearted mother and tight-fisted ruler of the purse strings.
I stop for a moment and wonder how on earth I am going to explain to this benevolent boy the meaning of the word, sentimental sap.
"Nicholas, sometimes companies will try to make you cry so they can get you to send them money, lots and lots of money" I explain futilely.
"But Mom," he says, they'll send us a stuffed tiger!"
I try to hide my amusement as I think of all the gobs and gobs of gimmicky goods we grabbed over the years.
Yes, we are what you call the target audience of every obnoxious advertiser known to Nick Jr television. You can be sure that if it is a Dream Light, a Flashlight Friend, a Snuggly Sack or a Hide-Away-Pet, we own it.
We are the soft-hearted, sentimental saps sadvertisers seek.
I suspect very shortly we will be adding a "save-the-tiger friend" to our growing collection of "call today and receive free" merchandise.....Oy!
Nick's Furry Flashlight Friend