While many of you may hate the idea of having to shovel snow this December 25, I have a feeling that Heath and Debrah Campbell of Hunterdon County, New Jersey are dreaming of a white Christmas.
The Campbells recently made national headlines after a local supermarket refused to make a birthday cake with their son’s name on it. Why did the local ShopRite refuse a seemingly simple request – to write their son’s name in frosting? Because the Campbells’ three-year-old son is named Adolf Hitler.
This isn’t the first time that the ShopRite in Greenwich Township has refused to make a cake for the Campbells. Last February, the supermarket wouldn’t make a cake for the Campbells one-year-old daughter, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation. Their daughter Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell, named after Heinrich Himmler, turns one in April, so we’ll have to wait until then to see if ShopRite will once again turn away the Campbell’s cake request, or if the tribute to Himmler will be subtle enough to slip by the ShopRite’s cake patrol.
You would think that the Campbells would give up and stop going back to the same store for each and every birthday cake. But perhaps they are holding out hope that the ShopRite will eventually get over this whole “intense hatred of Nazis” thing and will start making their cakes.
As odd as it is to say, I feel bad for little Adolf Hitler too. It must be hard for him to go into a supermarket hoping to get a delicious cake for his birthday, only to have the people behind the counter refuse to make it for him because they are offended by his family’s beliefs. What kind of lesson is the ShopRite sending to this little blonde-haired, blue-eyed child? It certainly seems like they are teaching young Adolf Hitler that it is okay to treat someone differently because their beliefs are different from yours.
Luckily, all was not lost. The Campbells were eventually able to buy a birthday cake for Adolf Hitler from a Wal-mart in Lower Nazareth Township. I’m surprised they didn’t just try Wal-mart in the first place. The company has become a powerhouse by crushing local businesses and cutting costs by having their merchandise made in third-world countries with lax worker’s rights laws, it’s not like they are suddenly going to grow a conscience and deny the Campbells a chance to buy a Hitler cake. In fact, the Campbells said that they bought Adolf’s first two birthday cakes from Wal-mart. Next year, they should head to Wal-mart first, instead of going back to those intolerant ShopRite Cake Nazis.
Heath Campbell doesn’t understand why people can’t get past his son’s name.
“They say, ‘He (Hitler) killed all those people.’ I say, ‘You’re living in the wrong decade. That Hitler’s gone,'” Campbell said.
He went on to say, “They’re just names, you know. Yeah, they (Nazis) were bad people back then. But my kids are little. They’re not going to grow up like that.”
The more I started to think about it, the more I thought Campbell might be on to something. Sure, the old Adolf Hitler was responsible for some of the worst atrocities ever committed, but perhaps this new Adolf Hitler is capable of great things.
We live in an era of remakes. I never thought I would see the day when the acclaimed, Oscar-winning film Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?, which tackled the racial tension felt in the 1960s, would be remade as a comedy starring Bernie Mac and Ashton Kutcher or the day when the cheesy, heavy-handed film The Day the Earth Stood Still about an alien and his robot friend Gort who threaten to destroy the earth if we didn’t stop the Cold War would be remade as a heavy-handed environmentally-themed film starring Keanu Reeves. At this point, we are three months away from someone remaking Citizen Kane as a slapstick comedy starring Jimmy Fallon, so the thought of “remaking” Adolf Hitler as a kinder, gentler humanitarian doesn’t seem that crazy to me anymore. Besides, if any franchise could use a reboot, it’s Nazi Germany. The Nazis have always appeared so one dimensional (just look at the upcoming “heartwarming” Christmas movie called Valkyrie, in which Tom Cruise attempts to assassinate Hitler), so maybe Adolf 2.0 (with the help of the young Aryan Nation) could come in with a fresh take on the role.
Perhaps Adolf Hitler Campbell could devote his life to charity work. He could volunteer at Jewish community centers and synagogues, making the name Adolf Hitler synonymous with hope and good deeds. With the help of his family, Aryan Nation and Himmler, Adolf Hitler could take over the world with kindness, reigning in a new order of charity and good deeds.
After all, what’s in a name? Johnny Cash’s “boy named Sue” was saddled with a sissy name, one that forced him to defy expectations and become grizzled and tough. Perhaps being saddled with a name that is synonymous with evil will cause the young Adolf Hitler to defy expectations and do something truly great with his life. If the “Kitlers” on Cats That Look Like Hitler have taught us anything, it’s that just because people associate you with an evil dictator, it doesn’t mean you can’t still be warm and cuddly (and adorable).
I believe that Adolf Hitler Campbell can do great things in this world. With a little hard work and selfless giving, I believe this young child can live to see a day where the ShopRite would be glad to make a cake with his name on it. Perhaps he can even inspire others to erase the hate and embrace all that is good in this world. I truly believe he can do it because from what I hear; Adolf Hitler is really good at motivating people.
Joel Murphy is the creator of HoboTrashcan, which is probably why he has his own column. He loves pugs, hates Jimmy Fallon and has an irrational fear of robots. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.