1933: My grandfather Jocko Bonzo emigrates from Serbia to the U.S. and starts a small popcorn business, but his real passion is painting collectible figurines with gigantic heads.
1937: Grandpa Jocko sells his “bobble-buddies” from a popcorn cart in the Bronx, and Lou Gehrig purchases one of his own likeness for $1.22. He returns to Yankee Stadium and shows his teammates Joe DiMaggio and Bob Meusel, who each buy their own bobble-buddy in order to determine which one is ugliest. DiMaggio wins the competition, which he technically also loses.
1939: The first brick-and-mortar Bonzo’s Bonkers Bobbleheads store opens on 161st Street.
1945: Grandpa Jocko’s patriotic Hitler-in-Hellfire figurine is featured on the “Necco Wafer Kiddie-Time Comedy Hour.” A national sensation, it sells upward of twenty thousand units. The company is valued at more than two million dollars (gold standard).
1970: I am born, and my parents name me after my grandfather. To Grandpa Jocko’s delight, the priest humorously bobbles my head in and out of the baptismal font.
1992: The bobblehead renaissance of the early nineties begins. I am hired as director of innovation after graduating from Columbia’s Bonzo School of Sports Memorabilia and Whittling. To modernize, I persuade my grandfather to change the company’s name from Bonkers to Bonkerz. Sales increase three hundred per cent.
1995: Grandpa Jocko dies in his sleep and is memorialized with a bust inside Yankee Stadium. Despite his last wishes (and a very detailed schematic), it does not bobble.
1998: I am named C.E.O. and buy a Ferrari 550. I am approached by a hedge fund that expresses interest in using our limited-edition Bobblin’ Big Mac Mark McGwire bobbleheads as collectivized collateral for debt. I am wary of backing multimillion-dollar investments with caricatures of Mark McGwire, but I eventually agree that it is a sound business investment. (The guy hit seventy dingers in one season!) I ease my mind by purchasing a Ferrari with a longer name.
2001: As a rider to the Patriot Act, Collateralized Bobblehead Debt Obligations (C.B.H.D.O.s) receive approval from the Federal Reserve as legitimate ways to structure debt. I whittle a one-of-a-kind bobblehead of Alan Greenspan as a token of my appreciation.
2003: More than thirty hedge funds take advantage of C.B.H.D.O.s to back investments in Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, which subsequently use this capital to advance foreign infrastructure, create jobs in energy, and invade Iraq.
2008: We honestly had nothing to do with this.
2021: Pop the champagne! Moody’s and S. & P. quietly value our bobblehead reserve at 4.2 quadrillion USD, making us the largest sports-memorabilia company in history. (Also, we’re the first corporation to be worth more than the global monetary-reserve system.) We are investigated by the S.E.C, but I am able to pull a few strings (whittle a bobblehead of Janet Yellen). Our Dancin’ Phanatic bobblehead is named the official standard backing the krone by the central bank of Norway.
2022: I buy the pathetic Funko Pop! corporation and then blow its headquarters to smithereens. The scattered dust tastes sweet in my mouth.
2022 (summer): Economic terrorists from the r/bobblefuckers subreddit realize that Norway’s paper currency is backed by bobbleheads after someone actually reads the Norwegian constitution. Redditors swarm our 161st Street headquarters and buy up all our Dancin’ Phanatics, which I left specific instructions not to sell. Norway’s economy collapses. The economies of Sweden and Denmark follow. Economists refer to this event as the Scandanavian Bobble Bubble (or S.B.B.).
2023: Seventy-eight hedge funds liquidate their assets after C.B.H.D.O.s are outlawed during the subprime bobblehead-backed securities crisis of 2023. The global economy goes into free fall. The Ecuadorian government is replaced by a podcast-led junta, and Mel Gibson takes over the deserts of Australia. (Anyone paying attention could tell that this was his plan all along.)
2024: I am forced to sell my longest-named Ferrari.
2030: From a popcorn stand in the Bronx to precipitating an economic apocalypse two hundred times worse than the late Bronze Age collapse, Bonzo’s has certainly been there for you through it all, with fun-filled collectible figurines for the whole family! I often pray for death to take me in my sleep just like it took my grandfather, but every day I wake up to the bitter cold of my bobblebunker, surrounded by hand-whittled statues of those I have loved and lost, all of them perpetually nodding as if to say, “Yes, you are responsible. You did this.”