Texas Retailer Decides its OK to Sell bin Laden Piñatas

A border retailer who initially decided not to sell piñatas made to look like terrorist suspect Usama bin Laden has changed his mind.

Rene Karam, owner of JJ's Party House in McAllen, Texas, said he's going to sell the papier-mache bin Ladens but at least 10 percent of the proceeds will go to New York firefighters, who were some of the thousands killed when two hijacked airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center Sept. 11.

To avoid offending anyone locally, the piñatas won't be sold in the store, but Karam said he will sell them over the Web and on Ebay.

The Mexican packages of paper or clay that spew candy when children hit them with a stick will sell for $30 plus $35 for shipping.

"Whatever I sell, I want to give part of the profits to the firefighters," Karam told The Monitor in McAllen for its Saturday editions.

While Karam has received a handful of negative calls about selling the piñatas, most have been requests to buy one.

"I have had probably 500 calls from all over the country," he said. "I just shipped one off to Australia."

Another batch of 25 was ordered by a stress relief clinic in California, so that clients could bash out their anxieties over bin Laden.

"I guess it's some kind of therapy," said Karam.