Friday, October 16, 2009

What’s More Dangerous, Balloons or Cleavage?

Greetings true believers. I’m sorry I’ve been negligent with the blog-making lately. Since my last entry, I’ve taken no fewer than six business trips out of state, sold my house, bought a house, and enjoyed my first colonoscopy.

Of all those aforementioned activities, I can’t tell you which the biggest pain in the ass was. Believe it or not, it probably wasn’t the colonoscopy. Another story for another blog—lucky for you.

In short, I survived it all, found my Internet connection, and now humbly throw myself back into cyberspace a-la-Meaghan McCain. Why do I love her? I think I may have a conservo-crush, and it’s not just ‘cuz of the whole “tank top incident.”

You didn’t hear about that? It’s really nothing. Meaghan wore a tank top, showed her Grand Canyon of cleavage in a photo posted on Twitter, then suffered the conservative backlash of those that want all Republican women to look like Nancy Reagan. Now, Nancy may very well wear the cleavage machine tank top at home, but she realizes she shouldn’t post a photo of her wearing it on Twitter. Now we’re really talking “don’t-ask-don’t-tell.”

Maybe I like the fact that Meaghan is tech savvy and her dad is tech illiterate. Or, maybe it’s that she knows she can’t see Russia from her house—and she’s not pretending to love the people who say they can, even though she’s Republican. I can’t put my finger on why I like Meaghan McCain—but if you can figure it out, let me know! It’s kinda bugging me.

But, now that I’m back online in the recreational sense, I’ve come across video news footage that I might generously place under the header of, “momentary lapses of parental judgment” or less generously under “reasons why they should require a license before allowing procreation.”

Let’s start with those goofballs in Colorado—the ones that made a homemade weather balloon/alien spy vehicle only to see it released 7,000 feet into the sky with their six-year-old son on board! The thing floated from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs and, by the time it crashed, the kid was nowhere to be found.

The government sent helicopters, neighbors raced after it like tornado chasers in their trucks, but they couldn’t find the kid.

Suddenly, and inexplicably, the parents realized the boy was in their attic playing all along. Um, hello? Was it more likely their kid was floating in space than playing in their house? Didn’t they look there? And why the hell do people make a homemade weather balloon and leave it unattended for the six year-olds to play with?

I came to find out later these same parents were featured on the ridiculous reality show, “Wife Swap,” begging the question—were they just looking for the media attention all along? And, come to think of it, the answer doesn’t matter. They’re ridiculous goofballs either way. How about “Brain Swap?” Seriously.

Then, just as I’m ready to dismiss this incident as anomalous, the next day, I see this news footage of a mother in Melbourne Australia, waiting for a train with her baby in a stroller. She turns away from the stroller long enough to let the thing roll off the platform, with the baby, onto the tracks, just as the train was pulling into the station.

Dudes, I made the mistake of watching that video while sitting in a café and gasped so loud they thought I was choking on a veggie panini. Holy crap. I made them give me the Heimlich maneuver, anyway. It showed they cared.

Don’t those strollers have brakes anymore? And what better time to use the brakes than when parking your infant on a train platform. Hello????!!

The good news is, the kid in the stroller miraculously survived with only a scratch—turns out the stroller took better care of the kid than the mother did. The bad news is, the mom gets to keep the baby. What is the deal with Australia? Does a dingo have to eat a baby to get people to wonder about the suitability of a person’s parenting?

I know I sound harsh, but I’m in a mood here. Maybe it’s Meaghan McCain’s cleavage, but I’m feeling a little angst.

Justified or not, I just want to say this: People, hang onto your children. Don’t send them up in balloons (or leave them alone in attics) and don’t let them roll away in front of an oncoming train or feed them to dingoes. Kids are perfectly capable of creating their own danger and drama. Parents are supposed to help them avoid that stuff! Duh.

“Where the Wild Things Are” (the movie) comes out this week and it’s about a kid that leaves his parents and sets sail on the seven seas to join a tribe of monsters on an island. You see? We’re scaring the kids away!

So, next time your kid is vegging out safely on the couch watching the tube or playing a video game, don’t go crazy with the cries of “too much television” or “go play outside.” Just enjoy the fact that they’re safe, they’re whole, they’re healthy, and they’re with you.

It could be worse. They could be posting revealing pictures of themselves on Twitter.

© 2009, Herb Williams-Dalgart