Warning! Candy Cane Approaching!

Hi Readers: Notes from a Culture Gone Crazy, Part 9278:

Dear Free-Range Kids: Tonight we attended our local town holiday parade. What could be better for kids? The kids were all screaming and shouting for beads, candy canes, candy, and random other loot. The first group to pass our spot handed our boys a few candy canes. Beads and Tootsie Rolls were whizzing past our heads. The next group HANDED each kid another candy cane while other candy flew past with amazing speed, tossed by small children up high on the floats. Then more HANDING out of the candy-canes.

Finally, I was told that it was against the parade rules to “throw” candy-canes as someone could get hurt. Beads and packs of M&Ms apparently can not harm a child as much, so they were in the “safe to throw” category.

Another parade member passed by and said,  “Candy-canes could poke out an eye so we have to hand them out.”

This was even worse than the “snowball festival” from last weekend where a mother suggested to me that next year they set up targets for the kids to throw the snowballs at because it was far too dangerous to throw them at each other.  AGHHHHH! — Laurie Reed

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42 Responses to Warning! Candy Cane Approaching!

  1. Misty December 14, 2011 at 9:45 pm #

    That is hilarious. I love this blog. lol. But I hate that it needs to exist…

  2. onemusingmama December 14, 2011 at 10:07 pm #

    I’d like to pretend they were handed out so they don’t break – Tootsie Rolls don’t shatter. My kids hate it when their candy canes are broken. Perhaps next year they should provide eye protection to all the kids. Oh, and hard hats in case a piece of bubble gum beans them on the head.

    Our town doesn’t allow candy to be thrown during parades. I always thought it was a clean-up issue (though the kids do a fine job of that!). Now I fear it’s a “safety” issue. Boo.

  3. Donna December 14, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

    The reason is idiotic, but handing out candy canes, rather than throwing them, makes sense. If you throw them they become slivers of peppermint rather than canes.

  4. kiesha December 14, 2011 at 10:12 pm #

    Gotta say, I was at a comedy show the other night where they threw candy canes out at the audience and I got beaned by a couple right in the face. Those suckers sting.

  5. BMS December 14, 2011 at 10:19 pm #

    My husband is blind in one eye due to getting hit in the eye by a snowball thrown by his brother when he is 12. It was a freak combination of a well thrown snowball and a previously undiagnosed genetic condition that makes his vitreous humor extremely sticky, resulting in a torn retina.

    Now of all the people I know, he is one who I could see being paranoid about snowball throwing. But he’s not. He has snowball fights with our kids, lets them throw snowballs at each other. His aim sucks (no depth perception) and we have a ‘no throwing at each other’s faces’ rule (He also has 2 hearing aids and those mothers are expensive. We don’t want them getting knocked into the snow and destroyed). But otherwise, he isn’t letting a freak childhood accident turn him into
    Mr. Paranoia. So if someone who actually might have a reasonable reason to be concerned isn’t, I don’t see the need for me to be.

  6. BMS December 14, 2011 at 10:20 pm #

    And just wanted to add, it is all fun and games until someone loses and eye. Then it’s more fun, because you can sneak up on them….

  7. Dean December 14, 2011 at 10:26 pm #

    I think this making a mountain out of a molehill. Is it stupid to worry about kids’ safety in regard to candy canes? Yes. Does it, however, make sense to hand them out because otherwise, as Donna notes, they shatter (and come on, even as an adult I like my candy canes pristine :) )? Yes. Does the parade still exist, still throw candy to the shrieking masses, etc? Yes. So what is the big deal? Some people take safety a little far. It does not appear that the organizers of this parade have done so, other than that we would prefer their rationale for the handing out of the canes be aesthetic rather than safety-related.

    And as for the mom at the snowball fest – we all know there will be absurdly cautious parents out there. But there was no indication the festival was changing its ways as a result.

    I guess my point is – the parade and festival both sound like great events unencumbered by most of the ridiculous stuff we all see in the world sometimes. Why are we looking for the one teensy aspect or comment that seems ridiculous? As humans, we can always find SOMETHING about a situation to be dissatisfied about, but that’s not a particularly productive mode to go through life with. Let’s save our outrage for the truly outrageous.

  8. dmd December 14, 2011 at 10:51 pm #

    I live in New Orleans where tossing things during parades is the norm. They have set out some regulations, but only on decorated coconuts (thrown by the Zulu parade), decorated shoes (thrown by the Muses parade), and wooden spears. The coconuts really were dangerous to throw. The shoes, not so much. But we miss the spears! They really weren’t dangerous – they were very light, ,made of bamboo with rubber arrowheads. But the year they stopped it, some of the krewes had already bought them – so we got a TON of them handed to us at the beginning of the parade.

  9. marciepooh December 14, 2011 at 11:25 pm #

    In a town I used to live in, Santa (and/or the elves in his ‘sled’) threw candy out at the very end of the parade, so kids wouldn’t run into the street in front of other floats. Makes sense, the candy was all over the road. Unfortunately, the year I rode in the parade they put all the horses after Santa (so no one would have to worry about where they put their feet) which meant that kids were running out and spooking horses and scaring/worrying my fellow Covington Cowgirls (we were the first group).

    As long as the candy isn’t landing in the street, any of it _could_ poke out an eye (don’t tell the parade planners!). Shattered candy canes are different problem.

  10. Uly December 14, 2011 at 11:59 pm #

    Man, and in some places they hurl cabbages at people’s heads!

  11. Heather G December 15, 2011 at 12:18 am #

    Broken candy canes are no fun. Stupid reason but good result. Mom wanting targets for snowball throwing would be horrified with the fun that can be had using targets to make things MORE dangerous. Ah, I have fond memories of summer camp.

  12. oncefallendotcom December 15, 2011 at 12:39 am #

    There’s an escort here in Cincinnati who is a friend of mine who uses that name, so when I read the title I can envision people panicking after her “night job” was discovered by her neighbors as it happened to her last summer.

  13. Bob December 15, 2011 at 12:44 am #

    From the headline, I mistakenly thought this story was going to be about cities banning the distribution of candy at parades because our First Lady keeps hectoring us about the plague of childhood obesity. It was actually a relief to hear that the candy canes were allowed to be handed out. If some people had their way, they would have to hand out carrots and celery sticks at parades instead of M&Ms and Tootsie Rolls.

  14. Lollipoplover December 15, 2011 at 1:11 am #

    Did that mom volunteer to BE the target for the snowball fight?

  15. EricS December 15, 2011 at 2:06 am #

    What a bunch of ninnies. ANYTHING thrown that hits the eye (any eye) is going to have the same effect…it will hurt. “Safe to throw category” bahahaha. Really? Another classic case of paro parents picking and choosing what they are afraid of, and what is more convenient for them to deal with. “Kids”. And I’m not referring to the children. Actually, saying that would be an insult to the children. lol

  16. gap.runner December 15, 2011 at 2:09 am #

    I have to agree that handing out candy canes makes sense. They would shatter when they hit the ground and be no good. In German Fasching parades the people in them throw small candies and beads to the crowd. But other things are handed out from the parade: candy that could shatter when it hits the ground, necklaces, or other breakable trinkets. It’s not a safety issue but a matter of trying to keep the different items in good condition when they’re distributed to the crowd.

    @Lollipoplover, I liked your comment asking if the mom who complained about kids throwing snowballs at each other volunteered to be the target. Very funny. I asked my son if he would rather throw snowballs at his friends or at a target. His answer, “Friends definitely.” His take was that the “danger” of throwing snowballs at his friends was what made it fun.

  17. gap.runner December 15, 2011 at 2:18 am #

    Maybe they should make it a marshmallow festival instead of a snowball one. The kids could throw marshmallows at each other. I never heard of any marshmallow-related injuries except for stomach aches from eating too many of them. Snowballs and marshmallows are both white, so who would know the difference? The down side of marshmallows is that they’re not a healthy food and can cause belly aches, cavities, and obesity. Scrap the marshmallow idea because someone could eat one and choke. Why not just have “air snowball throwing?” If there can be air guitar playing competitions, air snowball throwing is feasible.

  18. Jenny Islander December 15, 2011 at 3:00 am #

    Not throwing candy canes because kids don’t like them as much if they’re broken makes sense. Not throwing candy canes because somebody might get hurt is just silly.

  19. Lollipoplover December 15, 2011 at 3:32 am #

    @gap.runner- part of the fun of a snowball fight (at least for my kids) is the building of forts to provide “cover” and dodging balls. Kids want to hit each other!
    Our big snowball fights usually are across streets where the plow leaves huge mounds and great forts can be built (with multiple entrances). We’ve never tried organizing our childrens battles, they just happen. Snow is found suitable for forming packed balls, teams are divided, forts are made, and rules established by the children. Kids get hit, most will laugh, some cry. They usually go inside to fetch hot chocolate and return for more battle.

    Is there such a thing as a snowball target range? Wii Snowball Fight 2012?

  20. Elisabeth Snell December 15, 2011 at 3:33 am #

    umm- I can’t decide whether to laugh at the silliness or cry at the red tape making our children into mummies. bah.

  21. Stephanie December 15, 2011 at 3:48 am #

    I just wish they would have stated the sensible reason rather than the silly one.

  22. forsythia December 15, 2011 at 3:52 am #

    Want targets for snowball throwing? What, is she going to volunteer? 😉

  23. forsythia December 15, 2011 at 3:53 am #

    BTW, we had a freak snowstorm the day before Halloween. It was fun walking home from the bus and seeing Cindarella, a cop, Thing 1 and Thing 2 engaged in Epic Snowball Battle against a hoard of Zombies!

  24. Chihiro December 15, 2011 at 6:39 am #

    This is TOTALLY off-topic, but I saw this and thought of this site.
    http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/12/14/9444087-chick-fil-a-cashier-fired-for-racist-receipts-mocking-asians
    I feel this is a perfect example of people today getting upset over NOTHING at all. The definition of racism is as follows:
    “a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others.”
    Disrespectful? Totally. However, I would not call it ‘racist.’

  25. Jenne December 15, 2011 at 8:28 am #

    My toddler plays with sticks. Sometimes he throws them. I’ve been hit more than once, and I didn’t like it. Assuming these are full size candy canes, I don’t think I’d want them thrown off a float at me either! Solution is to use smaller, square-wrapped ones (they used to come in long rolls when I was a kid?) or peppermint bulls-eyes.

    I think complaining about this being a parade rule is silly. Complaining that it was holding up the parade and they should have made different choices, maybe worth it.

    But seriously, people. I’m free range, but … A rule against throwing sticks into the crowd? That’s so bad?

  26. kristycat December 15, 2011 at 9:37 am #

    By itself, it’s not really worth getting upset about. I mean, the reason is silly (honestly, has there ever been a candy-cane-related eye injury? I’m not sure I even *could* throw a candy cane hard enough to put out an eye), but there’s plenty of better reasons to hand them out rather than throwing them. (Like, as others have pointed out, the fact that candy canes shatter.)

    The reason given, though, is indicative of a larger, worrying trend. So no, I’m not up in arms about handing out candy canes – I think it’s silly, but I can smile and shake my head at it. But what it says about how people’s minds are working, that bothers me.

  27. Jespren December 15, 2011 at 10:01 am #

    Just wait until some busy body hover parent sees a kid lick a candycane into a dirk point and pretend it’s a sword. I’ve actually been cut by a candy cane before! (And my 20 month old and 3 1/2 year old are both allowed them) don’t tell me I’m the only one who knows ppl (and have myself) who have broken, melted, sucked, or licked a candy cane into a weapon before! Cuz I know at least one of you reading this must have had candy cane fencing battles with your sibblings when younger.

  28. Jenn December 15, 2011 at 11:18 am #

    If they don’t throw candy canes at parades anymore, how am I supposed to get my broken candy to make candy cane bark???

  29. kristycat December 15, 2011 at 11:47 am #

    Jespren – ohhhh yes. They were a known and respected weapon in the endless Sibling Wars.

    also, unrelated to candy canes but hilarious: http://survivingtheworld.net/Lesson234.html

  30. Dolly December 15, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    I think any candy would have the same potential of harm as candy canes. It is not like they have sharpened points.

    As a parent of a child with a severe peanut allergy any kind of event where they hand out candy is so stressful for me. I have to hover and make sure he doesn’t try to eat anything he can’t have or that even any of the candy gets wiped on him. Its exhausting.

    I would rather they just stop doing any kind of candy giveaways unless they restrict it to peanut free candy.

  31. Katrin Geisler, Frankfurt, Germany December 15, 2011 at 9:26 pm #

    This is how musicians in german carnival parades protect their instruments from flying candy
    http://view.stern.de/de/picture/Karnevalszug-K%F6ln-Pesch-ist-immer-was-los-!-1361216.html

    But seriously: Every bigger carnival parade is staffed with security personell to prevent the kids from running on the street while collecting candy, but it is allowed to throw candy and flowers.

  32. Donna December 15, 2011 at 9:49 pm #

    I have a problem with the fact that there is a rule at all. Too many rules and regulations these days. Common sense should tell you that throwing candy canes is a bad idea – for shattering reasons, not danger. If it doesn’t, then you should be allowed to continue to throw candy canes because it is not as though they are any more dangerous than tootsie rolls. In fact, I’d probably prefer to be hit with a candy cane. A candy cane weighs nothing (assuming they are throwing little ones and not springing for full size). I doubt you’d feel it hit you. A tootsie roll is a projectile of a solid bit of … whatever the heck tootsie rolls are made of. Still not a major injury to be worried about, but a bit more sting to it smacking into a cold face.

  33. pentamom December 15, 2011 at 10:02 pm #

    One thing to keep in mind is that the person the OP asked about the candy canes was not anyone necessarily in authority. The person who said “someone might get hurt” may have been talking through her hat — giving the reason she *thought* was the right one, or the one she would have used. It may have been that she was just told that candy canes shouldn’t be thrown, and drew her own conclusions.

    If the rule was about “people getting hurt,” it was silly. But in the abstract, I can’t really see the net loss in fun because someone was handed a candy cane before running to pick up the dropped candy. Besides, as people have pointed out ad infinitum, at least you get intact candy canes this way. It’s one thing to say that a rule is dumb; I don’t think we want to get so tightly wound that every time we see a dumb rule, we have to find a reason that it spoils everything.

  34. Mr D. Cage December 15, 2011 at 10:08 pm #

    Hi Admin, it’s urgent. Please get in touch with me as soon as you can.

  35. kiesha December 15, 2011 at 11:15 pm #

    Chihiro, not sure your article has anything to do with free range kids, but I feel that what that cashier did WAS racist. She probably thought she was just being funny, but she obviously felt she was in a superior position and would get away with her little joke– she probably felt that the Asian customers would either not see it or not do anything about it because they would be too meek. You don’t do things like that if you don’t think you’ll get away with it.

  36. Uly December 16, 2011 at 1:28 am #

    Chihiro, if the receipts had been labelled with other racial epithets, would you be so blase about it? Using denigrating terms for members of other races is RACIST. The cashier was rightfully fired for her racist behavior, which is the same as bad customer service.

    Incidentally, if you’re going to look in the dictionary for definitions, you might try looking at more than the top one. The second definition in merriam-webster is “racist prejudice or discrimination”. Like, say, the idea that it’s okay to make fun of people by using slurs because of their race? That’s a prejudice.

    Also, other dictionaries have other definitions. For example, the OED gives, for “racist” “a person whose actions and words display racial prejudice”. Well, there you go. Calling Asians by offensive names is displaying racial prejudice.

  37. Donna December 16, 2011 at 2:10 am #

    Chihiro, I’m usually one of the first to find people oversensitive and I find those receipts improper and racist. Nor am I sure that this was a “joke.” I worked in Irvine ca, where this happened, for several years. There is a huge Asian population and there can be some negative attitudes towards them. I am not surprised at all that this girl was fired for this and it was well-deserved and very much in line with what I would expect from chick-fil-a.

    (Posted from Chick-fil-a)

  38. Uly December 16, 2011 at 2:13 am #

    Equally off-topic, anybody interested in reading how Queen Victoria grew up? (It’s actually horrifying, and very much in line with this blog!)

    http://scheong.wordpress.com/2011/10/25/victoria-and-the-kensington-system/

  39. gina December 16, 2011 at 5:21 am #

    BMS—I literally laughed out loud at yours!!

  40. Shan December 16, 2011 at 8:01 am #

    My kid’s school (in Australia) doesn’t even allow the kids to hand out candy canes with their Christmas cards. They claim it’s for the good of the kids’ teeth. *rolls eyes*

  41. Amy December 25, 2011 at 5:47 am #

    In our city at parades they aren’t allowed to throw or distribute anything because it “isn’t safe”

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