Ho, Ho, Ho! Scarrrry Christmas!

Hi Folks — My friend, who is a magazine editor, is already compiling her December gift guide (of course), and one of the many products that just crossed her desk is this: A backpack with a built-in car alarm! Just pull the string and the thing starts shrieking. “Because,” my friend noted, “nothings says ‘Happy Holidays’ quite like a school bag with a built-in car alarm.”

Yes, that is why we are friends.

Good day/night from Australia — Lenore (who is not giving out the URL for the backpack peddlers because they don’t deserve publicity).


38 Responses to Ho, Ho, Ho! Scarrrry Christmas!

  1. Janiemc September 30, 2010 at 5:12 pm #

    Oh dear, however did I manage to raise 2 kids to adulthood without one of those? Still there’s still the nine year old so all is not lost…..

  2. Elfir September 30, 2010 at 5:39 pm #

    Because pulling the fire alarm just isn’t good enough anymore.

  3. anonymousmagic September 30, 2010 at 6:23 pm #

    Built-in car alarm? Wouldn’t it make more sense to build them into cars rather than backpacks?

  4. Frau_Mahlzahn September 30, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

    I’d rather have a kid-alarm — that shrieks as soon as a kid even comes close to me. That would make life so much easier, ;-).

    So long,

  5. Novelactivist September 30, 2010 at 6:30 pm #


    If you get the chance when you’re in Oz take a look at Junior Masterchef. All those competent kids using knives, blenders, ovens, cooktops, etc, etc. Oh the horror 😉

  6. Tracey from Central Coast Seachange September 30, 2010 at 7:14 pm #

    Hi Lenore.

    Love your blog and heard you on ABC radio this arvo (that’s Australian for afternoon). 🙂

    I’m so ‘out there’ that I let my 2 year old crack the eggs when I’m cooking..I let my 7 and 2 year olds eat the left over cake batter (watch out food poisoning). It’s all about living on the edge at my house…..

    I even let my kids watch the Addams Family and Australia’s Funniest Home Videos. I let my son watch Mythbusters. What am I doing to their psyche???

    Glad you didn’t do an Oprah and try to talk with an Aussie accent. Not even Robin Williams or Meryl Streep can pull it off. They end up sounding like New Zealanders, but without the wool.

    I wish I had gotten tickets to your talk at the Opera House. Hope its a successful show.

  7. MommyMagpie September 30, 2010 at 7:43 pm #

    Sadly, I know people who would not only think this is a good idea, but would actually (a) purchase them AND (b) print off flyers to be sent home with every child in the school, recommending that every kid have one.


  8. Heather September 30, 2010 at 7:48 pm #

    The day after a child arrived at school with one of those, his/her friends would find out and start pulling the string for fun (like knocking on a door and running away, but in class for extra fun).

    I reckon it would be less than a week before the parent was asked never to let their child use it in school again.


  9. Claudia Conway September 30, 2010 at 7:50 pm #

    ‘Now then, Junior, if you pull this, your bag will make a very loud, antisocial noise, so don’t you go pulling it for just any old reason and CERTAINLY not for fun!’

    Can you imagine?!

  10. Meagan September 30, 2010 at 8:17 pm #

    Are you kidding!? Kids would LOVE this! “I’m very sorry Mrs. Teacher but I can’t take off my screaming backpack or I’ll get kidnapped.” They might even get the teachers to agree so… school sanctioned obnoxiousness!

  11. Elfir September 30, 2010 at 8:56 pm #

    Oh, and good luck getting one of these through airport security.

  12. Jill September 30, 2010 at 9:19 pm #

    REALLY?!!! We live in a large urban area and the sound of a car alarm doesn’t even cause a raise of an eyebrow. So when the little tike pulls the cord(only in emergency, of course) who will notice? Being most people who would buy this item, drive their kids to school….I am guessing it could come in handy in the carpool lane or during lockdown. Not to mention, it most likley willl have a warning label, that this lifesaving cord may be a choking hazard. YIKES!!!

  13. pentamom September 30, 2010 at 9:55 pm #

    With all the r’s, when I first saw the title in my feed, I thought it said “scammy Christmas.”

    And that’s about right. 😉

  14. Ash September 30, 2010 at 9:59 pm #

    I remember constructing one of those myself (using really loud electronic alarm from a toy police car, implanting it in a friend’s backpack) as a prank

    but as usable device ?? srsly ??

  15. pentamom September 30, 2010 at 10:36 pm #

    Okay, and here’s another thing — Christmas present?

    Even if you think this is a good thing, what kid wants a “safety device” as a Christmas present????????

    But in fairness, I guess these companies just send their promo stuff out to mag editors in hopes they’ll get picked up, WRT whether it really makes a good present or not.

  16. Rich Wilson September 30, 2010 at 11:22 pm #

    Oh boy! Ear damage lawsuit, here we come!!!

  17. Rich Wilson September 30, 2010 at 11:27 pm #

    And I’m sure we’ll all read about the massive Fisher Price recall. This was my favorite:

    “Pegs stick out and children have fallen on these pegs,” Inez Tanenbaum, chairwoman of the CSPC told “Good Morning America” of the high chairs. “Several have been injured, and seven required stitches.”

    Ya, my grandparents had a coffee table with a metal lip. Three generations of toddlers all smacked their heads on that thing, screamed, cried, and one minute later went back to playing. I wonder how many kids require stitches every day due to falling against common household objects. Or even common outside objects.

  18. Kacie October 1, 2010 at 12:14 am #

    I agree, Rich!

  19. April October 1, 2010 at 12:45 am #

    My youngest, 7, loves Mythbusters and shows like Man VS. Wild. We knew he was really paying attention when he was watching a raft being built and said, “He’s gonna sink; he needs two layers of wood!”

  20. Sharalyn October 1, 2010 at 2:03 am #

    Not sure if you saw this or not.

  21. Angie October 1, 2010 at 2:36 am #

    Right, because people pay so much attention to car alarms — they run right outside when they hear one so the whole neighborhood is gathered to see who’s stealing that car. I’m sure the same attention will be payed when the car alarm is in a backpack. :/


  22. Rich Wilson October 1, 2010 at 3:07 am #

    @Sharalyn, that just takes us to our own FB home. Or at least it does for me.

  23. Lori Walsh October 1, 2010 at 4:09 am #

    After a few too many of them go off at school, the things will be banned and the kids that try to bring them will be expelled.

  24. survivor of free-range childhood October 1, 2010 at 4:36 am #

    One of my little sister’s friends got one of those, and brought it over to show it to my sister. (See where this is going?) My sister pulled the pin and the deafening shreik scared her so much she dropped the pin. . . down the vent. It took our brother about ten minutes to fish the pin out of the vent while I was trying to get the stupid alarm to shut up.

    Besides hasn’t anyone figured out yet that kids allready have an alarm? It’s called a scream, and I’m sure It’s just as effective if not more if a kids loud enough as the alarm backpack.

  25. pentamom October 1, 2010 at 4:52 am #

    IF predators really roamed the streets the way people believe, and IF they were as diabolically clever as people believe, this would simply train them to grab the kid’s hands first.

    It’s ridiculous how many of these products are based on the premise that the legendary omnipresent, all powerful, diabolically clever predator is going to stop and let the kid activate the safety device before proceeding to his nefarious deeds.

  26. Mike October 1, 2010 at 6:44 am #

    I’ve said it before, too many products are marketed with the (il)logic “if you don’t buy our product, your baby will DIE!”

    Of course, multitudes of generations of babies grew up without the product, easily disproving the claim. It’s an emotive argument that, sadly, works.

  27. librarymama October 1, 2010 at 8:25 am #

    I HAD to look this up. I particularly like this statement: “We can’t be with our children at all times so we have to arm them with a personal security system.” Wow…

  28. Christina October 1, 2010 at 8:34 am #

    My children’s lungs are quite capable of drowning out the sound of any car alarm. I know this because we have a car sitting right outside our condo with an alarm that goes off over every little thing. Much like my boys. Decibel for decibel, that car alarm never stood a chance.

  29. sherri October 1, 2010 at 8:47 am #

    A little off topic, but today I was looking up the lyrics to “Little Bunny Foo Foo” and found them on BusSongs.com. There was a warning “This song is considered sensitive and may contain lyrics that may cause offense to some people.” The world has gone mad.

  30. bmj2k October 1, 2010 at 8:48 am #

    It will be a hit once the kids realize how much they can annoy their parents by pulling the string and setting off the alarm.

  31. jonathan hoch October 1, 2010 at 9:10 am #

    What a joke!
    It would be funny if it weren’t so sad.
    The website claims that “All adults and children should have one” What??

    Mabey I can get one to show off to all my freinds and coworkers so they can laugh their asses off. Take the thing into to fine dining establishments, baseball games, airport boarding gates, bars, retail outlets, walmart, etc.

  32. Ash October 1, 2010 at 6:34 pm #

    I dont see why i need this, Smoke alarms and scotch allways worked for me as a kid

  33. Tara October 1, 2010 at 8:49 pm #

    Stupid product. As a teacher I can imagine these being banned within a week.

    As a parent I don’t believe their claim that just because the alarm is down near the waist of the child it won’t damage their hearing.

    And as a thinking adult it doesn’t take much to figure out that kids who use these when there is no emergency will desensitize us to the sound just like we are to car alarms.

    Plus, they’re $60! I’m not buying my kid a $60 backpack!

  34. Robin October 1, 2010 at 9:12 pm #

    Um, the parents who buy these are the same ones who buy the portable alarms for their hotel room doors. Because there are predators lurking in every hotel you know.

  35. j October 2, 2010 at 1:32 pm #

    Don’t you think your average predator would be quite capable of tossing the backpack out the car window and driving off with your precious child anyway?

  36. araba yarışı oyunları October 2, 2010 at 8:23 pm #

    One of the main draws of the game, however, is it’s incredible story. The storyline was incredible unique, and beyond just “saving the girl” and “saving the world”. It didn’t just match cinema like storytelling, but it easily surpassed it.

  37. gemma October 5, 2010 at 12:16 am #

    We never get any of these great inventions in the UK. However we have alarms in everything else so not suprised they have decided to put one in a bagpack. I was shopping today and found a hover craft that flew up in the air today that was an alarm clock, i just thought well thats ok flying in the air but when it falls back down and it hits me in the face that will be a bigger wake up call! What will they think of next


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