Hi Readers! Here’s a nifty little brochure I picked up the other day for a child safety device. I won’t say which one, since I don’t want to give it any publicity. Perhaps you’ll see why. Here’s what the brochure said, in all its grammatical creativity. Please note: The dot-dot-dots are theirs. I haven’t left anything out of this lovely intro:
TAKE NOTICE…ANYONE CAN HARM A CHILD
Sexual predators…how do you recognize them?
Everyday you see relatives in your house, you pass people on the street, you watch television, the computer brings different individuals into your home and work place.
Does it ever enter your mind about who these individuals really are?
What do they think? Where are they from? What are some of their inner thoughts? We have heard about stranger danger…but who is really a stranger in your life?
Think about it…
If you are home and the repair person comes to fix an appliance and your daughter sees Mommy speak to them and has them in the house then they think they are a friend. This is not all together true. When Mommy is not home they come back to the house and the child thinks that it is OK to let the person in. Let’s think again. This is NOT OK.
A perfect opportunity to catch a child off-guard and the person can have their way with the child. Mommy may never know if the child doesn’t tell or the person kills the child and leaves without a clue they were ever there.
OK — that’s it. Let’s just examine a few of the points, beginning with that first paragraph: “Everyday you see relatives in your house (relatives? yikes!), you pass people on the street (strangers going about their own business? yikes!), you watch television (and it’s really scary when the people start climbing out), the computer brings different individuals into your home (yup, they walk right out) and work place (well, some of the people there ARE scary. Point granted).”
In other words: Every single person your child encounters, from the moment she wakes up to the moment she goes to sleep, is quite possibly a sexual predator. Why this brochure neglected to add, “Every night you meet scary people in your dreams, too,” I can’t say. Seems to fit. Anyway, your child is ostensibly at risk from people in her home, outside her home, and even in household appliances.
Next, the reader is encouraged to IMAGINE everyone’s innermost thoughts — which is such an accurate way to figure out the world, right? Whatever you do, don’t actually talk to people. Just imagine their most disgusting, disturbing thoughts. Â Especially…
The repairman’s! Because he’s going to come back and kill your child “without a clue they were ever there.” So now we’re not just talking about scary people climbing out of the TV, we’re talking about guys who know how to repair washing machines AND commit the perfect crime. What a gigantic demographic.
But what really gets my goat is the brochure’s main, pleading message, “Please take notice. Anyone can harm a child.” Why bother begging us to take notice? That fear has become the default setting for many parents these days: Don’t trust anyone at any time, anywhere.
So why should we trust the folks who wrote this brochure? — Lenore