Friday Funnies (Minus One Day)

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Rogier Van Bakel, blogging at To the People, spots a "funny because depressingly, depressingly accurate" installment of the comic strip Baby Blues:

goodparenting.jpg

Nick Gillespie wrote about the quest to child-proof the world back in 1997.

NEXT: Friday Fun Link (Minus One Day)

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  1. I’ve ranted about this before, but it completely amazes me when I see a small kid dressed in full armor riding a fucking TRICYCLE or a scooter!

    Jesus, do Gen X parents suck.

  2. Trees are inherently dangerous and constitute an attractive nuisance to our precious young. While we realize that trees are a valuable part of Gaia’s ecosystem, we must insist that they all be cut down to a safe height of five feet. In neighborhoods with toddlers, the maximum height should be two feet.

  3. Childhood injuries worth recounting:

    Age 2: Broken foot. Happened while jumping up and down on a rolled up carpet wearing cowboyboots at a friend’s house.

    Age 6: Broken arm & wrist: Fell/was pushed off of a 10 or 12 foot playground slide at my elementary school a month after moving to Oregon.

    Age 10: Major chin laceration. Fell off my bike, landed on my chin, took all the flesh on the very point of it off down to the bone. 20 stitches.

    Age 12: Arm laceration, large. Fell onto a piece of flint at summer camp.

    Age 13: Broken finger. Dislocated it while playing football, also at summer camp.

    I’m sure at least two of those would be grounds for lawsuit today, and what’s sad is that I was a kid not all that long ago. Oy.

  4. I’ve ranted about this before, but it completely amazes me when I see a small kid dressed in full armor riding a fucking TRICYCLE or a scooter!

    The thing is, if the isn’t wearing all “recommended safety equipment”, the neighborhood busybody is calling DCF. So I don’t think it’s entirely the parents’ fault.

  5. There’s no way to make the world safe for children. So the solution is to make children invulnerable. Cyborg parts, bioengineering, some sort of cool nanotech enhancements. . .yeah. Total safety.

    I wonder if this is how the Borg got started?

  6. I’m going to oink like a sexist pig, but I think the main problem is that Gen X men forgot where their balls are.

    In the past, fathers have been the check against excessive coddling. They themselves remember being stupid little kids, and getting knocked around. And they understand that pain (both physical and emotional) is inevitable, and sometimes it’s more important to learn how to DEAL with it, as opposed to living a life avoiding at all costs (in other words, living perpetually in FEAR).

    But now it seems the mommies have completely taken over. No more dodgeball. No more competitive sports. Any manifestation of aggression, no matter how correctly channeled, is to be totally supressed.

    And Gen X fathers do nothing but ride in the back seat.

  7. Here’s my version:

    THEN
    Kid 1: I have diabetes.
    Kid 2: Sorry to hear that.

    NOW
    Kid 1: I have diabetes.
    Kid 2: Me too.

  8. the neighborhood busybody is calling DCF

    I have a scenario that I run through in my mind that deals with what would happen if one of these DCF folk ever came for my daughter. It wouldn’t be pretty.

  9. a small kid dressed in full armor

    Obviously Barry Bonds — who is covered in body armor every time he steps (or limps) to the plate — is behind this.

  10. If my kid ever asks for a bike helmet I’m going to spank him till he bruises.

  11. I’ve ranted about this before, but it completely amazes me when I see a small kid dressed in full armor riding a fucking TRICYCLE or a scooter!

    Not all of us Generation X parents suck dude. Mandatory helmet laws in Florida mean I can be cited for failing to ensconce my child in Kevlar. I love a good life lesson complete with blood and minor suffering as much as the next parent, and it is a retarded law, but civil disobedience energy is probably be better spent elsewhere.

    Last time I checked my testicles were in my wife’s jewelry box right where she left them.

  12. Nice one, Dave. Here’s mine:

    Then:
    Kid: I have difficulty breathing in this persistent smog.
    Parent: Tough.

    Slightly less then:
    Kid: I have difficulty breathing in this persistent smog.
    Parent: We need to pass legislation to reduce air pollution.

    Now:
    Kid: I no longer have difficulty breathing.
    Parent: Good.

  13. I’m going to oink like a sexist pig, but I think the main problem is that Gen X men forgot where their balls are.

    Hear hear!!!!

    Holy thunder, there’s a picture of me when I was about seven years old in the coolest goddamed superman costume you’ve ever laid eyes on (with authentic red tighties on the outside) and I’m sat on my dad’s shoulders who’s sporting the world’s sweetest moustache. Later that evening, I was so excited I attempted to fly across the dinning room and I split the entire bottom of my chin open and had to have around thirty stitches.

    When I was a kid, I was a fucking moron and look how I turned out! Basically perfect.

    And now? Gen X Parents? Fucking bedwetters. Ooooh has little jonny hurt his knee? Ooooh should we help him to express himself through the medium of dance? Ooooh Jonny’s only one year old but I hope one day he’s going to be a rich rich rich banker and tell lots and lots of people what to do….

    If I’d met little Jonny when I was his age and I was wearing my superman constume, I’d have kicked his pampered little ass.

    Unless he had krypton. In which case, my powers would have been rendered useless.

  14. Yesterday: “What doesn’t kill my child will make him stronger. Go pull this plow for the next ten hours, boy.”

    Today: “What endangers my child’s sense of purpose and well being will kill him. Here, boy, get into your Bubble of Safety while Daddy mows the yard.”

  15. Then:
    Young Dave W.: When I grow up I’m gonna make sure that nobody has any fun.
    Some other Kid: You suck.

    Now:
    Older Dave W.: It’s good that kids are now protected by law and higher costs from all the vagaries of life. We just have to keep working on that damn high-fructose corn syrup!
    Older some other kid: Damn, you still suck.

  16. I think we should make a distinction between useful and prudent advances in technology, like bike helmets, safe car seats, and that soft-landing playground surface, and foolish efforts to make sure no kid ever skins a knee again. There is also an important distinction between informing parents of the importance of taking prudent precautions and jailing them if they don’t take the advice. This is the sort of thing best encouraged and not demanded.

    That having been said, my own children have demonstrated that a determined kid can end up with 20 stitches whill sitting motionless in a padded room. My older son managed to end up in the emergency room twice in three weeks one summer with head injuries. The first was from being an idiot while watching a camp counselor explain shuffleboard, resulting in Andy falling backward off a bench and getting ten stitches in the back of his head. In the second, he got cold at the roller rink, pulled his legs and arms into his T-shirt and fell off his chair on his head. That one got him a concussion and, interestingly, a raging case of head lice from the MRI machine’s headrest. (The previous patient had been hit by a car while skateboarding on a freeway entrance ramp. That kid had a mild concussion and a broken leg. Only. No one can make this stuff up.) Of all of the problems, the head lice was by far the longest-lasting and most difficult to cure.

    I seriously considered making him wear a football helmet all the time, but only to save myself the trouble and expense of repeated ER visits. After that, I’ve decided that what the hypercautious parents need is a couple visits to the ER caused, like Andy’s, by the child’s unique ingenuity for damage to himself. I’ve never been afraid of outside agents since. I mean, Andy and Aaron are so good at hurting themselves.

  17. But now it seems the mommies have completely taken over. No more dodgeball.

    It ain’t the mommies, it’s the lawyers. My high school outlawed dodgeball. In 1979. They also outlawed trampolines.

    Why? Couldn’t get insurance.

    Mandatory helmet laws in Florida mean I can be cited for failing to ensconce my child in Kevlar. I love a good life lesson complete with blood and minor suffering as much as the next parent,

    But the only thing better than a good life lesson is a lawsuit where you make a bundle of cash. A kid never has an accident of his own doing anymore, it’s always someone else’s negligence. Kid falls off a bok and gets a concussion? It’s the city’s fault for the crack in the pavement thgat caused the accident. THAT’s the reason for the stupid helmet laws. That’s why swings and see-saws are slowly vanishing from playgrounds.

    It’s also why kids have weight problems, fun is against the law.

  18. In the second, he got cold at the roller rink, pulled his legs and arms into his T-shirt and fell off his chair on his head.

    Karen, your kid sounds like an utter legend!

  19. “I think we should make a distinction between useful and prudent advances in technology, like bike helmets, safe car seats, and that soft-landing playground surface, and foolish efforts to make sure no kid ever skins a knee again.”

    Preach on, Karen, preach on—the choir is listening intently. I mean, no offense, but, who has failed to make such a distinction?

    At the same time, you don’t learn your lesson by being sheilded from consequences…because someday, that safety device isn’t going to be there, and then whatcha gonna do?

  20. Karen, thanks to television, the Internet, cellphones, and video games, our children are far more aware of what awaits them in their later childhood than previous generations of kids were. This means that your children are taking dives to get out of doing any chores. “Gee, son, you can’t mow the yard, because you are a total klutz. Go play PSIII.” 🙂

    My girlfriend’s oldest boy also has adopted this too-dangerous-for-the-real-world persona, so you aren’t alone.

  21. People forget that the kid in the “Then” panel is an adult in the “Now” panel. Where did the kid learn that everything is solved with legislation and lawsuits? Certainly not from his parents.

  22. Karen, thanks to television, the Internet, cellphones, and video games, our children are far more aware of what awaits them in their later childhood than previous generations of kids were. This means that your children are taking dives to get out of doing any chores. “Gee, son, you can’t mow the yard, because you are a total klutz. Go play PSIII.” 🙂

    My girlfriend’s oldest boy also has adopted this too-dangerous-for-the-real-world persona, so you aren’t alone.

  23. here’s another:

    PANEL 1:

    Dave W.: Here is a funny comic lampooning unneeded and counterproductive “safety legislation.” Geez I h8 the nannystate sometimes.

    NDPer: I don’t like you, Dave W.

    PANEL 2:

    Dave W.: I mean if they are going to address something, then why don’t they address something that is a real and pressing problem, like the diabetes spike.

    A Scientist: I don’t like you, Dave W.

    PANEL 3:

    Dave W. (thought bubble): Nobody likes me. Where have I gone wrong? Now I am sad.

  24. Mark, yes, Andy (and his younger brother Aaron, who hasn’t racked up quite the ER record of the older one. Yet.) is a legend. He’s the high scorer on his soccer team, a capable horseback rider (Western saddle) and nevertheless manages to be the one kid in the group who ends up with the large bloody gash. From dangerous actions like sitting in chairs. Oh, well.

    Evan, I wrote that before my coffee kicked in but after the office printer ate $25 worth of photographic paper, and failing to print something I desparately needed. I just like to repeat that mantra whenever I can in the hopes that someone who hasn’t learned it might. I don’t hold out hope.

  25. and another

    Dave W.: I just wanna have kids wear foam rubber protective clothing, ban the high-fructose corn syrup menace from our shores and thwart the secret designers who make the secret designs.

    (silence)

    Dave W. (thought bubble): Nobody likes me. Where have I gone wrong? Now I am mad – but only in the British sense of the word.

  26. Age 5: Tripped and fell onto a piece of glass, splitting my palm open, outside somebody’s house while chasing some kids around the neighborhood. 3 stitches. No lawsuit.

    This reminds me, I saw a commercial last night, for a major bank or something like that, showing a mom teaching her daughter to jump off a cliff into her favorite childhood watering hole, and I thought of how jarring and quietly subversive that is today. They weren’t even wearing helmets!

  27. Dave W. (thought bubble): Nobody likes me. Where have I gone wrong? Now I am sad.

    Dave, FWIW, you are my favorite cornspyrucy theorist.

  28. My daughter just learned how to ride a bike a few weeks ago. Now speed is what it’s all about.

    I live across the street from our elementry school (which my son will not be able to attend, as he will be bused to the new K-3 school in a not-so-great neightborhood, 1 mile down the road. God forbid they have a school where none of the few remaining middle-class white kids attend, but that’s another rant…) which has a loop in the parking lot from where the buses drop off at the school with a small hill going back into the parking potion or the lot.

    Last night, I told her about a dozen times to slow down, as I could see that she wasn’t controlling the bike well as she came down the hill and turned back in to the lot.

    Did she listen? Finally, she went too fast, target fixated on the curb she was heading towards, went over those and finally wiped out on the asphalt. Screams and wailing ensue.

    NOW she’ll slow down, for a little while at least. If only I had a lawyer there; those curb mfrs would be shovelling money at me today.

    Now, I’m no Gen-Xer, they’re mommy-coddled pussies and Gen-Yers only being worse, but I do make my kids wear a helmet and they will wear a seat belt in the car no matter what. Just because we didn’t have to doesn’t mean it’s not just good sense to prevent your kids from becoming drooling, head-injured vegetables. I would never forgive myself if I allowed that to happened.

    Those of you not yet a parent may mock this, but have kids and that little genetic switch in your head will kick on and everything will be different. I didn’t even want to be a dad and now I can’t imagine being anything else.

    Becoming a parent makes you stupid a whole new way (being touched by the farewell scene in “Amrmegeddon” is only the first sign), but I can live with that. However, if social services ever shows up at my door for not being a “proper” parent, you’ll read about it the next day in the news. It won’t be pretty.

  29. A friend of mine just emailed me a NYT story (behind TimesSelect, unfortuneately. She copied and pasted.) that explains this problem. Apparently, “Nevaeh” is now the 70th most popular baby name, ahead of Amanda and Vanessa and other real names.

    “Nevaeh” is heaven spelled backwards.

    No wonder we have these problems. We have a large number of clinically insane people having children.

  30. I had some epic and lawsuit-worth injuries in my youth, but my parents (being staunch, small-government Reagenites) held back. They included:

    1) snapping my collarbone on a new, state-mandated telephone pole support wire while riding my bike

    2) setting my leg on fire while using dangerous corn syrup and oil to make delicious hush puppies

    3) getting a 2nd degree chemical burn in my cornea as a result of a liquid soap fight at the local pool (the soap turned out to be industrial strength dishwashing liquid instead of body soap)

    4) stomping on a rusty nail in my converse all-stars, resulting in a big hole in my foot. My sister had big-soled Nike sneakers, she stuck the nail, attached to a board, in them half-way and waved it around. It was so damn cool I had to do it.

    The day I learned to hate the government was when I got hit by a car while riding my bike and got a ticket for not wearing a helmet.

    I say all parents in favor of stupid safety laws should have to watch as little Johnny and Johnette are set loose on an old fashioned playground stocked with toy guns and those big foam bats we used to beat each other with

  31. I think the main problem is that Gen X men forgot where their balls are.

    It all began when guys started driving the family minivan. Those things are total testosterone sinks.

  32. I do make my kids wear a helmet and they will wear a seat belt in the car no matter what. Just because we didn’t have to doesn’t mean it’s not just good sense to prevent your kids from becoming drooling, head-injured vegetables. I would never forgive myself if I allowed that to happened. Those of you not yet a parent may mock this, but have kids and that little genetic switch in your head will kick on and everything will be different. I didn’t even want to be a dad and now I can’t imagine being anything else.

    I’m childless, but I will not mock your sensible precautions. I will, however, point out that there is a HUGE difference between “God forbid my kid ever gets his skull cracked open” versus “God forbid my kid ever skins his knee.” I won’t mock the former, but I’ll damn sure mock the latter.

  33. But now it seems the mommies have completely taken over. No more dodgeball. No more competitive sports. Any manifestation of aggression, no matter how correctly channeled, is to be totally supressed.

    man, not in my experience. i occasionally referee youth lax (not exactly a non-aggressive or non-competitive sport) and the most common advice/encouragement coming from the mothers on the sidelines runs along the lines of “KILL HIM! HIT HIM! GET HIM! KILL HIM!”

    some of today’s young moms can be scarily intense.

  34. OK, that’s it. You parents scare me with your horror stories about the government and, even worse, your fellow parents, making you strap pillows to your pampered darlings in case they get a bruise from bumping against the furniture. It’s too much. I thought when I had kids I’d raise them pretty much as I was raised. Now if I happen to get pregnant I’m getting an abortion.

  35. I think the main problem is that Gen X men forgot where their balls are.

    That might be part of it, but it didn’t happen when they became parents. It’s a combination of things(school, parents, extra-special sitcom episodes) that go back to when we were growing up(late 70’s, early 80’s). That’s when the nannyish concepts really started to take root.

  36. OK, for those of you who thought I was kidding, I refuse to have a child if I’m going to have to live a screaming nightmare of wondering if the moron next door is calling the social workers to take away my children. I’ve had it and I’m disgusted and the nation can look to someone with lawyers in the family to birth its future.

  37. It’s taking the kids out of the fields that did it. Back in The Day, only rich aristocrats had the character flaws that today’s kids have. Too much wealth, not enough slaving for the parents.

    Parents! Get up. Walk to your child’s room with a baseball bat. Smash the television and the X-Box. While the child says, “Cool”, grab him by the ear and escort him/her outside. Tell the child to dig ditches for the rest of the day. If they balk or complain later, inform them that these ditches could serve another purpose. As the great Bill Cosby said, “I brought you into this world, I can take you out. And I can make another one just like you.” Rinse. Repeat.

    By following this plan, America will, by the next generation, be a libertarian paradise with flying cars, robot servants, and a moonbase. And Reason will be the best-selling magazine in the solar system.

  38. I agree with JW – esp about the Armaggedon scene (I thought I was the only one). I do not want to shield my daughter from every possibility of injury – she’s already a little too physically timid – but I am going to do the normal stuff like bike helmets and seat belts cos I fear she has inherited my almost total lack of physical coordination.

    My daughter (age 4) is the most physically hypersensitive kid I’ve ever seen – the merest brush on her skin, the tiniest accidental nudge as you pass in the hall, results in “Ow! Mama you scratched me!” “Ow, Daddy…you poked me!” And our favorite, only done once – “Ow! You almost scratched me!” So we are fixated on making her MORE, not less, physically adventurous. As her football, motorcycle and woodworking scarred daddy likes to say, don’t get over it – get used to it.

  39. Don’t weat it speedwell, the missus is one of those fretting types who’s scared to death that one of our darlings will rat us out to the school for spanking them or using harsh language in their presence and then we’ll have the county Goon Squad of Endless Good Intentions at our door.

    Or worse, the neighbors will talk about us. shudder

    I DARE them to try that shit.

  40. I’m going to oink like a sexist pig, but I think the main problem is that Gen X men forgot where their balls are.

    Mr. Nice Guy,
    I’ll oink even louder. Gen X men didn’t forget where their balls are, they aren’t allowed to have balls anymore. The women’s liberation movement of my parents generation (60’s/70’s) supposedly erased all distinctions between men and womyn.

  41. I’m going to oink like a sexist pig, but I think the main problem is that Gen X men forgot where their balls are.

    Mr. Nice Guy,
    I’ll oink even louder. Gen X men didn’t forget where their balls are, they aren’t allowed to have balls anymore. The women’s liberation movement of my parents’ generation (60’s/70’s) supposedly erased all distinctions between men and womyn.

  42. It’s taking the kids out of the fields that did it. Back in The Day, only rich aristocrats had the character flaws that today’s kids have. Too much wealth, not enough slaving for the parents.

    Parents! Get up. Walk to your child’s room with a baseball bat. Smash the television and the X-Box. While the child says, “Cool”, grab him by the ear and escort him/her outside. Tell the child to dig ditches for the rest of the day. If they balk or complain later, inform them that these ditches could serve another purpose. As the great Bill Cosby said, “I brought you into this world, I can take you out. And I can make another one just like you.” Rinse. Repeat.

    By following this plan, America will, by the next generation, be a libertarian paradise with flying cars, robot servants, and a moonbase. And Reason will be the best-selling magazine in the solar system.

  43. I’m going to oink like a sexist pig, but I think the main problem is that Gen X men forgot where their balls are.

    Mr. Nice Guy,
    I’ll oink even louder. Gen X men didn’t forget where their balls are, they aren’t allowed to have balls anymore. The women’s liberation movement of my parents’ generation (60’s/70’s) supposedly erased all distinctions between men and wymyn. 😉

  44. Don’t weat it speedwell, the missus is one of those fretting types who’s scared to death that one of our darlings will rat us out to the school for spanking them or using harsh language in their presence and then we’ll have the county Goon Squad of Endless Good Intentions at our door.

    Or worse, the neighbors will talk about us. shudder

    I DARE them to try that shit (the school, not the neighbors. I could give a rat’s ass about the neighbors).

  45. If I have a girl, I’m raising her in the Bene Gesserit Way.

  46. whoops, sorry i got a little trigger happy there. tricked by the reason server again!

  47. There IS a school of thought that says the more safety equipment, the more reckless/careless/irresponsible people get.

    Watch an NHL game from the 80’s and compare it to today. Or the NFL, where tackling has evolved into vicious hitting (and the wussified “pass interference”, but that’s another rant).

  48. speedwell:

    Even if you intend on getting an abortion, please.. keep up with your folic acid supplements.

    It is the right thing to do.

  49. Children should have to hunt, stalk, kill, and prepare their own game.

  50. PL: For serious. I’ve a really severe grass allergy, break out in hives if I touch the stuff, and my dad used to make me mow the lawn every weekend from the time I was 10 until I was 17 and just refused to do it anymore.

    He also used yard work, which I detest, as punishment. Come in at 3am and wake him up? Spend all day digging out a 10-year-old pine stump with nothing but a shovel. No, you can’t use the axe or the chainsaw.

  51. Ah, but Timothy, you have rebelled and assumed the libertarian mantle–as your father secretly planned. You are one of the elite. An ubermensch, if you will–what didn’t kill you did, in fact, make you stronger.

    Um, you didn’t use that axe or chainsaw to, er, emancipate yourself, by chance? Just checking.

  52. You’ll all be happy to know that I make the girls on the soccer team that I coach play injured.

    “Coach! I think I may have sprained my wrist!”
    “That’s ok. You’re not supposed to use your hands in soccer anyway. Get back in there!”

    Note to parents: Don’t bother suing. I don’t have any money.

  53. PL: I’ll never tell. But the ol’ man did a pretty good job of teaching me that actions have consequences. I think that’s a neccessary condition for ending up a libertarian.

  54. Did you have to snatch a pebble from his hand before you could leave?

  55. I’m going to oink like a sexist pig, but I think the main problem is that Gen X men forgot where their balls are.

    Ok. I’ll be the feminazi.

    I think the main problem is that men are idiots. Their response to everything is to go all macho attack-caveman. Kid gets hurt by a neighbor? Go beat the shit out of him. Kid gets hurt by doing something stupidass on city property? Obviously it’s the city’s fault, but damn, no ass to kick so gotta get a lawyer.

    Men need to grow up and stop using their kids as an excuse to play the ‘I have a bigger dick’ game.

  56. The pebble thing was easy once the old man was dea….HEY, yes, I did but it wasn’t too hard with the training and all.

    I fear I may have said too much.

  57. Seriously, I wonder if there’s ever been a society where a boy wasn’t a man until he killed his dad? Of course, that might make a dad who didn’t want to die inclined to take preemptive action. . . .

    On second thought, I doubt that kind of ritual would last very long.

  58. Is it just me, or have the last three posts taken a left turn at Albuquerque. Hilarious.

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