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The Safety Dance

2006-07-25 - 1:15 p.m.

We have some decorations at Camelot. We have a huge deer head mounted on a wall, and a pair of antlers over near the restrooms. They are securely mounted to the wall and pretty difficult to remove.

Last night, the mounting board for the antlers broke, and the horns plummetted to the floor. I was notified of this by a pizza employee, who then said it had landed on someone and they'd been hurt.

Deer antlers, falling from about ten feet.

I was horrified, and immediately asked where they were so I could render first aid. That is, after all, part of my job.

Then the employee laughed and said he was just kidding.

I told him that kind of stuff was NEVER funny. He just continued chuckling.

Now - to borrow a phrase - I don't want to get off on a rant here, but when did the possibility of a life-threatening injury become a joke? When it's a chance to watch the old fuddy-duddy of a manager wet himself, that's when.

When I was a kid, this was serious stuff. You didn't go up to someone and say that someone had been badly hurt. That just wasn't funny.

So what happened? My opinion - and take it for what it's worth - is that they just aren't being taught morality anymore. There's a whole school of thought that there is no right and wrong...even in math class, where you can get the wrong answer but get credit if you "did it right".

I have lots of parents who have chastised me for telling their kids not to climb up the SkeeBall alleys and drop their balls in the high-scoring rings. "They're just kids, they don't know better." Well, if they are little kids just trying to put the ball in the ring, that's one thing. But when they are teenagers or ADULTS, they know better. And if they don't, why haven't the parents taught them that?

"You should find the parents and tell them." Well, if the parents were there, would the kid be doing it? And how am I supposed to find the parents without talking to the kid? Should I go around to every parent, even the ones on the other side of the building, and ask if the kid cheating on SkeeBall is theirs?

There's also a safety issue. Some children tend to toss the balls wildly up the ramp, and sometimes - like in the Flintstones - the ball ends up in another alley. What if someone who was climbing the ramp got hit with one of those hard balls? You guessed it - it's OUR fault. Not the parent of the wild thrower. Not the parent of the cheater. Not even the cheating kid himself. It's the fault of the facility for "letting it happen".

But by the same token, I'm not "supposed" to chastise the cheater.

Long ago, when I was a kid and the Earth has just cooled, parents set an example. Now it's all about self-esteem.

Well, my self-esteem is just fine...because I know right from wrong. And if I have to set the example for your kids, so be it.

It just may not be the example that you want.

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be an idiot.

Discuss amongst yourselves.


There's another story that dove-tails into parental idiocy.

Several years ago, I was running the night shift. I happened to glance over to the waterslide area, just in time to see a lady hoist her kids over the wrought iron fence and into the slide area. Now, this fence is about eight feet tall, and has decorative points. She stood on a picnic table and put the kids on the bleachers before climbing over herself. By the time I raced over there, the kids were already playing in the landing pool.

Now, this was in March. The waterslides had been shut down for about seven months. The water was disgusting. And these two children were IN THIS STUFF.

I asked her what she was doing. She said her kids wanted to play in the pool. I told her to get her kids out of the pool. She said I had no right to tell her how to raise her kids, and if I tried to get them out she'd sue.

I said I'd call the police. Her response: "Oh, you'd traumatize these children by having their mother arrested in front of them?"

It gets better.

Another employee shows up to back my play. She sees him...and IMMEDIATELY switches to no hablo ingles mode.

What else could I do? I called the police. The Force was with me: I got a cop who knew this woman, and told her - in Spanish - that he would testify against her at her trial that she had a history of pulling this crap...which, evidently, she did.

She packed up her kids and left without a word...and I've never seen her since.

She was angling for a lawsuit, I'm certain of it.

What kind of parent puts their kids at risk for that?

IMHO - a stupid, irresponsible one.

But again, that's just my opinion.


Rant over. Be seeing you.


1 comments so far

Bob - 2006-07-25 20:22:54 -
Gah. I could do my own blog entry about this kind of stupidity, which has been going on for nigh on twenty years. Like the parents who would place their infant children on the rail overlooking the Foucault Pendulum ... six foot drop onto terrazzo tile, with a 248-lb. brass ball swinging back and forth. "Ma'am, please don't let your child sit on the rail." "Oh, I'm watching him/her." (Like some people are watching traffic when they're driving their cell phone and talking on the car, if you get my drift.) // Or the little girl who got seriously injured after being told by several staff members to not play on the stanchions (large steel poles and crossbars, not retractable webbing on plastic poles) - Mom & Dad were right there, had heard us warn their daughter, but wanted to know why there wasn't a sign telling them how dangerous the stanchions were. // And right on into the future, a couple years back when I was volunteering on the USS Hornet ... we're always telling kids not to run, and - typical - kid didn't listen, tripped and slid on the non-skid deck coating (think coarse sandpaper), messed up his pants, bloodied his knees, and, sure 'nuff, here come the parents wondering why we weren't nannying their precious gem. // One group of 'supervisory adults' even took offense when a docent - an actual former crewmember - warned their little darlings that the ship was not Disneyland. They demanded he be fired. (Fine, and if your little angels had broken an irreplaceable piece of historic equipment, would you be writing us a check? Uh-huh. Thought so.) // It's not just an absence of common sense, it's a failure to teach respect to authority. Grrrrrr.


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