Let those who’ve never driven for 10 minutes without realizing that the back door of the car is open and the kid’s car seat is missing cast the first stone, I say.
Everyone has some parenthood story that makes them wince, right? Once I left the front door to the house open, and Daughter went out, got on a plane and left for Brazil, and we haven’t seen her since.
Granted, she was 18, and we drove her to the airport, but there are days I still kick myself about it.
Anyhow, here are some random thoughts about the toddler who fell out of a car in Mankato.
No. 1: The obligatory sneer of the Scoffing Boomer, that lovable old coot who had it rougher than these lame kids today.
“Why, when I was a kid, there was none of this roping down Junior like, what was that guy in the ‘Silent Lamb’ movie, Cannibal Licker? Hannibal Lecturer? You know the guy. That’s what they do to kids these days.
“Anyway, we sat in the front seat, no belts, and Dad drove with one hand on the wheel because the other had to be free for smoking, and I’d be looking right at the dashboard, which was a sharp piece of creased sheet metal covered with nothin’ but paint. If he braked sharply: Wham! Right into the ol’ dashboard. Eventually (fingers a thick line of scar tissue by the hairline) you learned to keep your hands out at all times. Sure, I got my bell rung from time to time, but it hidn’t durt me or do no dasting lamage.”
Thank you, Scoffing Boomer. I remember those days, as well. Even after seat belts were mandated, my primary safety device was my mother’s forearm. If she had to stop quickly, her arm would shoot out at sternum level to keep me from genuflecting to the dashboard.
No. 2: Parents today mollycoddle their kids. As per the Scoffing Boomer again: “Back then, they’d rub some radium on my tummy so I could be my own night light.”
Thanks, guy, but we’re getting off topic here. This is about the flying car seat.
No. 3: What about dogs? We strap the kids in, nine-point restraint, padded sides, like they’re an egg we’re going to shoot from a cannon. But the dog? “Hop right in, boy, have a seat, enjoy the ride, stick your neck out the window if you want.” Someone blows a stop sign, you stand on the brakes, and in the rear view mirror you see the dog in the air like someone weightless on the space station. And he’s OK.
No. 4: Aside from the horrible fact that a kid fell out of a car, the aspect of the story that few seemed to discuss was that we all saw the video. We’re so accustomed to ubiquitous video that it doesn’t seem odd that the most random, unlikely thing in the world was recorded.
But we expect it nowadays. If you get a Facebook notification that says, “Unicorn breaks into PortaPotty, gores occupant,” you will automatically expect video, and possibly from the perspective of the guy sitting inside.
You may have questions about this incident, but just imagine the worst thing you ever did in your life that made you panic and despair. The sentence that never entered your mind was this: “I hope there’s no video of this.”
What’s really surprising is the lack of a second video shot by a drone. That’s how you can tell this story is from 2019, and not some far-distant, dystopian society like, oh, 2022. By then, it won’t be news when something like this is available in video form. It’ll be news when it isn’t.