Monday, July 8, 2013

Have a Safe Holiday

  I am perplexed at the ubiquitousness of this slogan. At the start of the summer holidays, the two neighbourhood high schools both display it on their electronic signs.  It wouldn't be the first thing that would come to my mind. "Have a good holiday", perhaps, or a "pleasant holiday", or a "happy holiday", certainly. But a safe holiday? What sort of danger are these kids going to be in in Cattaraugus County?  Getting a stiff neck from sitting at the computer? Tennis elbow from too much texting? Even the bears around here are black bears which don't normally eat people.
  I think it's just a symptom of the nervous nanny state that America has become, something constantly derided by baby boomers, who think back with nostalgia to a time when parents sent their children out on bikes without helmets, knee pads and suntan lotion, let them eat nuts, swim in rivers without a lifeguard and actually walk to school, when coffee cups didn't carry a "Warning: Hot!" label, etc etc. "How did we ever survive?" they ask.  The Wall Street Journal had a whole spiel about it at the weekend.. But it falls on deaf ears. These days, there are serried ranks of bureaucrats whose only task is to come up with new scenarios to be scared of and more laws to ban them.  As soon as they stop,  they'll be out of a job. And they're cheered on by legions of Accident and Injury lawyers whose mugs smile down from giant billboards all along the motorway.
  Having said that, the local citizenry, being mostly of the huntin', shootin' and fishin' persuasion, still includes some more old-fashioned parents. The lad who mows our lawn got marched down by his dad to get his gun licence on his fourteenth birthday and shot his first wild turkey soon after.
   Still, I spotted the following on a skip (dumpster in Americanese) somewhere in town.


1 comment:

  1. This is an excellent example of quality blog content. It’s well-written, interesting, intelligible and uncomplicated. If I were a writer, this is how I would write this content. You have a lot of writing talent.