Snarkling Clean

Snarkling Clean- because you don't have to cuss to make fun of stuff. Two dedicated readers discuss romance novels- from what made us weep with joy to what made us want to poke pencils through our eyeballs.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

What Goes Through My Mailbox

Like most of you, I have a spam filter on my e-mail. It doesn't work as well as it should; I still get notes from Patricia49 on this great new drug to inhance my manhood, and it is amazing how many deposed African royals want me to launder their money for a small fee.

But every so often I get a good one, like this one from my brother:

"TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED the 1930's 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's !!

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes. Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.

As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat. We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this. We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank koolade made with sugar, but we weren't overweight because WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K. We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride downthe hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem. We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound, CD's or Ipods, no cell! phones!, no personal computers , no Internet or chat rooms... WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them! We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays,made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes. We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!! The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever! The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL! If YOU are one of them... CONGRATULATIONS! You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good. And while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave (and lucky) their parents were."

I was smiling all through this, laughing as I remembered my glory days. Then I thought, why don't my kids have lives like this? Why can't they bike across town to the candy store and stay out until dark, or even after dark as long as everyone was in the front yard?

Then I read this little entry from my mailbox:

"After tossing her books on the sofa, she decided to grab a snack and get on-line. She logged on under her screen name ByAngel213. She checked her Buddy List and saw GoTo123 was on. She sent him an instant message:

ByAngel213:Hi. I'm glad you are on! I thought someone was following me home today. It was really weird!

GoTo123:LOL You watch too much TV. Why would someone be following you? Don't you live in a safe neighborhood?

ByAngel213:Of course I do. LOL I guess it was my imagination cuz' I didn't see anybody when I looked out.

GoTo123:Unless you gave your name out on-line. You haven't done that have you?

ByAngel213:Of course not. I'm not stupid you know.

GoTo123:Did you have a softball game after school today?

ByAngel213:Yes and we won!!

GoTo123:That's great! Who did you play?

ByAngel213:We played the Hornets. LOL. Their uniforms are so gross! They look like bees. LOL

GoTo123:What is your team called?

ByAngel213:We are the Canton Cats. We have tiger paws on our uniforms. They are really cool.

GoTo1 23: Did you pitch?

ByAngel213:No I play second base. I got to go. My homework has to be done before my parents get home. I don't want them mad at me. Bye!

GoTo123:Catch you later. Bye

Meanwhile.......GoTo123 went to the member menu and began to search for her profile. When it came up, he highlighted it and printed it out. He took out a pen and began to write down what he knew about Angel so far.Her name: Shannon. Birthday: Jan. 3, 1994. Age: 13. State where she lived: North Carolina. Hobbies: softball, chorus, skating and going to the mall. Besides this information, he knew she lived in Canton because she had just told him. He knew she stayed by herself until 6:30 p.m. every afternoon until her parents came home from work. He knew she played softball on Thursday afternoons on the school team, and the team was named the Canton Cats. Her favorite number 7 was printed on her jersey. He knew she was in the eighth grade at the Canton Junior High School. She had told him all this in the conversations they had online. He had enough information to find her now.

Shannon was in her room later that evening when she heard voices in the living room.

"Shannon, come here," her father called. He sounded upset and she couldn't imagine why. She went into the room to see a man sitting on the sofa."Sit down," her father began. "This man has just told us a most interesting story about you."

Shannon sat back. How could he tell her parents anything? She had never seen him before.

"Do you know who I am, Shannon ?" the man asked. "I am a police officer and your online friend, GoTo123. I pretend to be a kid online, to protect kids like you. But some don't. I had a friend whose daughter was like you. Only she wasn't as lucky. The guy found her and murdered her while she was home alone. Kids are taught not to tell anyone when they are alone, yet they do it all the time online. The wrong people trick you into giving out information a little here and there. Before you know it, you have told them enough for them to find you without even realizing you have done it. I hope you've learned a lesson from this and won't do it again."

Good grief. No wonder our kids are locked in our houses, but even there they aren't completely safe. They can't have a life like I did because they don't live in the same world I did. Sometimes I honestly wonder if I should have had kids at all to send them out into this dump. Then again, if anyone can make this place better by being in it, it would be my babies. No conclusions, no words of wisdom, just...sigh.


Anonymous Kaitlin said...

Huh...makes you think. I'm only 30, but I had an awesome childhood! My neighborhood was full of kids, so we spent 99% of our time playing. All those kids who sit in front of the computer or play video games all day have absolutely no idea what they are missing. Makes me sad.

My mom babysits my nephew full-time. He's almost 15 months old. She spends most of her time taking him on walks & such. He has no interest in anything but what goes on around him. I hope he's able to keep the ability to be a kid. :)

2:59 PM  
Blogger StarvingWriteNow said...

Life has surely changed since we were kids, Robyn. I know my son has hard choices ahead that I would not have had in my wildest dreams at his age. It's a tough row to hoe.

5:54 PM  
Blogger Bernita said...

The past is always golden.
I remember mud pies.
I remember polio too.

4:53 AM  
Blogger Myanderings said...

Good point, Bernita. Also, if those kids were outside playing, they wouldn't be on the computer talking to all the creeps of the world.

PS: Our neighborhood had the house no one played near because the man was "icky". It was never perfect.

7:38 AM  
Anonymous Gwen said...

Hmmm - the first email starts "To all the kids who survived..."

But we seem to be more of a fear-driven society now.

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The second one is an urban legend. It was originally collected on the internet in 1998. You can check it out on Enter the user name in the search box.

4:28 PM  

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