Tag Archives: child rearing

Color Design: It Could Save Lives Or Be Horribly, Horribly Misused

The horror! The horror!What the hell is wrong with people?

And by people, I mean everyone else but me.

So, you guys.

You know who you are.

People who don’t look over their shoulders before changing lanes.

Thieves who break into my car, the one I can’t lock up because of Idiot A above.

Clerks at Lucky who ignore the “Three’s a crowd” rule, thus keeping me in the store long enough for Idiot B above to break into my car and steal all the expensive electronics I left on the dash.

You’re on my list now, Idiots A, B, and C. And you too, dashboard. Being inanimate will save no one! Take it from me, as someone who’s on my list, you don’t want to be there.

But mostly it’s the people at Kensington.

Why them?

Because they made a power strip.

A power strip that has friendly, Otter Pops-colored outlets on it.

As everyone knows, nothing says, “Come here and lick me” to a toddler quite like an Otter Pop-colored object.

Oh sure, they're all smiles and clever mustaches, but little do you know how quickly they'll turn on you!

Would you look at this and expect to get zapped with 1.21 gigawatts of electricity if you licked it?

Usually, these objects turn out to be mostly harmless Otter Pops, and not fully energized electrical outlets.

But not when the fine designers bent on infanticide at Kensington are on the job.

How do I know this is a sinister plot rather than some misguided belief by the folks at Kensington that people using this power strip won’t have children?

Because the packaging is totally opaque. No clear plastic window to show you the festively colored power strip that will tempt your inquisitive toddlers to their doom, to warn you off to some all-beige knock-off that’s also a third the price (and ‘VL-Listed’ instead of ‘UL-Listed’, whatever that means).

“But Ian,” you’re tempted to point out, “the box does say, right on the front, ‘Color Coded Rings.’”

Shut up. Also, I refute your feeble argument thusly:

It does not say ‘Otter Pop-colored Color Coded Rings That Will Draw Young Children To Them Like Ants To Store Clerks Staked Into the Ground With Honey Poured All Over Them.’

For all I can tell looking at the plain white box with its unassuming blue print, the colors are white, off-white, eggshell, alabaster, gray, and black! Nothing on the box says to me, “WARNING: Deep, vivid colors that will scream out to your children to stick forks into the candy-coated delicious sockets!”

Why do we even need colors on a power strip anyway? Is the electricity that much better when it flows through bright colors?

What the heck, people? Am I supposed to bear the heavy responsibility of keeping my kids safe? In addition to the Herculean effort I spend in the much more important task of keeping myself out of harm’s way?

Hell, it’s all I can do to keep myself from tripping and falling onto one of my kids. Ever since they learned to walk, they’re underfoot, grabbing onto my leg and burbling something about loving me.

And since I’m often juggling knives or flaming torches, it’s really important I don’t fall on anyone, let alone my kids.

Goes down like kerosene, comes back up like gasoline

Nowhere does it warn about making my breath flammable.

Now that I think about it, I should probably stop drinking so heavily. At least when I juggle. One of these days a torch is going to set off my breath and I’ll inadvertently flambé the family dog or one of the kiddos.

Do those torches or bottles of Jack have warning labels about this possibility? No. Of course not. Lazy torch-makers and distillers. They have no shred of human decency.

Or is it laziness? I’m beginning to wonder if there’s a conspiracy afoot to prevent my genes from propagating. That would be very short-sighted of Humanity.

But on the slim chance that this inane failure to protect my kids is inadvertent, that everyone out there thinks I’ve got my kids’ safety in hand, I have just one thing to say:

That’s the most irresponsible presumption I’ve ever heard.

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Look! Up in the sky! It’s a baby! It’s a lawn mower! It’s a shed!

So this blog post is a little late.

OK, a lot late.

I’d apologize, but I have a really good excuse.

I was ambushed by a shed.

Does it still count as an ambush if you not only knew it was coming, but orchestrated it? What if the shed had no idea? Does it still count as an ambush then?

Because the shed had no idea what it was in for.

Then again, neither did it.

Apparently, to take a shed from here:

Where do baby sheds come from?

Where do baby sheds come from?

to here:

They grow up so fast!

It seems just like yesterday when it was a little baby crate

involves exercising vestigial muscles not used by human beings for tens of thousands of years. As well as every other single muscle in the human body.

You know what happens when a lazy, out-of-shape adult male suddenly forces all those muscles to hop to it?


Mind-shattering, fabric-of-Time-and-Space-tearing pain.

Which is why my blog is late. I was literally (and yes, I *know* what literally means, all you Oatmeal fans) unable to type the blog entry. I walked funny for days, once I regained my feet, and not in the awesome-sex good way of walking funny. It was more of the horrible-sex-on-broken-glass-on-the-floor-of-the-shed-I-just-built walking funny.

I don’t recommend it.

More than once.

(No, I don’t roll that way, but how would I know until I tried?)

Wow, how did this blog post about child-rearing get so vulgar?

Yes, child-rearing.

During my immobilized convalescence, I did a lot of thinking.

Thinking about lawn mowing and child-rearing.

And I realized that lawn mowing is WAY easier and safer than raising children.

How so?

Lawn mowers have all sort of safety features these days. Have you tried to injure yourself with a lawn mower lately?

Yourself! Not other people (that’s still really, really easy).

So modern lawn mowers have like a thousand horse power engines to ensure that you can cut down even the most hardened blades of grass, which sounds like an awesome recipe for disaster at first blush. And not just for that pesky Kentucky bluegrass that just doesn’t know when to quit.

Except those spinning blades are housed in these rigid shells that make it really difficult to jam your toes in their path.

Mad Men episodes aside, that’s a crying shame.

Even worse is that they’ve started building in safety features to prevent people who want to hurt themselves with the lawn mower from succeeding.

I’m talking about the power lever. The lever you have to hold down to keep the mower running. The lever that, while held in the ON position, stops anyone except the most skilled contortionist from getting any part of their body inside that housing.

What the hell? It’s a free country. If someone wants to shorten a few fingers or toes with their mower, I say, as long as they’re consenting adults, who are the lawn mower manufactures to tell them no?

And on the other hand (assuming you haven’t lopped it off with your mower), you have child rearing. No rigid housing there, if you exclude the skull and rib cage.

Turns out you can’t exclude them. Skulls and rib cages are part of the package when you get a ripe, fully functional child.

Though the skull is soft in spots for a while. You can make an impression of your initials in those spots…until the first pediatrician visit.

Pediatricians don’t like initials in skulls, I’ve learned, no matter how handy it is at marking a kid as yours.

Whoever is responsible for children needs to start shipping kids with rigid housings for their heads, to protect parents (and the kids of other, litigious parents) from the biting menace.

Children don’t have handy safety levers either.

And NO people, that is not a safety lever on the male children!

Hell, kids have no power ON/OFF lever at all. There are days I’d kill for the peace and quiet an ON/OFF switch for my kids would offer me. Nights too. Long, sleepless nights, struggling to block out the sounds of their crying and wailing…

Turns out, I also recently discovered, pediatricians don’t like it when you try to install ON/OFF switches on your kids.

Man, you can’t do anything with your kids these days! Who, I ask, who is protecting the parents???

These are the thoughts that coursed through my mind as I lay, in utter post-shed-building agony, unable to sleep due to my kids’ screaming as I worried about my late blog post and the lawn I needed to mow before the rains came.


Posted by on 6 October 2011 in Angst, Life, Sheds


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