Won't someone think of the children?

As I was driving along today, I saw children playing catch in the street. I tut-tutted and slowed down as I approached them. The one who was actually in the street cleared off to one side as I got closer and threw the ball to a kid on the sidewalk. He missed it and the ball bounced out into the road.

Surely he isn't going to follow it, I thought. I remember all of the things I learned growing up, both from my parents and from school. You never just run out into the street after a ball. You always look both ways before you step out into the street.

And yet, as I slowed down further to see how things would play out, the kid did indeed follow his ball out into the street. Even though I was approaching slowly and had seen him there since I turned onto the street, I was still an oncoming car and potentially dangerous. His friends yelled at him and I frowned and shook my head as I drove by. I thought about stopping and reprimanding him, but what is one to say in these situations?

Perhaps we ought to let Darwinism run its course?

srah - Monday, 5 April 2004 - 12:31 AM
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Comments (13)

gravatar Urs - April 5, 2004 - 12:57 AM -

honk your horn and then shake your head disappointingly

gravatar katie - April 5, 2004 - 9:37 AM -

Pull over, get out of your car, storm up to him and demand to speak to his mother. Then chew her out for not teaching him well enough.

Ah, wouldn't that feel good?

gravatar Cheryl - April 5, 2004 - 10:13 AM -

I like Katie's suggestion. I also like that you frowned and shook your head. Remember Safety Town? Is that even still around?

Let the ball roll!
Let the ball roll!
It doesn't matter, fast or slow.
(I don't remember the rest)

gravatar mommy - April 5, 2004 - 12:11 PM -

Then the mother will scream at you. Probably not a good idea to interact with the small child.

gravatar Smuj - April 5, 2004 - 1:06 PM -

Kids like that get disapproving glares all the time. I doubt your frowning and head shaking made any kind of impact. I'm with Urs -- sound your horn long enough to send him scrambling back onto the curb. With any luck, he'll also be scrambling home for a clean pair of pants.

I do like the Darwinian approach, but I'm not sure I could personally handle the guilt of running over a child, even if he was stupid enough to chase a ball into traffic.

gravatar srah - April 5, 2004 - 1:53 PM -

I wasn't going to take the Darwinism into my own hands... just not do anything and wait for someone else to run him over.

gravatar Smuj - April 5, 2004 - 2:45 PM -

Hehe. Now we're picturing you sitting in a lawn chair on the side of the road with a bucket of popcorn and some Milk Duds, watching the kid play in the street, and waiting for a distracted driver.

That "someone else" could be me, though ...

gravatar Matthew the Young - April 5, 2004 - 8:36 PM -

Are we also picturing her wearing more than pink knee socks and a pink scarf this time? Just checking...

gravatar Matthew the Young - April 5, 2004 - 8:39 PM -

... people might otherwise get... um, distracted... and accidentally run over the poor kid anyway.

gravatar srah - April 5, 2004 - 8:42 PM -

Matthew, you are a whore!

gravatar Matthew the Young - April 5, 2004 - 8:59 PM -

I dunno -- i'm not the scarfily-clad young woman sunning herself on a lawnchair, watching little boys play ball... ;)

gravatar srah - April 5, 2004 - 9:01 PM -

Scarfily!

gravatar Smuj - April 5, 2004 - 10:01 PM -

Oh geez. I guess it's all downhill from here then, huh?

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