Life Prior to "Safety Everything" & the Litigation Craze
- Life Prior to "Safety Everything"and the Litigations CrazeMy Mom used to cut chicken, chop eggs and roll out pie crust on thesame cutting board with the same knife and no bleach, but we didn't seem to get food poisoning.My Mom used to defrost hamburger on the counter AND I used to eat itraw sometimes too, but I can't remember getting E-coli.Almost all of us would have rather gone swimming in the lake insteadof a pristine pool (talk about boring), the term cell phone would haveconjured up a phone in a jail cell, and a pager was the school PA system.We all took gym, not PE . . . and risked permanent injury with a pairof hightop Ked's (only worn in gym) instead of having cross-trainingathletic shoes with air cushion soles and built in light reflectors. I can'trecall any injuries but they must have happened because they tell us how much safer we are now. Flunking gym was not an option . . . even for stupid kids! I guess PE must be much harder than gym.Every year, someone taught the whole school a lesson by running in thehalls with leather soles on linoleum tile and hitting the wet spot. Howmuch better off would we be today if we only knew we could have suedthe school system.Speaking of school, we all said prayers and the pledge and staying indetention after school caught all sorts of negative attention. We musthave had horribly damaged psyches.I can't understand it. Schools didn't offer 14 year olds an abortion orcondoms (we wouldn't have known what either was anyway), but they didgive us a couple of baby aspirin and cough syrup if we started getting thesniffles. What an archaic health system we had then. Remember schoolnurses? Ours wore a hat and everything.I thought that I was supposed to accomplish something before I wasallowed to be proud of myself. I just can't recall how bored we were without computers, playStation, Nintendo, X-box or 270 digital cable stations.I must be repressing that memory as I try to rationalize through thedenial of the dangers could have befallen us as we trekked off each day about a mile down the road to some guy's vacant 20, built forts out ofbranches and pieces of plywood, made trails, and fought over who got to be the Lone Ranger. What was that property owner thinking, letting us play on that lot. He should have been locked up for not putting up a fence around the property, complete with a self-closing gate and an infrared intruder alarm.Oh yeah . . . and where was the Benadryl and sterilization kit when I gotthat bee sting? I could have been killed!We played king of the hill on piles of gravel left on vacant constructionsites and when we got hurt, mom pulled out the 48 cent bottle ofmercurochrome and then we got our butt spanked. Now it's a trip to theemergency room, followed by a 10-day dose of a $49 bottle ofantibiotics and then mom calls the attorney to sue the contractor for leaving a horribly vicious pile of gravel where it was such a threat.We didn't act up at the neighbor's house either because if we did, wegot our butt spanked (physical abuse) here too ... and then we got buttspanked again when we got home.Mom invited the door to door salesman inside for coffee, kids chokeddown the dust from the gravel driveway while playing with Tonka trucks(remember why Tonka trucks were made tough . . . it wasn't so that they could take the rough Berber in the family room), and dad drove a car with leaded gas.Our music had to be left inside when we went out to play and I am surethat I nearly exhausted my imagination a couple of times when we went on two week vacations. I should probably sue the folks now for the dangerthey put us in when we all slept in campgrounds in the family tent.Summers were spent behind the push lawnmower and I didn't even knowthat mowers came with motors until I was 13 and we got one without anautomatic blade-stop or an auto-drive.How sick were my parents? Of course my parents weren't the onlypsychos.I recall Donny Reynolds from next door coming over and doing histricks on the front stoop just before he fell off. Little did his mom know that she could have owned our house. Instead she picked him up and swatted him for being such a goof. It was a neighborhood run amuck.To top it off, not a single person I knew had ever been told that theywere from a dysfunctional family. How could we possibly have known that we needed to get into group therapy and anger management classes? We were obviously so duped by so many societal ills, that we didn't even notice that the entire country wasn't taking Prozac! How did we survive????Easy Simply; "In God We Trust"