Friday, March 07, 2008

The Death of Common Sense

I'm just wondering when Common Sense passed away. No. Seriously. Because I hadn't even heard It had a cough.

Today in Orlando, Florida, a mother was arrested after a do-it-yourself car wash surveillance video showed her spraying her two-and-a-half year old daughter with a power sprayer. I contemplated whether to put a link to the video in this post, but decided against it. I'm linking to the story instead, which contains a link to the video. I just don't want to have such stupidity so close to my intellect. It might be contagious.

In case you're wondering, most car wash power sprayers push water at about 1200 psi. That's enough to flay a full-grown human at full-blast. The mother claims it wasn't full-blast, but I gotta tell ya... I regularly wash my car at a DIY car wash, and there is no "half-blast/full-blast." You pull the trigger. Period. The water comes out at the pressure it comes out at. It's designed to blast grease and hardened dirt off a car's exterior as quickly as possible, so the next person can move into the space and put more quarters in. Finesse is not a part of the equation. There is little consideration for an automobile's paint job, let alone a little girl's skin.

People, what in the name of God and all that's holy is going on here? People shooting total strangers in fast food restaurants and malls. A Marine throwing (or appearing to throw) a little puppy off a cliff for the sheer entertainment of it. This adle-pated idiot mother power-spraying her toddler for throwing a tantrum.

I'd be willing to bet that this woman is not evil. I'd even be willing to go as far as to say she is a fairly well-intentioned parent most of the time. Any truly honest person who has ever spent all day caring for a cranky two-and-a-half-year old will tell you that sometimes using riot-control measures, like high-pressure water cannons and tear gas, are often considered as possible methods of thwarting chaos and reestablishing order and peace. But once we take a drink of water and have a quick shot of espresso, the more sensible and intelligent among us abandon these strategies as being impractical and uncalled for.

Except Our Lady of Perpetual High-Pressure Water Discipline, of course.

I think this woman just needs to attend some intensive parenting and anger-management courses to teach her better ways of coping with the ups and downs of raising a toddler. And while we're at it, perhaps we can get her into a remedial course in Common Sense.


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