Thursday, November 17, 2011

Children on Leashes. Bad Right?

I’ve never put either one my kids on a leash. I have too much... oh, what’s the word I’m looking for...oh yes, respect. Yes, I have too much respect for them to do that. But at the same time both my kids are rather well behaved out in public and neither are the type to run off on their own so who am I to judge? I’ll tell you. I’m perfect for judging. I’ve watched a lot of court room drama shows on TV (like Night Court), I’m pretty good with a hammer, and I really enjoy being super critical of other people.

So I judge thee, those who put their kids on leashes and take them out in public.

Why does my brother, Mr. Barkies, get to walk in front?

Pat, you’re with me on this one right?

Pat:  Well, you gotta’ judge someone, right, or you’re just gonna’ end up judging yourself and that ain’t gonna’ get you to anyplace you want to be. Might as well judge the child leash people.I suppose we could give them points for efficiency and ingenuity, and they do help teach a certain order and structure, but,’s kinda’ hard to read an article about human trafficking and then see an image like the one above--someone en route to their daily double latte before the daily excursion to the dog park--and not do an ethically based judgemental double-take.

I’m with you. Human leashes are silly. And not very nice. But I’ve also always had a problem with sheepdogs. Even repeated viewings of The Shaggy D.A. couldn’t make me like them more. Ugly dogs, plain and simple.

Christian:  OK, so we are in agreement that these people should be judged (The leash people, not sheepdogs). But how harshly?

Let’s say you make some new friends, via work, or the neighborhood, what have you. They seem nice and you enjoy their company. You have them over for dinner and decide to go for walk and BAM! The leashes come out and the next thing you know their kids are roped up like cattle.

Everything is going fine, but then they put their kid on a leash
and things start getting weird.

Is this a deal breaker for you with regards to remaining their friends?

Pat:  I’m struggling a bit with the image above. Did we take acid?

Honestly...I’ve never had that experience, or one even remotely close to it, so I’m going to bag out of that argument and also suggest that you seek out new friends.

But, yeah...there are certain things that are deal breakers for me...and they are usually pretty superficial. Richard Marx CDs in the car. Voting republican. Swastika tattoos. Mike’s Hard Lemonade™ served at a hosted dinner in place of wine or beer. I am just judgmental enough to let those get in the way of a beautiful and lasting friendship. Might as well throw child-leash people into the mix...why the hell not?

Christian: OK. But now let’s say it’s a family member or relative. Since it’s hard to cast off family and you kind of have to accept them as who they are, we’ll go ahead and assume that you’ll keep them as family members.

But would you ever say anything to them about the leashes? Let’s say, for example, they are visiting for Thanksgiving and everyone decides to go for a nice post-turkey stroll about the neighborhood and then BAM! They unleash some leashes and leash up their kids. Do you say anything or just keep your mouth shut?

Pat:  Two things come to mind:

1.  In both of your hypothetical scenarios described above, you used the onomotopeia (geez, that’s a tough one to spell!) BAM! to describe the sound of the person bringing out the child-leash...or the leashed-child...not sure which one. Does it really make that sound? If so, I really want to meet some of these friends/families of yours. If not...why do you taunt me with such vivid and descriptive scenarios that can’t possibly live up to reality?

Christian: BAM! is not so much supposed to be a sound but more of a representation of a sudden shock or turn of events. It’s a way of injecting more suspense and excitement into the dialogue. BAM!

Pat: 2.  You say “ kind of have to accept them as who they are...”  with regards to family members. Really? Is that written in stone somewhere? I’ve been working on changing the fundamental essence of my spouse for ‘bout near 20 years now. Far fewer years with the kids, but I’m still doing my best to mold them away from their base tendencies. Am I going against some universal family credo?

Christian: BAM! No it’s not written in stone. I was just trying to make the point that BAM! It’s not as easy to disassociate yourself with family as it is with friends. BAM!

So are you then saying that in the case of a family member being a leash user - or a leashy, as they are referred to in prison (I assume) - you would say something in the spirit of BAM! Changing the essence of loved ones? BAM!

Pat:  Absolutely! BAM!

Change those motherfuckers, family or not! Double BAM! Whether in prison--BAM!--or in the top bunk of your three year old’s room--toddler BAM!--tell those freaky people to get with the BAM! program, yo! BAM!BAM!BAM!

Christian: Wow, what an exhilarating paragraph Pat! I’m out of breath just from reading it. I even found myself reaching for my asthma inhaler until I remembered I’ve never had asthma. But check out this paragraph:

WICKACHI-POW! BLAMMO!!! So in conclusion KABOOOOM!!! we are in agreement that putting your kid on a leash is RAT-A-TAT-TAT-TAT-TAT!!! bad.  And, WANG-CHUNG!!! if you come across someone doing so, SHAZAM!!! you should say something, WEEE-OOOO WEEE-OOOO!!! even if they are a close loved one. TORNADO POWER WINDS!!! Does that sound right Pat? AHHHHH!!!

Pat:  Yes.  Yes it does.


  1. I totally agree. If I had just started to form a friendship with someone and they pulled out some leashes for their kids (BAM!?), I'd dump them faster than a puking sorority girl at a frat party.

    The idea that truly frightens me is what if someone I know already turns into one of "those" people. For example, what if Brigid loses her mind when she has a kid and decides that her kid would be safer on a leash? We've been friends for 17 years so far, that means that I will have to decide between my ideals and an almost-20-year friendship? That sucks and can't believe that she's going to do that to me! After all these years! What a jerk. I might have to re-think this friendship.

    Also, I think that calling them "Leashies" makes them sound like Furries. So we should definitely call them that.

  2. I would never ever ever use a leash on my kids. It wouldn't fit over the muzzles.

  3. I have no problems with putting kids on a leash but I have voted Republican so that may explain things.

    Also, I'm sure if you put Emeril Lagasse on a leash (and someone should) you hear the BAM!

    Also, also, onomatopoeia is one of my top 3 favorite words.

  4. @megiweg- I think I know what a "furry" is. But I think I like not being sure better. Is it what I think it is?

    @tumbleweed- awesome! What are the other two?

  5. @Pat, the other two are indefatigable and Chechnya.

  6. @Megiweg - I hope Brigid has apologized by now.

    @babs - Good point. I have the same problem getting them to fit over those veterinarian licking prevention cones I have on my kids.

    @Tumbleweed - One of my favorite words is parlay.

    @Pat - I think it is what you think it is.

  7. I've never put my kids on a leash. I've been tempted to use cages, but never a leash.

    There is only one argument/scenario where I've ever conceded to the leash perhaps being JUST ok to use, and that was discussing international airports with a friend who was travelling alone with her daughter who IS a runner. Disrespectful leash use trumps child abduction into sex slavery, hands down.

  8. I've never put my kids on a leash but when my son was two, I went straight to the local Target to get one. Sadly, they were all out. I like how the ones nowadays have a little stuffed animal on the front. So it doesn't look like a leash, it actually looks like an accessory.

    My mother told me that when I was 2 or 4, she and my dad took me to the State Fair, and put a leash on me. According to her, I immediately sat down on the Midway and refused to budge. I guess I had too much...ummm.....I guess you'd call it self-respect. So she took it off of me, at which point I immediately ran into a tattood crowd of people dressed in leather and chains.

    So, leashes? I don't know. I had one and I turned out just fine.

    Fuck you.

  9. @oola - OK, that's a good point. I could see there being a need there. I hadn't thought about the whole abduction into international sex slavery thing, which by the way, I'm totally against.

    @yvonne - Yeah I think it's the appearances of the leashes that turns me off so much (that and multiple instances of seeing parents tugging on them a little too aggressively for my taste). Maybe they need to have them so that they are attached from wrist to wrist so it's more that the child and parent are tethered together vs. the more traditional walking your dog look. Or how about one where it's tied to the kid's wrist and harnessed on the parent so it looks like the kid has the parent leashed up. That might be cool.

  10. Yeah, I'm down with Oola on the child sex slavery thing not being cool. 'Course, I'd rather see the traffickers on leashes than the kids, but I think we'd need thicker ropes.

    Yvonne, I wasn't clear if your "FU" was directed at us, at the leashes, at your parents, at the carnies or at the tattooed crowd you ran into. Can you clarify? Thanks!

  11. A couple of things:

    1. Is that goat guy wearing an extremely large strap-on?

    2. I greatly enjoyed the WANG CHUNG onomatopoeia.

    3. Leashing your kids is a great way to avoid disciplining them when they don't follow directions. And debasing their humanity. I'm not a fan.

  12. @Anna

    1. Good question. We'll have Pat look into it.

    2. I wonder if the sentence "I greatly enjoyed the WANG CHUNG onomatopoeia" has ever been used in the history of mankind before.

    3. Yes, although we have determined that if it helps prevent your child from going into international sex slavery then it's OK. Don't tell anyone but my wife told me the other day that she might want to use leashes if we took our kids to some place like Disneyland. So I guess Disneyland and international sex slavery are things to avoid.