Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Family Stickers

Some things that are fairly popular here in San Diego are what I think of as Family Roster Stickers. You may have seen them before on the rear window of a minivan. They’re usually white stickers of stick people that represent the family that normally rides in the vehicle.

Usually there’s a tall male and female for the mother and father, smaller males and/or females for the children, and sometimes there are pets and “props” like soccer balls to represent interests.

Is it just me, or is it a little scary that people put these things on their cars? Consider the following scenario. A man approaches a little girl at the playground who’s out of sight of her parents. He says to the little girl, “You’re Christy, right?” She replies that she is. The man continues, “I’m a friend of Travis, I mean, your dad, and he asked me to pick you up and take you home. Your brother Danny is already home from soccer practice. Alice will probably have dinner ready by the time you get there and she won’t want you to let it get cold.”

It’s not really that big of a stretch to see this happening. Of course, for it to work several things need to have failed. First, Christy should know never to talk to strangers, whoever they claim to be. Secondly, Christy shouldn’t be out of sight when away from home or neighbors. Thirdly is that the opportunity needs to have presented itself at all. These things aren’t really that far-fetched.

Having said all this, I don’t want to sound like all the other alarmists who say that every person you don’t know is waiting to kidnap your children. I do think that broadcasting this kind of information about your family is a bad idea. You wouldn’t go around telling people where you live and what times you’re not at home.

What might be a good idea would be to get these kinds of stickers on your car but with fake names. Her parents can tell Christy to ask anyone claiming to know her mother or father what their names are. If the person provides the name on the stickers, something is obviously up. This won’t stop people who actually know Christy and her family but it will thwart some people. It’s no substitute for teaching your child about strangers and keeping an eye on her when at the park and such.

One could also get some of these and just put something fun like The Ass Family. I’d kind of like to have a set for Cthulhu and family.

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