I went to see 300 at the IMAX theater in Manhattan yesterday, (lots of head-chopping disemboweling good Grecian fun, but that's besides the point.) Riding home on the B train, (actually, I took the B train to Rock Center & then the F train home, like you care, but I'm a bit of an obsessive compulsive...) I saw a poster with a crying baby, accompanied by this message:
DON'T SHAKE YOUR BABY
Now, I realize that child abuse is a horrible, horrible thing, and I don't mean to mock it. But being the father of two children and knowing fury at 2am when it was my turn to feed the youngling & he or she just wanted to scream & scream & I had to get up at 4:45 to go to work & I was on my second-to-last goddamn nerve, I would put Joe or Mandy down in the pig-pen & just WALK AWAY before I got down to my last nerve. So wouldn't a better slogan be:
IF YOU'RE ANGRY, PUT HER DOWN & WALK AWAY
because my first thought on reading "Don't shake your baby" was that there was some sort of urban myth going around that it was somehow good for the baby. You know, like one of those battery-less flashlights with generators inside that are primed by shaking the magnet up and down. Do parents leave in the morning, and say, "Crap- I forgot to shake the baby!" "Relax, honey, I got it!"
Seriously, though, I would make a terrible cop, because if was called in & saw that parents had hurt a child, I would probably shoot them on the spot. I have this impulse control problem when it comes to things like that.