I spent that season at the Connecticut wilderness home of a friend from elementary school, who was moving from the Bay Area to the East Coast. When it was time to drive the station wagon down the mountain road, his father would often give us a choice: Would we like to ride in the backseat or on the roof of the car?
In retrospect, this was probably a really bad idea. If two 12-year-olds were seen traveling on the roof of a car in 2007, it would likely trigger an Amber Alert, four dozen cell phone calls to Child Protective Services and a viral YouTube video to be played endlessly on "Nancy Grace." But I'm sort of glad it happened. Being perched on the top of that slow-moving Ford Country Squire was a small risk (remember, this was the pre-Ford Taurus 1980s, when station wagons had giant luggage racks that were practically made for passenger travel), but there was also a reward. Riding on the roof of that car made me a little bit less of a wuss.
Friday, October 19, 2007
A great editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle on the great disservice we're doing our children by being so damned risk-adverse: