There’s really only 3 or 4 parents at any one time who are braving the waters of traveling with a toddler. But there is enough smoking, flaming Elmo-sized juggernauts to warrant some kind of deterrent to dissuade them from even trying to cross the Point of No Return (PONR) at the TSA checkpoint. So, to aid parents everywhere in raining in their little ones, I propose the Kiddy Kollar!
Y’know those electric collars they put on dogs that, when activated, give the beast a small electric shock that, while they are far from enough to kill them, they do pack enough punch to bring the dog to their knees? I mean, it certainly makes them think twice about leaving the property. Now we can debate the humane quality (or lack of) of such devices all day long, let alone their efficacy. I mean let’s be honest, how many dogs are truly bright enough to, through trial-and-error, determine that it’s the collar that is causing them the brief moment of discomfort? Sure Border Collies and German Shepard’s are smart enough to divine that it’s the collar that keeps shocking them and it’s only when they cross certain invisible lines that such an instance occurs. But take, say, a beagle. No idea whatsoever. Beagles are just not the sharpest knife in the drawer and they can wear these collars and run head long into the property line, withstand the electrical current at full force and never get the picture. To them, it’s like a swat with an imaginary rolled-up newspaper. No effect and they don’t even know why it happened, hence no learning. And while the debate over whether the cognitive progress of a human toddler and beagle certainly has its place in academia, I personally don’t see much difference. But that’s me. I mean, both are distracted by shiny objects and flashing lights and so on. But nevermind.
For our purposes, imagine if you will that you are the concerned, watchful parent of said toddler (Usually boys. I honestly have yet to see a little girl running amok, though I’m sure it happens). And your direct attention, for only a moment mind you, is consumed with filling up your soda cup at the fountain ($12.50) or perusing the latest issue of Shooting TImes ($17.85)
or filling your water bottle that you dutifully emptied before the TSA checkpoint because we have to protect ourselves from the potential terrorist looking to blow up the whole freaking airport with a, y’know, um, water balloon. And you see out of the corner of your eye your little one gunning for the PONR. The child is coming dangerously close to the sweet taste of freedom and … ZAPPO! With the collar fixed firmly around his neck, the little guy drops mere inches from the promised land. And again, the voltage is weak enough to drop him, just not enough to really hurt him or cause any significant, lasting neurological damage. The kid sheds a batch of crocodile tears while you finish filling your soda or the latest review of the Glock. You walk over, Kleenex in hand and concealing the remote device that activated the collar, and wipe away the misery. Over, done with, gone.
Now, onlookers will almost certainly question your aptitude in raising a child at all (and, most likely, your stance on basic human rights as a whole). But I guarantee that at least the parents that see it will take note that the child hasn’t undergone any lasting damage. And for those who do want to question your abilities in rearing children, I propose a settle disguise for the device. Maybe a cute little Spiderman mask with an elastic, “extra firm” neck band. Or perhaps an adorable little Mexican bandito outfit with two bandoliers crisscrossing over the child’s chest and linked together with small copper wire over the child’s collarbones. For the little girl who attempts this maneuver, picture a pretty pink princess dress and clear, plastic slippers. And a tiara, of sorts. I haven’t yet researched what might be lasting harm from massive electric shocks directly to the cranium. But they didn’t seem to have much effect on Jack in Cuckoo’s Nest, so I think we’re safe.
I’ll concede that this might be a bit drastic a measure to employ with the renegade child. It might also be counterproductive. I mean, imagine what would happen if the child merely builds up an immunity to the maximum amount of shock the collar is capable of administering. That level of tolerance to pain might turn the kid into a championship wrestler with a full-ride to the university of his choice. It also may create a super-bully who grows up to be a juvenile delinquent who is simply impervious to the mace and stun guns of would-be police officers. It might even be prime conditioning for the occasional bullet from the handgun of a homeowner. I mean, forget juvy or Army boot camp. You’d need a freakin’ game warden to reckon with that kid.
Pondering this, I got another idea that will appeal to parents more than the Kiddy Kollar in its more touchy-feely approach …