April 09, 2007

Over-protective parents and urban foraging

I am becoming a fan of Los Angeles writer Linda J. Williamson, whose piece on Internet-hyper over-protective parents was picked up by the Denver Post:

At a PTA meeting, during a discussion of traffic problems around the school campus, I asked what we could do to encourage families to walk or bike to school. Other parents looked at me as if I’d suggested we stuff the children into barrels and roll them into the nearest active volcano. One teacher looked at me in shock. “I wouldn’t let my children walk to school alone … would you?”

“Haven’t you heard about all of the predators in this area?” asked a father.

“No, I haven’t,” I said. “I think this is a pretty safe neighborhood.”

“You’d be surprised,” he replied, lowering his eyebrows. “You should read the Megan’s Law website.” He continued: “You know how to solve the traffic problem around this school? Get rid of all the predators. Then you won’t have any more traffic.”

And here she is on urban foraging.

The harvest [scarfing free samples at Whole Foods] I reaped was bountiful, but it wasn’t the communing-with-nature, off-the-grid eating experience I was looking for. So I made for a more fertile hunting ground: the Internet. There, on the message board of FallenFruit.org—a web site devoted to mapping L.A.’s many neighborhood fruit trees—I found this shocking entry:

“Soon I will have more avocados than I know what to do with… you can use avocado for facials and hair conditioner. Just mash and apply.”

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