Sunday, June 12, 2005

It's amazing that he wasn't foiled by the shovel against the door.

Michele links this horrifying story about a boy in San Francisco who was killed when he was mauled by one of the family's two pit-bulls.

It seems that the mother had to go out, and since she knew that the female was in heat and that the male would (a) be feeling understandably randy and (b) that the male would be very protective of its mate, she put her son in the basement and secured the door with a shovel. Well, the boy managed to get the basement door open and entered the kitchen to interrupt the coital rites of two horny pit-bulls. The ending of the story is entirely predictable, of course; the kid never had a chance.

Michele's reaction ("YOU. KILLED. YOUR. CHILD.") is perfectly understandable, mostly because it's, you know, correct; the mother here committed an amazing act of negligence that left her child dead, and her fairly blase reaction to her son's death is especially creepy. "It's Nicky's time to go", she is quoted; "When you're born you're destined to go and this was his time." It's as though he's a long-suffering cancer patient finally succumbing. Imagine that worldview, anyway: this woman is claiming that her son was born into this world fated to leave it twelve years later at the jaws of a sex-starved pit-bull.

But here's what I noticed from reading the article. The mother recoils in horror at the idea that the dogs might have been too dangerous. She apparently shouted at no less a personage than the Mayor of San Francisco after he made a public comment that maybe pit-bulls aren't proper pets for domestic life, and she says this about her particular animal:

"He's the most loving and giving dog in the world," she insisted. "There were no violent tendencies in him at all."

Well, if she believed that, she wouldn't have tried the old shovel-under-the-door-handle trick with her kid, would she? And she wouldn't bitterly try to blame the kid for not listening to her. Amazing.

This reminds me, in a way, of the New-Agey weirdo from about ten years or so ago who thought that it would be a great idea for her seven-year-old daughter to set a world record or something for flying an airplane across the country. The girl got as far as Wyoming with her flying instructor before the plane crashed, killing all three aboard. The crash wasn't the girl's fault, but that she was there to die in the first place was the parents' -- in this case the mother, who proceeded to defend the decision to allow her child to fly at an age when she would have to wait nine years before being legally eligible to drive a car.

Some parents make mastadonically wrong decisions in parenting, and sometimes those decisions end up in the death of their children. It would be slightly refreshing, if no less bitter, for such a parent to stand in front of the cameras and say, "My God, what have I done? Why did I allow this to happen?"

"My son didn't listen to me."

"The dogs are so sweet."

"She sure loved to fly."

"Time to freshen up the flowers around the gravestone."

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