Quote of the Day: Car Seats and Swimming Pools

Now self has reached a part of Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything where the main subject is parenting. At the beginning of this section is an introduction in which readers are informed that Steven D. Levitt’s first child, a son, died of pneumococcal meningitis. Which gives self pause. For here she was, imagining a fantasy life for Steven D. Levitt: He is a tenured professor at the University of Chicago, and his students love him. Ergo, he has no problems in life. He can’t open a jar of anything, his wife has to do it for him. Ergo, his wife dotes on him and makes sure he is insulated from the problems of everyday life.

But, no! There is this heartache presenting in his life! Now she understands why there is a whole section on parenting! And there are some interesting things self learns from this section. To wit:

Most innovations in the field of child safety are affiliated with — shock of shocks — a new product to be marketed. (Nearly five million car seats are sold each year). These products are often a response to some growing scare in which, as Peter Sandman might put it, the outrage outweighs the hazard. Compare the four hundred lives that a few swimming pool precautions might save to the number of lives saved by far noisier crusades: child-resistant packaging (an estimated fifty lives a year), flame-retardant pajamas (ten lives), keeping children away from airbags in cars (fewer Read the rest of this entry »

All Is in Readiness

For arrival of Dear Bro tomorrow.  Self is not sure if he is with self’s cousin (who works for Dear Bro).  In which case, she’ll have to make up an extra bed (which means she’ll have to drag a mattress out from the garage; let’s just put that off ’till the morrow!)

Self knows Dear Bro is a stickler for cleanliness.  Here’s a story:  when self was a young working girl in the Big Apple (Does anyone still refer to NYC this way, self wonders?  Or is that horribly dated, a throw-back to the long-ago 80s?), Dear Bro came over to visit.  She was at that time sub-letting a loft on 8th St. and First Ave. (the East Village).

One day, she returned home from a very tiring day in her crap job as Administrative Assistant to an Ernst & Whinney manager (This was in the long-ago days before it became Ernst & Young).  The only saving grace of this job being this:  it was on the very top floor of the Citicorp Building on 53rd and Lex, and every time the manager opened the door to his office, self glimpsed the Chrysler Building.  But the manager never left his door open for long, so the Chrysler Building would present for just a moment or two, and then vanish.  Present, and then vanish.  Like a slide show.  It made self quite dizzy, at times.

Anyhoo, as self was saying, one evening she came home from crap job, and she couldn’t believe her eyes.  The whole apartment practically Read the rest of this entry »

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