17th Jul2003

Whatever Happened To Kidnapping & Radon?

by Will

What ever happened to kidnapping and Radon? I remember the ’80s, when kidnapping was the worst thing that could happen to your child. In fact, the only way it could have been worse was if the child was being kept in a building contaminated by Radon. Families were advised to test their homes and make sure that it wasn’t harming their kids. Now, here we are in 2003, and not only is Radon the red-headed step-child of common American fears, but it’s never spoken of. Where is it? Did we get rid of the Radon? If so, why was I not told? I would’ve liked to have taken part in the “Farewell Radon” festivities. We could’ve had a parade, with everyone wearing gas masks, you know, for old times sake. We could have a mascot of a Radon detector (were there Radon detectors?) Anyway, I’d like to know where this threat ran off to!

Running….that brings me to my next topic: kidnapping. Is it just not a threat anymore? For kids, that is. You don’t hear anything about that anymore. The closest thing is when someone is carjacked, and they happened to have left their kid inside during the whole thing. I remember that every show in the ’80s was required to have a kidnapping episode. Hell, “Diff’rent Strokes” had two! These shows are probably the most memorable ’cause they were aimed at scaring the living shit out of kids. I still remember Arnold and Kimberly being locked up by the crazed man. I also remember when Sam (WAY after the shark had been jumped) was kidnapped and integrated into another family by his kidnapper. Of course, Mr. Drummond saved the day, which just sent the message that “Money can solve any problem”. Had the same thing happened to Arnold or Willis, without any intervention from their sugary foster-dad, those would’ve been two little boys you wouldn’t have heard from again. Ahh..the joys of ’80s television. From those shows, I learned:

1) Cool cars always seem to get airborne if driven fast enough

2) Kidnappers are just lonely

3) Money solves all ills

4) Orphans have the best lives EVER

5) When white parents adopt black kids, hilarity ensues

6) Never underestimate your housekeeper: he’s/she’s either really cool, the wisest person you’ve ever met, and/or the love of your life