How much industrial strength does it really take to transport a person that may weigh between 9 and 20 pounds? If a weekend trip to the mall is any indication, I would deduce the answer falls somewhere between a Hummer and steam freighter.
As my son and I attempted to walk, leisurely, between stores, we were confronted by a combination convoy, flotilla of conveyances bearing down on us, building up a head of steam provided by a snarling mob of bipeds all muttering to no one in particular, “why couldn’t I be sterile?”
It’s really difficult to fathom why it takes such structural might to push a little kid around. But I get it, because this is not a new story. My kids were born in 1984 and 1988 in Atlanta. Back then, in the height of Yuppy arrogance, young couples starting their families somehow became obnoxious social climbers. Here’s how it went down.
Back then there were two main choices of strollers: The $70 Maxi Taxi, which did the job quite well and conveniently folded by just squeezing a plastic bar just under the push handle.
Then there was the $300 Aprica. At least that what it cost back then. This was overkill to the max. Indeed, it made the Maxi Taxi look like a Mini Pushcart. Big and blue and a million adjustments and fancy wheels and compartments. We chose the Maxi Taxi because, well, we weren’t insecure assholes who felt they needed to make some sort of statement about our station in life with an exorbitantly priced way to tote our tiny little kid. Indeed, when we encountered an “Aprica couple” they would eye our Maxi Taxi with the same disdain one might show nutritional information on a McDonalds menu.
The situation has only gotten worse with even more elaborate strollers, carriages and prams plying the sidewalks and walkways. They’re so immense I expect to see one some day with a snow plow stuck on the front and a tow hook in the rear just to help the couple who were suckered into buying the beasts amortize the cost of the things by using them to make a few bucks taking on odd jobs.
There is justice however. This actually happened just this Saturday. As my son and I sat in our car about to leave the mall, we watch a couple with a medium sized stroller approach their vehicle. There was no kid in the stroller. In fact, a stuffed bear occupied the kid’s seat and the mom was holding the little one. The dumb dad was of zero help as mom struggled to get the kid in the car. No, dumb dad had put a sweet drink in the stroller’s cupholder. Wait! Why you need a cupholder in a stroller? Oh yeah, so parents can park their lattes! Anyway, A couple of hornets were attracted to the drink and hovered around. Dumb dad was also cowardly dad and he took refuge behind the next car while mom flailed away. She was good! While wimpy husband cowered, she managed to pop the trunk and fold the stroller after putting the kid in the child seat inside. But she wasn’t that good. She tossed the stroller in the trunk…with both hornets still sucking on the soft drink. Closes the lid and gets in the car. So does dumb dad. A moment later, the doors fly open as both parents flee the bees, leaving poor little kid inside, defenseless. Now…if only they saved the dough and bought a sensible stroller— without a cupholder.