10/09/2006

When I am King: No Alphabutts

When I am King...

There will be no words allowed on the pant seats of childrens' clothing.

It is truly disturbing to find yourself reading some words and then realize you're staring at the bottom of a 12 year old. Or someone much younger, like the age of one of my daughters.

It's particularly disturbing when the words say something like “Hot!” or “Sweet!”. They should say something more appropriate, like “Sick!,” or “Perv!,” or perhaps “What are you looking at, buddy?!”.

There is a universal law that says that we treeless apes will read words put in front of us. (Unless you're being taught to read, in which case the converse appears to be true). Why else do we find ourselves reading the drivel and ads on a cereal box during breakfast? Is it actually better than the novel upstairs by the bed? Or more fulfilling than actually talking to the family? Of course not; but the words are there and demand to be read.

This is probably why traffic engineers put the word “STOP” on a stop sign. We all know what the symbol means. But if there wasn't a word on it, we would ignore the sign off and roll right on toward our certain death. But since there's a word on the sign, our brain says “Hey! Read what it says! Maybe it's an ad!”

(In Russia, the word on the sign is “CTOP”, which is just a phonetic translation of our word, completely unrelated to whatever the Russian word is for stop. This helps explain why it is so dangerous crossing a Russian street.)

Some cunning clothing manufacturer latched onto this passion for words and decided to start putting reading material on pants, with the reasoning that everyone will be forced to look at the words. And the concept makes perfect marketing sense ... for clothing on a 25 year old. But is there any possible benefit to me, the kid, or the manufacturer from my looking at the pants of a 6 year old?

Manufacturers will be required to cease production on this childrens' clothing immediately and distributors will not be allowed to sell them. I will be a kindly king and will not require existing clothing to be thrown away, but all children with such pants will be required to wear a black square placard from their waist that hangs over the area of offence, much like the faces of people that are blacked out in videos to keep their identities secret. My daughters will each be wearing camouflage pants, a hoop skirt, and a cardboard box.
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