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Nation's Strangers Decry Negative Portrayal Among Children

 
 
djjd62
 
Reply Tue 2 Feb, 2010 05:48 pm
Nation's Strangers Decry Negative Portrayal Among Children

http://www.theonion.com/content/files/images/strangers_large.article_large.jpg
A group of strangers demands an end to the humiliation of having to pretend to read newspapers at public playgrounds.

WASHINGTON"Addressing reporters from behind a row of juniper bushes, a coalition of sketchy single men gathered in Washington on Monday to protest the "negative, demeaning, and often hurtful" portrayal of strangers when it comes to the nation's children.

"For years, strangers in this country have been depicted in an unfavorable light," said Strangers of America president Paul Hughes, dressed in his usual outfit of trench coat, gray slacks, and colorful Yu-gi-oh! baseball cap. "These days, it's almost impossible for a stranger to wake up in the morning, drive to a nearby park, and spend the afternoon quietly watching from the sidelines without young boys and girls immediately jumping to conclusions."

"It's a sad fact, but most children won't even talk to us at all," Hughes, 33, added. "Not even the little blond-haired ones."

http://www.theonion.com/content/files/images/Nations-Strangers-Logo-R.article.jpg

According to SOA organizer Charles "Smiling Chuck" Osterhaus, strangers across the United States have long faced discrimination, with parents, teachers, and other authority figures regularly spreading lies about their intentions and warning children to refrain from accepting any of the delicious, delicious candy they have to offer.

In fact, Osterhaus said, a recent survey conducted by the organization found that almost 99 percent of all strangers are not actually the "bad men" they are so often portrayed to be, and most really do have the latest video games and comic books waiting back in their awesome basements, where there aren't any boring rules and everyone can just have fun.

"Why should I be made to feel like some kind of monster, just because I happen to own a van, and enjoy driving that van around the city, with maybe a little puppy or an adorable kitty cat in the backseat?" said Chicago-area stranger Dale Phelan, adding that it's wrong to judge people based on how they look, or the fact that they've never had a serious relationship their whole adult lives. "I've heard some of the terrible things people say about us strangers, and to be honest, not only is it hurtful, but the whole thing just makes me feel kind of sad."

Added Phelan to a group of first-graders leaving a nearby library, "You wouldn't want to see your ol' pal Dale sad, now, would you?"

http://www.theonion.com/content/files/images/Nations-Strangers-Jump-R.article.jpg
The group maintains they wouldn't be strangers anymore if children got to know them, perhaps after a ride to the pet store.

In response to what it called a "grave injustice" predicated more on fear-mongering and rumors than actual fact, Strangers of America announced that it would be taking a number of steps to restore the images of its members.

SOA chairman Kurt Brimer, who reportedly loves drinking orange soda, and especially likes it when the bubbles tickle his nose, told reporters that he would be holding a sleepover this Friday in an effort to dispel a number of ugly myths, and was inviting all children from the neighborhood, especially Brian or his brother Matthew, to attend.

Likewise, self-described "perfectly harmless" stranger Doug Shannow said that he was encouraging kids who still have doubts to just approach him anytime during the week, and he'd take them to McDonald's and prove that there's absolutely nothing to be afraid of.

"Even the word 'stranger' is offensive," said a local Denver resident, who looked vaguely familiar, though no one in attendance could place where they knew him from. "I'm friends with a lot of boys and girls, and I can assure you that they all know me quite well."

So far, however, the efforts of the nation's strangers don't seem to have produced any meaningful change.

"No way, Jose!" said Seattle-area second-grader Joshua Freeberg, addressing a nearby stranger lingering behind a local arcade. "You want to touch my wiener."
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Feb, 2010 06:02 pm
people are strange when you're a stranger.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Feb, 2010 06:03 pm
Interesting, interesting. I get their point.

I had a (strange) experience at the grocery store a week ago. After I finished checking out, I headed toward the pharmacy with my basket of wrapped goods to pick up the prescription I'd put in about twenty minutes before.

The clerk, friendly to me just before while checking my goods out, stopped me to point out where the front door was.

Obviously, she took me, 'elderly' with one funny looking eye, that I must be confused. I'm sure she meant well.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Feb, 2010 06:07 pm
@djjd62,
Source please! Wink
http://i49.tinypic.com/nyse14.jpg
Irishk
 
  2  
Reply Tue 2 Feb, 2010 06:09 pm
@tsarstepan,
Pssst....if you chop one, you'll probably cry. Smile
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Feb, 2010 06:14 pm
Oof, you got me...

still, I figure they're not all that far off.
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Feb, 2010 06:22 pm
@ossobuco,
LOL it had me going, too, until I saw the part about the 'little blonde haired ones' and 'delicious, delicious candy'.
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Feb, 2010 06:30 pm
@Irishk,
I cracked up the minute I saw that lead photograph.

Good stuff.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Feb, 2010 06:34 pm
@Irishk,
dumkopf I am, I didn't read that far..
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Feb, 2010 06:36 pm
@ossobuco,
Not that I read the Onion all that much, but I figure that they tap into real points of view that are out there.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  2  
Reply Tue 2 Feb, 2010 06:40 pm
i figure the onion is as good a news source as most
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Feb, 2010 06:44 pm
@djjd62,
Kinda like Colbert LOL.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  3  
Reply Tue 2 Feb, 2010 06:49 pm
you have to admit, they nailed this

Bush: 'Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over'
JANUARY 17, 2001 | ISSUE 37•01

WASHINGTON, DC"Mere days from assuming the presidency and closing the door on eight years of Bill Clinton, president-elect George W. Bush assured the nation in a televised address Tuesday that "our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is finally over."

0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Feb, 2010 07:44 am
I know about the source of the story:

http://i49.tinypic.com/nyse14.jpg

But I was wondering about the term "strangers". Is this an Onion made-up term, or is term actually used to describe homeless people on the move?

.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Feb, 2010 07:48 am
@msolga,
It's not homeless people, it's just a term used for creepy guys who want to kidnap you and touch your wiener (if you're a wiener-haver).

"Stranger danger" is a term used in conducting safety classes for kids.

Moms say "don't talk to strangers."

Etc.

All the tropes in the article are from that, the archetypical stranger to look out for -- the van, the puppy or kitten, the candy, etc., etc.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  2  
Reply Wed 3 Feb, 2010 07:50 am
@msolga,
it's not really homeless folks, it's the fear of the stranger, the stranger who offers you candy, who asks you to help look for his lost puppy

i feel i'm a pretty normal guy, but even i feel the "fear of the stranger", i'm in a store the other day and a family comes in, mother, father and two little girls, the youngest daughter is babbling away to her mom, and it's pretty funny, so i'm kind of standing there watching and smiling, all of a sudden i notice the father looking at me, with a sort of, "hey, why are you staring at my kid, what's your intention" look on his face
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Feb, 2010 07:55 am
@djjd62,
That's hilarious...in a really sad way.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Feb, 2010 07:58 am
@djjd62,
Ah. I thought, with the van & all .... & the looked kinda homeless in the photograph ...

Thanks for explaining, djjd.

I get it: stranger danger!

Very clever piece!

0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Feb, 2010 03:15 pm
@djjd62,
Pretty sad. I love watching happy people. Mostly, I feel like I better pretend they don't exist.
0 Replies
 
 

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