Schrödinger’s Baby on Board

As I was driving out of a parking lot today, I noticed a “Baby on Board” sticker on a parked car. I first asked myself, why do people brand their cars like that? It’s a waste of money and in a couple years the baby will grow into a toddler, and that sticker will make a liar out of the driver. Unless, the owner of the car intends to become a baby factory[1].

But what if there really is a baby on board that car?!

What if the baby is being cooked alive in the Texas summer heat, and I just drove by not knowing that an innocent life is being extinguished by a terribly negligent parent?

What would I think if I saw it on the news? Would I be sad that I could have stopped my car and checked to make sure there truly wasn’t a baby on board?

Could that sticker be a posted warning to the public the owner practices a deranged form of survival of the fittest? Could abandoning the baby in the car be a deadly test inspired by the ancient Spartans to see if it’s tough enough to survive?

Should I call the fire department to check it out? Afterall, there is a posted sign stating a baby is somewhere on board that car. We have a moral and legal responsibility to tear that car apart until we find that baby.

If the fire department does tear the car apart and discovers there wasn’t a baby in there after all, the owner should be responsible for the damages caused investigating because there was a posted sign indicating a baby was on board[2].

I remember when I was a kid, a vile creature some people could mistake as a stepmother, purposely left me in a car for hours in the Texas heat[3]. That never would have happened if cell phones and social media were around back then, because the risk of being publicly shamed or charged for criminal neglect would have been an all too real possibility.

Maybe that’s why I’m thinking so much about that simple sticker on a car, that’s obviously going to be parked for hours. Maybe my childhood experience may have made me overly sympathetic to a child being cooked alive by the Texas heat, which, nowadays has been made even worse by global warming. Despite the mere fact that such an endangered baby exists solely because I read the message of a bumper sticker metaphorically.

Or is there really a baby in there?

We’ll never know until someone looks in the car.


[1] Baby Factory – I just thought of what may be considered a real baby factory, an “axolotl tank” from Frank Herbert’s Dune universe.

[2] I wonder if that would be a good legal defense when the angry owner of the car sues the good Samaritan, who was concerned for the safety of a baby?

[3] Being cooked alive in a car as a child may be why I can tolerate the steam room much longer than most others. Should I be thankful for that?

The Lie we tell Teens

When I first started middle school, I started to get puss-filled bumps all over my face… acne. My parents told me this was cause by all the changes my body was going through and said the acne would go away when I became an adult.

That’s a lie!

I’ve been an adult for over a decade and still have problems with acne. It’s not as bad as it was back in my teens, but it’s still a major problem I have with my skin.

What the hell is causing it?!

My parents told me to stop touching my face when I was a teen. It’ll all clear up if you wash with Dial soap, and don’t touch your face. Washing is easy, but not touching your face is next to impossible for a teen. I had a huge head I was trying to balance on my thin neck. I needed to use my hands to prop my head up, if only to get myself through the boring classes I sat through all day.

I tried propping my head up by only touching places where my hair grew. I thought the zits would appear in my hair and nobody would notice. It didn’t work, and I still got acne in areas I knew, for a fact, I didn’t touch.

Surprisingly, I didn’t get any zits in my hair. :-/

Fast-forward to adulthood, and I’m still battling the blemishes. I don’t think my face has been clear for longer than a week. As soon as one zit goes away, another takes its place. I’ve even had some zits crop up on one cheek, only to reappear on the opposite cheek, at almost the same exact location. Some of these zits develop deep under the skin and become week-long growths before finally getting pushed to the skin’s surface.

Gross!!!

It’s been a constant battle trying to keep my skin clear. I’ve tried everything I can think of in my losing war against acne.

  • I never touch my face, not even to scratch an itch.
  • I sleep on my back, so my pores don’t get clogged while I sleep.
  • I’ve avoided various foods I heard supposedly cause acne and didn’t see any noticeable improvement. I avoided alcohol as well with similar results.
  • I’ve tried many different soaps, some specifically designed to help with acne.
  • I used over the counter creams without much success.
  • My doctor prescribed me a few creams, which seemed to work at times, but I’d still suffer flare ups.
  • I’ve considered asking my doctor about a pill I heard about to treat severe cases of acne. The guy who used it said it caused his skin to shed all over his body, but it helped him with his acne problem.
  • I even broke up with a regular fling after a month or so because he had a nasty habit of wanting to pet me and touch my face. That guy was making me break out, so I had to break it off.

I tried everything I can think of to ward off acne over the years. I’m not quite at the point I need that skin-shedding pill, but it sure seems like it sometimes. I’m at the stage where I’ve learned to cope with acne as a regular part of life and am treating it to speed my recovery when a zit rears its ugly head.

My story is a living example that acne is not a skin condition experienced during adolescence, and then magically goes away in adulthood. That’s a fable we tell kids to make them feel a little better about the changes they’re experiencing. We should tell them the truth instead, or at least try to avoid promising it’ll go away one day.