Stranger Danger At Level 99

, , , , , , , | Friendly | December 28, 2019

I don’t remember this story at all, but my mother loves to tell it.

I’m four and my brother — my first and, at the time, only sibling — is a baby. We’re at the grocery store with my brother in the front seat of the cart and me “helping” Mom push it. Some old guy walks up and starts cooing over the baby — nothing new. Then, he turns to me and says, smiling and laughing, “If you don’t be a good girl and help your mommy, I’m gonna take your brother away!”

I react the way any responsible big sister would: I flip out! I push the cart as far away as I can, flail, cry, yell, stomp, and scream my head off, doing my very best to raise as much Hell as I can at my size.

Naturally, my mother’s first priority is calming me down. Once she’s assured me that no one is taking my brother anywhere and gotten me to relax, she rounds on the guy, demanding to know what in the h*** he was thinking saying that to a little girl! The guy just shrugs and says, “I thought she’d find it funny. Usually, whenever I tell little kids that, they always tell me to go ahead and take the baby.”

How much did this guy contribute to the Stranger Danger panic of the 80s and 90s?!

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