The results of our "Parenting With Matt 101" poll are in. A clear majority said that if their child saw a fat person walking by and said, "Daddy, look at the fat person" their reply would be, "Shhh! Do you want them to eat you?"
A few thoughts. One, it is highly unlikely that a fat person would eat your child. What this does reveal however, are two different and equally important parenting observations. Here they are:
1) Parents lie to children to get their way. Frightening the child into submission is just faster than explaining why we don't say mean (but true) things about the people around us in America. In other countries, of course, it would be completely acceptable to say that a fat person is fat. Anothre example would be my mother telling me that I had to eat the crusts of my bread because "that's where all the vitamins and good things in the bread are." Only as I got older did I realize that this is a complete crock, made up purely so that she didn't have to cut my crusts off my sandwhich.
2) Everything is scary to a parent. Once you have children, the world becomes a frightening world where everything can kill or maim. LOOK OUT! There's a plastic bag on the floor! Don't you know those can suffocate people? Can you believe those electrical sockets with no cover on them? Don't the bars on that lion's cage look a little far apart, I think a child could slip through! Be careful of that fat person, they might eat the baby.
So, thanks for voting. Here are the results of our poll:
Answers Votes Percent
1. Let's try to think of something nice to say. What a lovely shirt that person is wearing. 6%
2. I believe the correct term, my child, is "obese." 4%
3. Yes, and I am balding. And you are short. 14%
4. This is, after all, America. 6%
5. Shhh! Do you want them to eat you? 45%
6. You need to apologize to that fat person right now. 2%
7. I refuse to answer these ridiculous quesions, Mikalatos. I don't have kids. I'm not even married. For crying out loud! Put one of those easy questions about the monkeys back on here. 16%
8. I believe you mean "phat". 6%