There are many ways to teach children to be careful and avoid danger. One of them involves a strong dose of fear.
These illustrations from a 1960s booklet on safety called It’s Great To Be Alive! are enough to freak the living shit out just about anyone of any age, so you can imagine the nightmares it conjured up in children. The kid smashed to bits in the pile of leaves is particularly bizarre because I can’t recall at any point in my life seeing children hiding under piles of leaves in the middle of the fucking street. Was it some kind of cheap high? The precursor to sniffing glue? I can imagine all kinds of improbable dangers like “don’t use a rattlesnake as a necktie,” but it doesn’t seem likely that anybody, regardless of age, would do anything that stupid. Though I must admit I did stick my finger into a live electric socket when I was six and as a toddler my mother caught me trying to gnaw through an electric cord. So maybe the leaf thing ain’t that nutty.
For more of these wonderfully weird bursts of paranoia check out Gene Gables blog at creative pro.
jump but be careful…