Sunday, July 01, 2007

What's Missing from this Book?

Mom has successfully moved back to town from Kerrville, Texas.

My brother and I are working on helping her unpack, set up her new home, get her services set up, etc. Important stuff like ensuring we have proper cable channels ordered, high-speed broadband, wireless connectivity...all the things mom needs.

Last night as we were going through the boxes, someone pulled out an old copy (circa 1950'ish) of "a Little Golden Book: Cars and Trucks."

The following "kawaii" site has images of a slightly newer edition of the book and pages: Wee Wonderfuls: cars and trucks. All look the same but the last picture.

As I went through it, Alvis plopped down next to me so I decided to entertain my brother and mom with a running sociological analysis of why this book could never be published today.

  1. The gasoline station hoses have no vapor-recovery devices on the ends.
  2. They are pumping the gas directly into the ground. No regard for fuel spillage or ground contamination.
  3. Does the fuel-truck driver have the truck running during pumping?
  4. The school bus is loading kids, but has no safety flashing lights.
  5. Why are there kids running out of the woods?
  6. Is that a dog or a Meerkat?
  7. What police officer is going to stop multi-lanes of traffic to let a family of cats cross?
  8. Unsecured livestock in an open pickup truck bed?
  9. The last picture on the Wee Wonderfuls post doesn't match the one in my book. In my copy, Dad is smoking a pipe out on the lawn watching the kiddos play, while mom is stuck in the camper cleaning the dishes all by her lonesome.
  10. My book has lots more examples like these of characters over-looking some glaringly obvious public-safety issues, like the last page that looks like a college-prank of loading up a Beetle with as many people as you can fit.
  11. Every single person in the book is white. I guess ethnic diversity didn't exist when the book was published? Or maybe they were implying that citizens of other ethnicities didn't need to drive cars and trucks?


Really. Richard Scarry illustrated the thing.

Alvis was shocked when I pointed out #11 to her. It really concerned her.

That made me feel proud as a parent. Maybe I am doing something right.


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