Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Update: Baby drop box stumbles a teensy bit out of the gate

Remember two days ago? I know, it's kind of hazy for me, too, but I wrote a post about a new baby drop box set up at a Japanese hospital. Well, guess what? It's follow-up time! Just days after its inception, and just days after a hospital official hoped their service "would never be used," the drop box had its first customer...HUZZAH!

But wait, wait. Hold your huzzahs, people! That may have been a premature huzzah. Because that's not the whole story. And I get the whole story, dammit. That's right -- I read to the bottom of every Internet article I click on, and I don't care whose feathers I ruffle. So are you ready for the twist? Ready? Here it comes: the unwanted baby was not a baby at all. It was a pre-schooler!

Two words. Okay? And those words are naughty, and naughty. That's all I got to say. A rather inauspicious launch for the unwanted baby drop-off program, one suspects. After all, who would have thought a baby drop box would be -- *gasp* -- MISUSED?!?!?! Certainly not this dewy-eyed Pollyanna. I am sitting here as I type, just beside myself with surprise that the first user of the baby drop box would do so in a -- *gasp again* -- IRRESPONSIBLE FASHION!!!! Oh my gosh...I think I'm swooning, judge! Someone catch me! Quick! Run along and fetch a damp cloth for my forehead!

A nurse demonstrates -- one more time --
the kind of unwanted human you are
supposed to drop in the baby drop box.

The boy, who was reportedly in perfect health, was questioned about the incident. Son, why did your dad abandon you in this baby drop box when you are clearly not a baby? What within his soul, in your opinion, allows him to flout clearly stated instructions in such a blatant manner!?!?! The instructions are conspicuously posted right beside the drop box, and they clearly state, if you will indulge me: "Please only put unwanted babies in the baby drop box. Unwanted toddlers are NOT permitted, under penalty of ardent tongue-clucking."

What is your response to this, my young friend?

The boy's response? "I came with Daddy."

But Daddy! I don't want to go in the box! It's
for babies! I'm a big boy. Right, Daddy? Daddy? Daddy?

As a result of this incident, many a chin is being stroked. Many a hand wrung. Said one national newspaper editorial: "We must rethink the meaning of the baby drop-off."


I'm no Henry McHasty. I'm no Harry Shoot-From-The-Hip-Shooter. But I might go out on a limb here -- just this once -- and agree. This whole dropping-unwanted-babies-in-a-box dealy bob may require a little tweaking. A little retooling, if you will. Because if people are going to flout the rules and use the baby drop box for, you know, selfish reasons, then that violates the whole idea of the baby drop box! So wake me up when you get a real, honest-to-goodness baby in there. Okay? Then, and only then, will I celebrate.

Think of all the money they'll save on trash bags [No One Appreciates Me]
Dad dumps preschooler in box for unwanted newborns [CNN]

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Greg said...

Clearly, they made the box too big. See? Should've used bags after all. This is what happens when you apply successful automotive manufacturing principles to social programs. If you build a car with a trunk big enough to hold a Bugaboo, it will attract Bugaboo owners. Similarly, if you build a box big enough for a toddler.....well, you can follow that logic.

Jen said...

Was wondering if you saw this. What's next, dropping off unwanted spouses... *lightbulb*