Saturday, October 06, 2007

I'm going straight to hell for finding this amusing, so why not share it with my friends?

Readers of the online New York Times know that paging through their articles will sometimes take you to an ad. Today's ad, sponsored by "Parents -- The Anti-Drug" showed a photo of a sweet-faced high schooler (funny how they're always blonde and female in these ads), accompanied by a properly ditzy website profile ("I love McDreamy!"). And, of course, the usual dire warning that your kid can meet up with even more sexual predators, drug dealers, drunks, and all-around churls via the web than (s)he can by hanging around the mall parking lot after closing time in your home town.

Okay, so you're supposed to mouse over some part of the photo to see the creeps who are talking to your kids, and I presume that this is supposed to reveal an image of some nasty-looking fortysomething dude with biker tats and a roomful of bondage gear. Or maybe even a shot of Kevin Federline, if you're not scared enough already. (Oops, sorry, Kev's been ruled a fit parent. Never mind.) The problem is, either there's something malfunctioning on the web page, or else it's just not compatible with my browser, so instead, when out of curiosity I rolled my cursor over the photo, all that popped up was the next page of the article I was trying to read.

Which was about Blackwater.

Uh-oh. What if this WASN'T a browser incompatibility?

Omigod, Internet predators are trying to recruit your kids to become mercenaries! Your cheerleader daughter or Eagle Scout son is just one ill-advised mouse click away from being seduced into a life of corporate-financed, no-strings-attached gunplay!

Hell, I'd lock up the kid's computer in an instant after seeing that. Who wants to be in the position of saying, "How could you do this to me, Caitlyn? Why couldn't you have run off with a nice ex-con pedophile like your little sister did? He makes a good living, after all ... owns his own meth lab, and ... wait a minute, HOW much did you say Blackwater offered you to start?"

I suppose I should be taking this more seriously. After all, kids (and adults) do get victimized by web scams. But I never could resist a good absurdity. Besides, I'm a grownup, and can take care of myself, so I'm going to sign off and start constructing a page on MySpace. How does "SexyGirlNRA" sound? I figure the job offers should be pouring in soon. No strings attached, and the money would finance my research for years. And if it works, I'd be glad to write a glowing testimonial ad for the New York Times.

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