The U.S. Postal Service has destroyed millions of stamps that had terrifying images of children doing dangerous things.
One child is doing a cannonball jump into the water.
Another is doing a cartwheel without a helmet. Can you imagine such a thing?
A third is skateboarding without knee pads. He wears only jeans.
You can see these horrifying images here.
Did you do any of these things when you were a child? I did the life-threatening cannonball, although not often. I rarely went swimming in a pool. We lived within walking distance of the Pacific Ocean. You cannot do the cannonball in the Pacific Ocean, unless you own a boat. We did not.
Fortunately, I never was able to do a cartwheel. I just could not pull it off. I gave up trying at an early age. But I knew girls who did. And they did them without helmets. There were no helmets, other than football helmets. I never knew a girl who wore a football helmet.
Skateboards were also beyond me. I grew up where skateboards were invented: the South Bay area, where surfers rode them. I could not stay on one. My girlfriend could, a little. She did not wear knee pads. There were no knee pads.
The thought of childhood without safety helmets and knee pads is positively medieval. That parents knowingly let their daughters do cartwheels without helmets makes my blood run cold. The combination of ignorance and poverty on a scale like that should make us grateful that we live in more enlightened and more prosperous times.
By destroying stamps with images of helmet-less children, the USPS has proven, once again, that is it at the head of the line when it comes to safeguarding the public. Children might have seen these images — perhaps on a letter from some thoughtless grandma, unaware that she was contributing to the self-destructive behavior of a child too young to recognize the danger. It is one thing to have grown up in a world before knee-pads and safety helmets. It is quite another to absentmindedly promote such a world.
This is America. People in authority do not hide their eyes to such thoughtlessness. They take the bull by the horns. And when they do, they wear knee pads and helmets.