On Not Getting Kidnapped

When we were little my Dad was obsessed with taking us for Sunday drives to get 'out of the house.' Apparently it never occurred to him that that a car journey is not an activity in itself for a child. I think that for a child- actually for most backseat passengers- car journeys are only tolerable in light of the destination. Dad was clearly working on some sort of car-advertisement model of the journey, perhaps somewhat stymied by our early-80s Mazda 626. And the persistent grizzles from the backseat.

The most memorable of these journeys was our trip to Springvale to learn Why We Would Not Get Kidnapped. When Pen was in year 8 one the of the girls in her class was kidnapped from her home. She was found one year later shot dead. In fact, she was the second girl to be kidnapped from our high school in two years. Understandably, the whole situation left us both a bit anxious.

So Mum and Dad's genius strategy was to take us on a family drive past the kidnapped girl's home. It was an enormous mansion with a tall ornate fence. To my ten year-old eyes it looked like a castle. The message was clear: why would anyone bother to kidnap us from our small, turret-less home in Burwood?!? I, for one, was suitably reassured.

Thanks, Mum and Dad!


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