Just When You Thought It Was Safe

Some people claim that DVD players in cars have hindered communication between parents and their children on family trips.

To that I say, “Thank God.”

In my experience young back seat passengers have never added anything to travel except annoyances, particularly if there are more than one of them. DVD players and headphone changed this forever. Now if there’s a complaint about the length of the trip, I say, “Oh…well maybe you’d like to come up here and drive and I’ll sit in the back and watch movies.”

The DVD player is not without pitfalls. After repeated viewings of Jaws on the way to vacation my 13 year-old son Zack got the idea that there must be sharks in Lake Ontario. Even after I explained that there were no Great Lakes sharks he countered that they could swim up the St. Lawrence River looking for human prey.  “They could,” I said. “But they don’t.”

The topic came up again as we swam at a secluded beach. The water was crystal clear and there was a sandy bottom —perfect conditions to see the three foot fish that slowly cruised past us. Before I could say, ‘You’re gonna need a bigger boat’, he was out of the water and standing on the shore.

I don’t blame him. It’s startling to see such a large fish swim past —I just hope he doesn’t see this story before our vacation next week on Long Island. Or this one.

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