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  #1  
Old 11-02-2011, 03:28 AM
Patience Jones Patience Jones is offline
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Scaring Babies

While fooling around on YouTube, I found that there are a number of videos dedicated to people scaring their babies. Some babies are startled, and then burst into laughter, and it's all pretty cute. Others, however, seem genuinely distressed and horrified, while the parents think it's hilarious.

Are the parents of the obviously distressed babies being abusive, do you think? Among my friends, the reactions have ranged from, "Aw, they're so cute when they're upset," all the way to, "Holy crap, what complete jackasses." I don't have children myself, but I can't help thinking that enjoying the child's distress is pretty mean.

Thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 11-02-2011, 05:23 AM
Cap'n Obvious Cap'n Obvious is offline
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I'd have to judge it on a case by case basis. As a baby, I loved being scared. (According to my family.) From personal experience, my youngest sister loved it too, and still does. In our cases, I wouldn't consider it child abuse.

My other siblings didn't like being scared as babies, and would shake for hours afterwards if they were. If they would have been scared just for laughs, I would've considered that abuse.
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  #3  
Old 11-02-2011, 08:24 AM
Sattua Sattua is online now
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Yeah, I agree that if the baby is really scared, it's a mean thing to do.

Having said that, I totally understand the sentiment behind it. I found out that my seven month old daughter is terrified of wind-up toys. I have a perverted desire to continue scaring her with them, keeping in mind all of the times she won't eat, won't nap, won't cuddle, and generally exasperates me. But I don't, because I'm a decent person.
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  #4  
Old 11-02-2011, 08:51 AM
Troppus Troppus is offline
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I am mystified by this. There isn't anything in the world more helpless than a baby, what would motivate anyone to purposefully startle it? It can't fight back, can't run away, and can't avoid his/her tormentor in the future. That sounds like torture to me.

And geez...we don't know everything about human brain development yet. Isn't anyone worried that a strung out baby will carry latent fears that are unreasonable into adulthood? (Mommy??? Is this why I make a puddle if a balloon unexpectedly pops??)
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  #5  
Old 11-02-2011, 08:54 AM
Azeotrope Azeotrope is offline
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If you happen to be videotaping the baby and something scares them but then they shake it off and giggle, that's fine and cute.

Deliberately scaring the baby just to have a "funny" Youtube video, however, is nasty.

[hijack]
I also don't get why some people think those terrible pictures of little kids screaming their heads off on Santa's lap are so funny.
[/hijack]
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  #6  
Old 11-02-2011, 08:58 AM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is online now
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Babies always seem to be fascinated by me when I encounter them in public, especially at the supermarket. They stare at me all goggle-eyed, I goggle back at them (generally with a smile). I suppose I could suddenly scowl and yell at infants while capturing the moment on cellphone video, but it'd be tough to explain to the responding officers.
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  #7  
Old 11-02-2011, 08:59 AM
drewtwo99 drewtwo99 is offline
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I'm much more comfortable with people scaring babies than with people scaring me. So keep at it and leave me alone, I'm a scaredy-cat!

*runs away and hides*
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  #8  
Old 11-02-2011, 09:13 AM
Patience Jones Patience Jones is offline
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Originally Posted by Troppus View Post
I am mystified by this. There isn't anything in the world more helpless than a baby, what would motivate anyone to purposefully startle it? It can't fight back, can't run away, and can't avoid his/her tormentor in the future. That sounds like torture to me.
Based on what I've seen on YouTube, the main motivator is to give everyone a good laugh. Seriously. Both moms and dads think it's hilarious, at least momentarily (most of the time, the video ends with someone comforting the baby). An oft mentioned element is how adorable the baby's pouty lips are before he/she bursts into tears.

Last edited by Patience Jones; 11-02-2011 at 09:16 AM..
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  #9  
Old 11-02-2011, 09:46 AM
Troppus Troppus is offline
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Originally Posted by Patience Jones View Post
Based on what I've seen on YouTube, the main motivator is to give everyone a good laugh. Seriously. Both moms and dads think it's hilarious, at least momentarily (most of the time, the video ends with someone comforting the baby). An oft mentioned element is how adorable the baby's pouty lips are before he/she bursts into tears.
Okay, I could only get through three videos of deliberately startled babies. There is no excuse for tormenting a helpless creature with little world experience and a brand new limbic system. Families are supposed to protect these soft, mushy, helpless little things; if the babies are capable of processing feelings at all they must be so confused by this behavior.

These people are sadists.
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  #10  
Old 11-02-2011, 09:53 AM
GrandWino GrandWino is online now
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This reminds me of when I see babies on television or in movies that are distressed/crying/freaking out for the scene. Obviously, these kids aren't fresh out of Julliard acting school, so the only way to get them to perform is to make them actually upset/scared/freaked out. I don't really have a problem with it, but it does take me out of the scene a bit.
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  #11  
Old 11-02-2011, 10:13 AM
Biggirl Biggirl is offline
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While I didn't scare my newborns, I did love to blow in their faces. They'd look startled, stick out their tongues and raise their tiny little fists and shake them at me. Ah, good times, good times.

I also like to put socks on my cat's paws and watch them try to shake them off as they walk. I am one cruel, sadistic bitch.
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  #12  
Old 11-02-2011, 10:25 AM
Misnomer Misnomer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Ducca View Post
This reminds me of when I see babies on television or in movies that are distressed/crying/freaking out for the scene. Obviously, these kids aren't fresh out of Julliard acting school, so the only way to get them to perform is to make them actually upset/scared/freaked out. I don't really have a problem with it, but it does take me out of the scene a bit.
Same here!
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  #13  
Old 11-02-2011, 10:28 AM
drewtwo99 drewtwo99 is offline
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Scaring babies is bad, mmkay?
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  #14  
Old 11-02-2011, 10:28 AM
AndyLee AndyLee is offline
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Does the OP have a brother or sister? My siblings lived to irriate me growing up. And I of course, annoyed my younger siblings as well.

It's just an extension of that. What parent hasn't said, "Go to bed or the bogeyman will get you?"

It's not exactly the crime of the century, I wouldn't put it on YouTube simply because I don't feel people should be put on public display unless they OK it. And babies can't do that.
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  #15  
Old 11-02-2011, 10:41 AM
Troppus Troppus is offline
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Originally Posted by AndyLee View Post
Does the OP have a brother or sister? My siblings lived to irriate me growing up. And I of course, annoyed my younger siblings as well.

It's just an extension of that. What parent hasn't said, "Go to bed or the bogeyman will get you?"
I was the much-tormented youngest sibling and survived the pecking order with no ill effects, but "Because I can." (and the kid cant do a damn thing about it) isn't a sufficient excuse for tormenting a child.

Maybe it's no big deal to do it once just to see what happens, but the videos I looked at showed adults repeatedly startling babies and laughing about the results. A couple of the babies are visibly trembling. What happens when the baby is sick or injured and needs comfort and reassurance? How can that baby receive comfort from the same parents who torment it? Seems like violating trust would hurt the parents, too, who are stuck with a nervous, neurotic baby. I can't see a benefit at all.

A majority of the time, babies and small children aren't clever, independent, or terribly interesting company. Regardless, they are human beings deserving of respect.

Aren't they?
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  #16  
Old 11-02-2011, 10:41 AM
Patience Jones Patience Jones is offline
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Originally Posted by AndyLee View Post
Does the OP have a brother or sister?
I don't, actually. And I have no idea if my parents ever purposely scared me. If they did, then I'm thankful that I was a baby far, far before the YouTube era.

You make an interesting point, though. Some of the videos seemed much more harmless than others, but I'm not sure where I would draw the line.

And as Troppus just said, some of the videos do seem truly sadistic. It made me wonder what those parents are like otherwise, and if they like to frighten their children frequently.

Last edited by Patience Jones; 11-02-2011 at 10:44 AM..
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  #17  
Old 11-02-2011, 10:57 AM
alice_in_wonderland alice_in_wonderland is offline
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I guess it depends on how the baby is being scared - Junior kind of digs the Peek-a-boo thing - you know, put your hands in front of your face, then move them apart quickly and go 'Boo!' He always jumps a bit like he's startled, but also laughs and giggles - as he's gotten a bit older he does it back to me so I can't imagine he's too traumatized by it.

I'm wondering what exactly the people in the videos are doing to scare their babies. Actually scaring them seems kind of mean.
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  #18  
Old 11-02-2011, 11:02 AM
Patience Jones Patience Jones is offline
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Most of the time it's abruptly making a noise. Occasionally, one parent will sneak up behind the child, too.
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  #19  
Old 11-02-2011, 11:07 AM
Troppus Troppus is offline
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Originally Posted by alice_in_wonderland View Post
I guess it depends on how the baby is being scared - Junior kind of digs the Peek-a-boo thing - you know, put your hands in front of your face, then move them apart quickly and go 'Boo!' He always jumps a bit like he's startled, but also laughs and giggles - as he's gotten a bit older he does it back to me so I can't imagine he's too traumatized by it.

I'm wondering what exactly the people in the videos are doing to scare their babies. Actually scaring them seems kind of mean.
YouTube, keywords: scare baby/ scared baby/ scaring the baby.

There are plenty of harmless videos, like peek-a-boo games and the viral video of baby reacting to mom blowing her nose. But there are just as many nasty pranks on the baby, and the comments seem split down the middle. "It's harmless, get over yourself." and "You have no business being a parent."
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  #20  
Old 11-02-2011, 12:28 PM
bump bump is online now
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To me, this seems like taking amusement at someone's reaction to something uncomfortable; these same people probably laugh when people get hit in the balls or do faceplants on America's Funniest Home Videos. There's a lack of compassion there that I just don't get, especially when there's a baby or innocent young child involved. They'd probably torment a mentally handicapped person in similar ways, I suspect.

I've found that the world can be a pretty scary place for a baby, and I end up inadvertently scaring or startling my 3 month old son far more than I'd like with things like loud burps, over-rough handling, etc... I don't see any reason to intentionally add to that just to amuse myself.
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  #21  
Old 11-02-2011, 02:24 PM
SecretaryofEvil SecretaryofEvil is offline
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I think that babies need to stop being such little crying sissies. Babies also need to get jobs, and start pulling their goddamn weight around here.

It would seem obvious to me that intentionally scaring babies is mean. I guess some people disagree though.
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  #22  
Old 11-02-2011, 03:04 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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Parents and siblings do not have the same purpose in the kid's life; parents are supposed to protect their offspring until it can protect itself. Siblings are supposed to help kids get tougher and learn how to fight back and put up with things.

I don't think deliberately scaring babies that don't enjoy it is a good thing, but I don't think I'd go as far as torture or abuse.

biggirl, have you ever tried putting one of these hair clips on your cat's tail? It goes around the whole tail tightly but not too tight so it doesn't hurt them, but boy, they don't enjoy it much!
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  #23  
Old 11-02-2011, 03:19 PM
Crown Prince of Irony Crown Prince of Irony is offline
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The only time I've been genuinely amused by any of my kids being distressed was when we dressed my oldest son (who's now five) in a little devil outfit for Halloween when he was a year old. He hated it, especially the little devil-horn hat, and threw a hissy fit that we just had to get on video.

But we didn't share it on Youtube - that would just be mean.

Deliberately scaring your kids for kicks? That's a douche move.
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  #24  
Old 11-02-2011, 03:37 PM
purplehorseshoe purplehorseshoe is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Ducca View Post
This reminds me of when I see babies on television or in movies that are distressed/crying/freaking out for the scene. Obviously, these kids aren't fresh out of Julliard acting school, so the only way to get them to perform is to make them actually upset/scared/freaked out. I don't really have a problem with it, but it does take me out of the scene a bit.
I see your point, but if you've spent any time around the wee ones, you'd know that, eventually, they're gonna cry anyway.
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  #25  
Old 11-02-2011, 03:41 PM
Triskadecamus Triskadecamus is offline
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An adult deliberately making an infant cry, for any reason whatsoever is the act of an impotent sadistic pile of shit in a bag of human skin. Babies generally cry as much as they need to, and count on the people who are supposed to love them to cut down on the frequency of bad shit in their lives.

Yes, laughing with your baby as she learns that startling things are often not really all that bad is a delightful part of bonding with your child. Fucking that up for a few giggles and a Youtube video is abuse. A parent putting the evidence on Youtube is an inevitable part of modern growing up. Showing dad the video while he sits in his shitty attends at the age of seventy will probably be part of your future as well. Don’t look to me for sympathy.

Tris
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  #26  
Old 11-02-2011, 04:16 PM
Malthus Malthus is online now
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How else to defend yourself against random baby attacks?
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  #27  
Old 11-02-2011, 04:27 PM
Troppus Troppus is offline
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Originally Posted by purplehorseshoe View Post
I see your point, but if you've spent any time around the wee ones, you'd know that, eventually, they're gonna cry anyway.
By that logic, when they are learning to walk, they are gonna fall down anyway. Why not just give them a shove?
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  #28  
Old 11-02-2011, 06:35 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is online now
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Waking baby

I just saw this today.
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  #29  
Old 11-02-2011, 08:04 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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Waking baby

I just saw this today.
...can't type...laughing too hard...
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  #30  
Old 11-02-2011, 08:24 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is online now
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Originally Posted by Cat Whisperer View Post
...can't type...laughing too hard...
I showed it to the roomie, laughing as I did so. She said, 'It's really not that funny.' I said, 'Wait a minute..' and looked at it again. 'Yeah, it is.'
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  #31  
Old 11-03-2011, 12:51 PM
bump bump is online now
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Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. View Post
Waking baby

I just saw this today.
There's a whole tongue-in-cheek book of stuff like this. It's pretty funny, actually.

http://www.amazon.com/Safe-Baby-Hand...ef=pd_sim_b_11
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  #32  
Old 05-03-2012, 10:30 PM
frustr8ed frustr8ed is offline
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Not funny at all

As a mother, I do not find it funny at all. Sure if a dog barks and baby jumps it could be funny. But as for a parent scaring a baby to amuse themselves is immature and ridiculous.
My 4 month old gets TERRORIZED everyday by his father scaring him numerous times a day. My son doesn't giggle or laugh. He screams and cries. He's terrified.
I have asked my husband to stop but it's like talking to a brick wall.
I'm getting to the point of packing my stuff and leaving because my son deserves to live a calm life and feel safe.
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  #33  
Old 05-04-2012, 09:56 AM
Snickers Snickers is offline
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Surprising babies or small toddlers - the peek-a-boo thing, or quick scares that leave everyone in smiles and laughter - is a-OK in my book. Genuinely scaring them and laughing about it yourself is psycho. And I don't even have kids.

I watched this one video where a guy pulled (a rather dick, IMO) prank on his wife by putting saran wrap over the door frame at about head height. She ran into it without seeing it, fell down, laughs all around, right? Saw the same thing in a different video, except this time some older kids (9-11 years old) were the victims - yeah, not my thing, but whatevs. Then I saw someone who'd videoed the same prank, except this time the saran wrap was pulled over a pet door and the victim was some poor cat or dog. Not cool - you could clearly see how bewildered the creature was. I'm OK with pulling pranks on reasoning people, but doing it to pets or really small children that have no way of understanding what's up? No. That's just right out, and any decent person would think so.
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  #34  
Old 05-04-2012, 10:25 AM
Zeldar Zeldar is offline
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This is not quite a hijack of the thread (I don't think) but I wanted to share that just last night (late) I had the bright idea to start a thread dealing with air horns for waking people up. (Example: Airhorn wake up call )

I decided against it after not finding the perfect example. Plus, I was getting sleepy.

Anyway...
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  #35  
Old 05-04-2012, 10:36 AM
delphica delphica is offline
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In general, scaring babies for kicks seems mean. It's hard to judge the context of a lot of the videos, though (I confess I haven't seen many because I don't think they are particularly interesting). My baby used to cry when I sneezed. We felt sympathetic that she was scared, but it became a little funny to us because it was the exact same reaction every time - she would make this hilarious face and then start crying. Where is your learning curve, Baby? I didn't sneeze on purpose but when I sneezed unexpectedly, I didn't feel like a terrible parent, I felt like a parent who was bemused by a baby crying over a sneeze.

I don't know if we would have posted it in a public forum, but we talked about how great it would be if we could capture it on film.
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  #36  
Old 05-04-2012, 10:48 AM
Anne Neville Anne Neville is offline
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Originally Posted by AndyLee View Post
Does the OP have a brother or sister? My siblings lived to irriate me growing up. And I of course, annoyed my younger siblings as well.
Adults should have developed the empathy to understand why deliberately scaring, irritating, or upsetting someone else for no good reason is not a good thing to do, and the self-control to keep from doing it even if it is amusing. Siblings are usually kids, and can't be expected to have those faculties yet. Adults shouldn't be encouraging them to do that kind of thing, though.

Something like a baby being scared when you sneeze is different, because you're not deliberately trying to upset the baby, and it's not something you can keep yourself from doing.

I startle easily, and I do not like being startled. I don't think I'll react well if someone tries to scare our baby after she is born, if it looks to me like it's really upsetting her. I bet it's really hard to get a jury to convict a new mother, too, just saying...
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  #37  
Old 05-04-2012, 12:50 PM
Corcaigh Corcaigh is offline
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Originally Posted by frustr8ed View Post
My 4 month old gets TERRORIZED everyday by his father scaring him numerous times a day. My son doesn't giggle or laugh. He screams and cries. He's terrified.
I have asked my husband to stop but it's like talking to a brick wall.
Every time he does this, punch your husband in the junk. He'll get the idea and stop scaring his son eventually.

Video it and put it on You Tube.


*disclaimer, not to be taken seriously
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  #38  
Old 05-04-2012, 12:55 PM
Sicks Ate Sicks Ate is online now
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Originally Posted by Corcaigh View Post
Every time he does this, punch your husband in the junk. He'll get the idea and stop scaring his son eventually.

Video it and put it on You Tube.


*disclaimer, not to be taken seriously
I donno, this sounds like one hell of an idea. If he gets a kick out of psychologically torturing an infant, the mental hell the kid is probably in for makes me shudder.

Last edited by Sicks Ate; 05-04-2012 at 12:56 PM..
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  #39  
Old 05-04-2012, 01:37 PM
Tethered Kite Tethered Kite is offline
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Babies have to figure out everything. Parents can help in that task.

What to make out of, "I scare you. Then I laugh at you. And now I'll comfort you?" If that happened to me more than once as an adult I'd forget about trusting that person.

But I really do get that urge that so many of us share to tease in sort-of malicious way. Call it passive-aggressive. It relieves the spiter but not so much the spiten.

And it invites payback. Right around fifteen years.
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  #40  
Old 05-05-2012, 03:02 PM
Imago Imago is offline
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Originally Posted by Tethered Kite View Post
What to make out of, "I scare you. Then I laugh at you. And now I'll comfort you?"
Isn't that the dynamic of every abusive romantic relationship ever?
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  #41  
Old 05-05-2012, 07:58 PM
Loach Loach is offline
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Maybe it's just the human version of Confuse-A-Cat.
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  #42  
Old 05-05-2012, 09:25 PM
Jenaroph Jenaroph is offline
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Originally Posted by Malthus View Post
How else to defend yourself against random baby attacks?
Like this! Fight 'em like a man. A naked man. Fighting babies.
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  #43  
Old 05-06-2012, 03:17 PM
Corcaigh Corcaigh is offline
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Originally Posted by Sicks Ate View Post
I donno, this sounds like one hell of an idea. If he gets a kick out of psychologically torturing an infant, the mental hell the kid is probably in for makes me shudder.
It is my go to idea when a man is being obnoxious but some people don't know their own strength and things might turn out bad, so I needed to cover my ass just in case of zombies or anything like that happening.

Cos it might. You know what zombies are like.

But punching him in the nuts does tend to be a cure-all.
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  #44  
Old 05-06-2012, 04:07 PM
Malthus Malthus is online now
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Originally Posted by Jenaroph View Post
Like this! Fight 'em like a man. A naked man. Fighting babies.
I tried that.

The police were not sympathetic, and the courts have ordered me never to come within 500 feet of the playground again.

Worst part was, someone stole my clothes.
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  #45  
Old 05-06-2012, 07:25 PM
Patience Jones Patience Jones is offline
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Aw, my li'l baby thread! Back from the dead!

As for the topic, this video is probably the worst one I've seen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTFJe2Dv2uo

It shows two or three people ganging up on this toddler to scare the daylights out of her with a pop-up clown, as far as I can tell. IIRC, this is the video that inspired me to start this thread.
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