Father of the Year?

"Hey, I’ve got my son for visitation and I’m in Pamplona. What should we do together for fun? I know – I’ll take him running with the bulls!"

What? The? FUCK??? What father with, oh, I dunno, maybe 1.3 milligrams of brains would think it’s a grand idea to take his ten-year-old son into narrow crowd-choked streets full of hungover and/or drunken macho-crazed idiots, just ahead of several tons of longhorned, sharp-hooved, wildly galloping enraged beefsteak*? And then, when a judge revokes his visitation rights, stoutly insist he’d do it all over again?

One can only hope that this bulldung-brain will run with the bulls again (minus son) and get up close and personal with Mr. Horn.

  • Shamelessly ripped off from Tom Lehrer.

I believe it was a “half-ton of angry pot roast”.

huh. I thought it was going to be about this guy, who merely brought his 8 year old with him to work. Problem, of course, is that his ‘work’ was breaking into houses.

In one of today’s Michael Vick indictment/dogfighting stories in the newspaper, an agent described raiding these fights and finding (after various spectators had fled into the woods) that items left behind included “toddler-sized chairs and milk and cookies” suggesting that people think this is heartwarming family entertainment.

“Look, Brandon! They’ve filed that pit bull’s teeth into razor-sharp points to inflict even more deadly wounds! Want some more Oreos and milk?”


Yah, I understand that about 1.3 milligrams of brains pretty much describes him (well, after a certain point).

What about fathers that take their children hang-gliding, rock climbing, or parachuting?

Do you consider those activities comparable? To what degree?

They’re all risky, and not very many people get hurt.

Are they also illegal for minors to participate in?

Safety equipment, other risk lowering precautions, and companies that are terrified of getting sued if a child dies while on a My First Parasailing trip.

I’m unable to find any risk reduction at Pamplona (but I could be wrong. Is there a “running of the calves”? Or a day when the old, infirm bulls who can barely run and have been de-horned run?) to make it safer for children’s participation. So I do differentiate between putting a child in front of a bunch of pissed off, charging cows and hoping he runs fast to letting him climb on a rock wall with safety equipment that weighs almost as much as he does, guided by professionals, above layers and layers of padding to break his fall.

Pfft. My father took me running with the bulls when I was 10, and I don’t see what the big thousands of them.

This is yet another example of why boys who grow up without their Fathers end up being raging pussies who must compensate for it by shooting people!

I would probably not take my 10 year-old parachuting.

But rock climbing (when top-roping) uses redundant safety systems (it’s extremely unlikely for one system to fail, but you use two anyway, just in case of that one-in-a-million chance) and they are operated by knowledgable adults and usually kids climb. The risk is minimal. Most climbing gyms allow children as young as four years, but they have to wear special equipment designed for children and helmets.

That is a HUGE difference form having a half-ton, unpredictable, horned monster chasing you down the street with the intent of deliberatey crushing you, when you have no protection of any kind other than any speed generated by your short, little legs on cobble-stone streets.

I don’t think I’d take a 10 year-old hang gliding either, but I don’t know enough about the equipment and haven’t done a risk assessent of it.

Reminder: wear your helmet when running with the bulls.

I suppose that’s a consideration, but I don’t see it as an important one.

If there were two activities that had an equal (and high) risk of serious injury or death, one of which was illegal, would the legality really change your impression of a father who risked his child’s health doing it?

Ah. Well, of course that’s different, and he shouldn’t have done it in that case, no question.

One big difference with the bull running is the drunken free-for-all. Beginners who are parachuting and wall/rock climbing get individual attention from trained guides, are put through lots of safety drills and practice runs, get enough space to dive/climb/glide without colliding with others, and would be turned away if they showed up drunk. The risk of the kid being trampled by other runners was probably as great as being trampled by the bulls.

If your suggestions were replaced with skydiving without training (Dad happens to own a Cessna, some rope and a bedsheet), or free-climbing El Capitan, then yeah, I’d say Dad should lose custody in those cases, too.

Sounds like a member of the Flying Klansmen. :dubious:

Imagine an American city with bull runs. I could just see the late night TV commercials now. If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall, inadvertently ingested lead paint chips, got a deep whiff of asbestos, been in an automobile accident, scalded by a hot beverage, mauled by a sawbones or trampled by a half-ton bovine, we’re here to help make certain you’re adequately compensated. Call our law offices at 1-800-Quick-Cash