Sunday, June 04, 2006

Kids will be kids???

I read a sad and very disturbing news article today about two college students who were found dead inside of a balloon. Apparently, it was one of those balloons that is used for advertising as opposed to a hot air balloon which was, of course, my first thought when I saw the headline.

According to the article, the 21-year olds (boy and girl) deflated it and then crawled inside. In my naive way, I thought: were they cold? But then there was a quote from the dead girl's mother: "It was more a fun thing they thought they were doing," said Linda Rydman, whose daughter was found dead. "You know how you blow up the balloon and suck the helium."

Okay...obviously this poor mother is shattered by losing her daughter. My heart goes out to her.

But, geez... letting the air out of a 8-foot-diameter balloon, a balloon that was not theirs, a balloon they were apparently not in charge of maintaining, and then crawling inside for the purpose of sniffing helium to sound like Mickey Mouse? And to add to the incredibility of this, they were legally adults... not six-year old children who've yet to reach the age of reasoning.

I remember inhaling a wee bit of helium from a party balloon in elementary school, got really sick to my stomach with a horrible headache, and then the teacher told us what this article says in the last paragraph: "Inhaling helium can quickly lead to brain damage and death from lack of oxygen, according to the Compressed Gas Association, which develops safety standards in the gas industry."

The article does go on to state: "The county medical examiner said Sunday that the cause of death won't be released for six weeks, until toxicology results come back." One must wonder how "high" they were to begin with. And because this horrible event took place in Florida, and I'm in California, no doubt I will never hear the outcome.

Where have we missed out on simple common sense? There was just so much wrong about this incident. The fact that it started out as an act of vandalism. Regardless of whether they were under the influence of something, it was amazingly stupid. But the price these two people paid was the ultimate one. All the way around, it's just such a waste.


It really is a waste. Unfortunately, more and more of this type of behaviour - lack of common sense - is happening all the time. To be honest, I find it appalling to see how a lot of kids are being raised these days - and over the last generation. The pendulum has swung from what some people considered overly strict parenting to pretty much non-existant strictness. This has led to kids growing up thinking they can do whatever they want with no consequences, and now many of these kids are adults, raising their own children the same way. I'm honestly afraid of what the world is coming to.