Thursday, April 09, 2009

Stranger Danger

Ever hear the term "stranger danger"? It's something that very little children are taught: Strangers can be dangerous.

I love looking at homes for sale. If there's an open house, I'm there. Why? Because I'm curious, because I like getting ideas for my own home, because I enjoy the little fantasy of living elsewhere - it's almost the adult version of playing with dolls.

I usually drag my best friend, Pov, with me.

It's odd how often we can knock on a door and the only person opening the door to us is a woman who is there by herself. She is always friendly (she wants to sell her home) and is eager to bring us inside to look around.

How lucky they are that we mean them no harm.

But it makes me realize how vulnerable we all are to stranger danger. When I'm home alone, I no longer open my door to door-to-door salesmen. I let them leave their flyers on the door, instead.

We've all done thoughtless things that leave us exposed to the mercy of others, but it's wise to remember that so that in the future we can minimize stranger danger.


Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Fair enough I suppose but I'd rather live a more dangerous life, than not live a safer one because I'm scared of everything and everyone.

There is a fine line between common sense and letting life pass you by because of fear of other humans.

Most of us are pretty bloody great.

Angela said...

When I lived in Dallas there was a big story about a realtor that was killed at a house she was doing an open house at by a stranger. I think they did eventually catch the guy, but it seemed like pretty scary stuff at the time.

I don't open my door for strangers, unless of course it is the pizza guy. Anyone wanting to do me harm would have to get by my mastiff first, he's not a fan of strangers in our house. I guess the Police Cruiser in my driveway will generally dissuade people as well. :-)


Saur♥Kraut said...

Ange, The police cruiser and massive dog should prevent you from anything but King Kong. ;o)

Daniel, I definately agree that one can become too paranoid, but too many of us are too complacent. Ask the Manson family.

Scott said...

I remember in school ( I studied Communications and Media studies) and we talked about something called the "Mean World Syndrome." The basic idea is that the news that we receive is overwhelmingly bad. We hear about murders, rapists and thiefs. This leads people to be very scared of strangers when statistically the average person is very very unlikely to ever become the victim of a violent crime.

Most, but certainly not all people who are victims of violent crime tend to be involved in criminal activities in the first place. Most 'citizens' are not routinely in dangerous situations that would make it likely that they become victims of violence. Just something to keep in mind.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Scott, again, spot on, mean world syndrome indeed.


Manson Family? Are you kidding me?

Saur♥Kraut said...

Daniel, Yeah, the Mansons. But there are so many serial killers in the USA (even currently) that they're just a drop in the bucket.

Scott, So almost everyone is pure of heart, with their fellow man's best interest as their priority?

Strange that with so much love and goodwill we still have so much world war, torture, war, unrest, famine, deprivation, murder, suicide, crime, serial killers, and more.

Maybe they didn't get the memo.

Scott said...

No, of course there are awful people in the world. I am just saying that most people out there are not out there to harm others. Crime happens of course, but I walk around at night all the time and have yet to have anything happen to me, it doesn't mean that nothing can happen, it just means that the fear that is put to us from the media is a bit over the top.

The Lazy Iguana said...

I tell door to door salesmen that they are NOT Willy Loman, and this is not 1940. I have this thing called "the internet" and with it I can order anything I like. Even pizza.

If I wanted whatever crap they are selling, I would already have it.

As for open houses, I would be fine with that - after all my crap was removed and I was ready to sell.

Before that point, it is just a good way to get your house cased out for a robbery.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...


I think your fear is obscuring the reality of the situation. Which is a shame.

daveawayfromhome said...

Ah, this post explains a lot.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Dave, You're right. This shows me to be an absolute wacko, cowering in my home in fear, peering through the blinds, jumping at every sound. I must be mentally deranged, which is why I'm a conservative-leaning moderate.

God forbid I be labelled as wise, perceptive, smart, or thoughtful of social issues. That might make me a more formidable threat.

Daniel, Fear? No, not fear. ...Talk about making a mountain out of a molehill. Try substituting the word "cautious" or "street smart".

Lazy, No doubt. ;o)

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Your post doesn't come across as cautious or street smart, it comes across as fear, reminds me of some parents I meet protecting their kids which is all cool but it is verging on the over-cautious from the blog post alone, which I'm sure is not reflective of your true thinking.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Daniel, You are correct, I do not live in fear. I'm not sure how the post comes across that way to you(?) but it DOES emphasize caution.

Am I always cautious? Absolutely not. But I know that I should be... more than I am.

daveawayfromhome said...

When I was a kid, I ran around the neighborhood playing with my friends all day long. Maybe I had an eye kept on me, but it wasnt a close eye, and I definitely wasnt monitored. The same went for everyone I know. We all managed to survive, and no one got killed.
Today, my kids do not live like this. Why? Because my wife, and thousands of other well-meaning parents are afraid that their children will be snatched and killed in horrible ways.
The world today is no more dangerous than it was when I was growing up, yet you'd think that children are snatched from my block everyday in broad daylight.
They are not.

Let's say there are 30 serial killers working in America right now. Let's say they kill one person each everyday (and I'm pretty sure they do not, or we would hear about it). That makes the odds of getting killed about 1 in 10,000,000, or a lottery-level risk. Getting in your car is far more hazardous.

If you dont want to be thought of as frightened, you're going to have to not act frightened. You've allowed a few crazy, terrible people to make you bar the door. If you dont want to open the door to salesmen, that's fine, but do so because you dont need their crap, not because you think they're waiting to kill you. That's just not rational.

If you are truly worried about lunatics attacking you, take some martial arts classes. The best thing about Judo is that it cannot be taken out of your hand and turned against you.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Dave has it down.