Jimbob's Journal
Babies on Board
by Jim Harris


One of my literary heroes passed away last week. Maxine Zonk, the woman who authored the phrase "Baby on Board", died of an acute anachronism. She finally fell so far out of step with the times that she spontaneously evaporated. She was 112. She is survived by her 17 children, 42 grandchildren and 137 great-grandchildren.
Once asked for the secret of her longevity, she said, "Wherever I went, I always had a baby on board. It saved my life many times."

After the public became acclimated to it, and the efficacy of the ubiquitous placard began to wear off, Zonk tried to follow up on her success with, "Multiple Babies on Board", "Show Dogs on Board", "School Students on Board" (more precious even than regular students), and, in a vain attempt to keep up with modern mores, "You Toucha my Car, I Breaka you Face", but none ever achieved the stupendous success of her initial opus.

She claimed that her greatest influence was the work of the pseudo-French neonatal-realist Yvonne Ceci-Bon, who penned such classics as, "Have a nice Day", and "Nuclear War is not good for plants and other living things". Ironically, Ceci-Bon died in 2003 when she swerved to avoid hitting a vehicle that had a "baby on board" sign, and she plunged over a 10,000 foot cliff. Even more ironically, she survived the fall but was killed when the car she had swerved to avoid fell on top of her. She is survived by her two show dogs, Princess Nirvana Rosanadana and Arfy Wigglesberger III, who were, thankfully, not on board at the time of the accident.

Since the advent of the automobile, the American motoring public has taken to a number of totable totems to ward off evil, express an opinion or simply celebrate whimsy. We love to wear our hearts on our bumpers. Increasingly, though, the messages seem to be angry, self-righteous or smug rather than inspirational.
America's got too many grown-up babies on board these days. Let's find some more positive things to say, lest we become the ugly Americans that the rest of the world already thinks we are.
Have a nice day!

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