8/9/10

RVOD128 Alone at Home

(1980-ish, Educational/Short, color)

Riffers:

Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy

Have fun neglecting me!

Rating: ***

In a Nutshell:


When you’re home alone, you have to be responsible.

Summary:

Don't worry, Junior only lost one limb...Kids, sometimes Mom and Dad can’t be home with you, and they’d rather not go to the extra expense of a babysitter. So don’t lose your key, make sure you get your homework done and try not to mess the place up too much. Most important of all, make sure your unsupervised status remains a deep, dark secret.

Throughout the explanation of the above, Blond Girl, Redhead Boy, and the Amazingly Thin African American boy demonstrate their ability to unlock doors, babysit younger siblings and remain calm during the inevitable absent-parent crises.

Thoughts:

Ninety-nine percent of the time, a reasonably responsible child of the depicted age group (I’m guessing nine to twelve) will be just fine. Homework done and the house clean by the time the parents get home is probably too much to expect, especially without supervision. Anyone who does this with their kids probably learns to be satisfied with minimal property damage and only minor physical injuries.

Not that I would ever, ever, ever consider doing this with my own children. Not that I think they’re incapable. This may be parental bias talking, but my middle daughter is probably especially suited to this kind of thing. It’s that one percent of the time that bothers me. Anyone can survive a series of boring, ordinary days, but you only have to screw up a life-threatening emergency once. My kids can wait until they’re a little closer to adult-sized.

A few favorite comments: When the narrator notes that there are lots of things to do while you’re home alone, Mike says, “Like wondering what it’s like to be nurtured and loved.” When a kid goes over what he’s supposed to do when the power goes out, Kevin says, “I built an open flame in the den and roasted our least favorite pet.” When the short ends after many, many warnings to avoid human contact when your parents aren’t home, Bill adds, “Remember kids: the world wants you dead.” Throughout, mockery is heaped upon the nerdy, emaciated black child, as Mike calls him “Jack Skellington,” and adds, “Even Urkel would pants this kid.” It’s a reasonably informative short, full of good advice for kids in this situation, and the riffers derive a lot of humor from pointing out how bad a situation it is.