We’re all familiar with the phrase “from the mouths of babes”, celebrating how children are capable of incredibly profound and beautiful ideas because they’re not burdened by pissy politics and adult cynicism. Unfortunately, we forget what also comes out of the mouths of babes: nonsensical gobbledygook and pure vomit. Case in point: the EZ Baby Saver, an invention that looks at the tragic and disturbing statistic of three or four dozen kids dying every year from being left in hot cars, and deciding that the very best way to stop that trend is with a shitload of rubber bands.
Seriously, that’s what 11-year-old Andrew Pelham ran with when he invented the Saver a year ago. His concoction is a big long mass of colorful, stretchy rubber bands (probably stolen from a broken-down and boarded-up Pee Wee’s Playhouse), that the driver hooks to the door and the back of their seat. As they leave the car, the rubber band shield blocks their path and, hypothetically, reminds them to check the backseat to make sure no children are in there.
How “colorful rubber” is supposed to equal “oh shit, that babbling ur-human I sired is getting toasty” is beyond me, and nobody can offer a decent answer. This is probably because they’re too busy fawning over this supposed genius kid and his good intention invention. The closest we get to an explanation is that it functions like a string around your finger. Which almost never works. You tie the string on, and then an hour later you stare at it like a long-lost artifact from the Stone Age that the dog just dug up. You have no goddamned idea what that string is or why it’s on your finger, but maybe you’ll figure it out later, after you’ve hung out at the bar and relaxed for a few hours.
Mark my words, that’s what would happen if anybody actually used the EZ Baby Saver. They’d completely blank on why a giant wad of rubber is blocking the door, unhook it, and go on their merry way. Because here’s the sad truth, one that even the most precocious of preteens cannot hope to extinguish: If a parent is brainless enough to leave their kid in the car, a pretty rope won’t stop them from doing so. In fact, they’ll probably just throw the damn thing away after a couple annoying uses. After all, the five seconds it’d take to unhook it might just be the difference between getting your favorite table at Applebee’s and settling for a dirty seat in the corner. Which is just unacceptable.
Or, they might eschew the EZ Saver altogether because they actually have no intent on saving their kids’ lives. Despite Pelham’s insistence that nobody wants to leave their kid in a car, it appears some actually do. Justin Ross Harris, the father of the most recent hot car victim, is all but confirmed to have strapped his kid in and left him there on purpose, meaning a murderer’s story is why the EZ Saver has made the news a full year after Pelham invented the damn thing. Obviously, not every parent who roasts their child in the car is a first-degree murderer, but this story does make you wonder how many are, and are simply better at lying than this guy. Do you think a batch of pretty rubber would’ve stopped them? They’d probably have used the thing as a choker, since that’s faster than waiting for heat stroke to kick in.
I get that we’re all desperate for a solution to this issue, but one of Wile E. Coyote’s failed attempts to catch the Road Runner isn’t it.
Obviously, throwing our hands up, shrugging our shoulders, and muttering “if they die, they die” in our best Ivan Drago voice isn’t acceptable either. But neither is kissing the ass of somebody who came up with a truly useless solution, even if they say the darndest things while doing it.