Kids in the fridge
When my dad saw the cover of our August issue, he railed at me for a half-hour about our lack of editorial responsibility. Apparently, I am too young to remember a time when empty refrigerators in basements and junk lots enticed curious children into their deadly depths.
My parents are subscribers, so they received the magazine right when it was hitting the stands. Since then, we’ve had dozens of calls, emails and hand-scrawled letters from furious readers who are terrified that young ones city-wide will see this issue, get ideas in their heads and go romping right to their death in the Fridgidaire.
When this gem arrived at our office, I knew I had to do some serious research, and by research, I mean a Google search of “kids in refrigerators”:
Here’s what my research turned up. The reason I’m too young to remember kids dying in refrigerators? Because kids don’t die in refrigerators anymore. Abandoned iceboxes used to be a threat because of the mechanical latch on models manufactured before 1958. The widest rash of refrigerator deaths happened between 1956 and 1964, with accidents mostly tapering off after around 1984. From thestraightdope.com: “The problem hasn’t entirely disappeared — two kids in Guyana died in an old fridge in 2003.”
But unless copies of VITAL are somehow migrating to the Third World, which is probably the only place you’ll be able to find refrigerators old enough to trap innocent children, I doubt we’ve put any children any closer to an untimely end.
The crusade is over. So don’t fret your head. And stop calling me.