I guess the month of June has made Orlando a lightning rod for tragedy. First, there was the fatal shooting of Christina Grimmie, the 22-year old female singer featured on the Voice. Then, there was the Pulse Nightclub massacre, in which a gunman had slaughtered 49 people and injured many more. Finally, and hopefully the last incident, a 2-year old boy from Nebraska was dragged under the water and drowned, at the Seven Seas Lagoon on Disney World property, by an alligator.
And as the timelines moves on, as people start to grieve, motives start to come out, everything is made sense of. But, for the last incident, the idea of blame is being passed around. Especially when the idea of lawsuits and money dance in people’s heads.
So, here we go. I’ll go ahead and start the graphic for our favorite game show, “The Blame GameShow! Contestant Number One, COME ON DOWN!”
The alligator is to blame!
“Our first contestant on our show today is Mr./Mrs. Alligator. How are you today Alligator?”
“Oh wait. You’re an alligator. And probably dead, because the authorities trapped and killed five alligators. First, let’s decide on how you are not to blame.”
“You, as alligators are natural to fresh bodies of water in Florida, so maintaining your population is difficult because you will always relocate and thrive. You are animals, and all you do is eat, sleep, and mate, so no higher processes of thought and problem solving. You cannot communicate with other species of animals. You hunt mostly at night, making interactions with humans minimal. You also do not hunt out of the water, mostly on the shoreline where you can be concealed by foliage. You also rarely attack humans, because most of the time humans are bigger than you. There have been only 24 deaths from 1928 to 2009. So that’s about one fatal attack about every three years.”
“Now Mr./Mrs. alligator, here is why you are to blame: You are dumb animals. All animals besides humans and dogs are dumb. You are not fish; you can move across land to find different bodies of water. You are the process of resilient evolution, developing armor, and an adapting metabolism. You are “lurker hunters” meaning that you will wait and wait and wait for your prey to come into a situation in which you know that you can drag them underwater and drown them. You are too sneaky, and cowardly, not fighting us mano a mano.”
“What’s that Mr./Mrs. Alligator. You’ve got nothing to say? Ok then…Up next is the child! COME ON DOWN”
The child is to blame!
“Hi kiddo, how are you? Uh oh audience, he is a little unresponsive. Oh wait…”
“Anyways, child you are not to blame because you are a child. You are 2-years old. How can you read that sign? You watch Paw Patrol. You think dogs and humans communicate. You don’t know about the dangers that lurk in the water. You’d put your hand on the hot stove if you could reach it. Light sockets are perfect for forks. You don’t know anything.”
“On the other hand, you are pretty small. Snack-sized. The right size to get snatched up by an alligator that’s hunting. You can’t fight back, you have no idea what was going on, so how could you have known to try to attack an alligator’s eyes or ears. You don’t know how to swim either? So why were you in the water?”
“Well, since the kid is not responding, we will move on to our next contestant. The Disney World Corporation. COME ON DOWN!”
Disney is to blame!
“Hiya Disney, how are you doing?”
“The Walt Disney World Corporation would not like to respond to any comments right now.”
“That’s fine. It doesn’t matter, because this show is powered by alcohol, and the court of public opinion. And Twitter. So, can’t stop, won’t stop. Here is why you aren’t to blame. You put up signs to warn the dangers of the water. You posted, “No Swimming” signs at the entrance to the body of water. With this sign, you figure that nobody will enter the water. Also, posting a, “Do not Enter” sign is extremely unfriendly, and does not fit with your brand of friendliness. Also, your company has been working to remove nuisance alligators, which are any gator over 4 feet. You’ve been proactive. But, according to our audience, you are still to blame!”
“Your sign says, “No Swimming,” not, “Do not Enter.” How is anyone supposed to know that they cannot enter the water, cuz wadin’ ain’t swimming’. You haven’t built a 40-foot wall around the lake to prevent people from going in it. That makes you liable. You haven’t provided a sign on the shoreline warning of alligators, venomous snakes, and brain eating amoeba, there is some liability in there. You have lounge chairs and host movies on the lake, you are inviting people to the waterside. Providing a front row seat to, the unmentioned in the hotel program, The Alligator Snack Hour. You did not have a lifeguard on the beach, nor did not work with the Governor of Florida, Rick Scott, to provide Alligator Guards at water’s edge to protect all of the little chilluns. So far, you are in the lead in The Blame GAMESHOW! Next, via satellite is the parents of the victim!”
The parents are to blame!
“I’m sorry to hear about your loss, and our hearts go out to you. It must be an extremely difficult time for you two. We hope that you can get through this.”
“Thank you Chet. We are working through this.”
“We can understand. But, the show must go on. Here is why you are not to blame. Kids are tiny, they can get away from you, hide in small spaces, and are overall pretty stealthy. It is a full time job trying to keep up with a kid. It was also dark outside. Combined with a kid’s stealthy rating of +10, not including what they rolled on their 20-sided die at birth, it must be difficult to see them. You’re from Nebraska right? They do not have alligators there, so how should you know the dangers of them? No swimmin’ don’t mean no wadin’ amirite? You’re on vacation. You don’t expect anything bad to happen to you or your children. And you’re at the “Happiest Place on Earth.” So why would you expect any harm to come to you, or for there to be any evil there?”
“But, let’s view the flipside to that coin. You are the child’s parents. It is your responsibility to keep a watch over them, keep them safe right? There were obvious “No Swimming” signs on the beach. Did you not think about what they meant? It is also pitch black outside, mosquitos are biting crazy, and the water is so dark, it just absorbs light, making it impossible to see anything. Would you swim in the ocean at night? You have also travelled to a foreign place, compared to your cornhuskin’ Nebraska. Did you not research the dangers of the new place? You probably looked up a million Zika remedies, but nothing on the dangers of the habitat.”
“It’s looking bad for you guys. But, we still have one contestant left, COME ON DOWN Fresh Water from Florida!”
The water is to blame!
“Fresh Water from Florida, how are you doing today?”
“Sounds awesome! But I hope you know why you are here. Let’s start with the good. You are not to blame because you are water. You are natural. You give life. You are not sentient, well, you aren’t outside of this terrible piece of satire. You have no control over what lives in you. But, we have to find the blame for this.”
“Let’s see why you are to blame. You give life, and take life away. You are dihydrogen monoxide, the most dangerous chemical in the world! You are the habitat for a whole host of things that kill humans. You had a sign in you, but did not warn the parents, nor the child, of your dangers? Why did you not kill the alligator? Why did you not dry up to save the child from drowning? Why did you not crash waves upon the noggin of the alligator, to make it release the child? Why did you drown the child? Why do you exist in such a brown, murky form? Why are you not crystal clear, so anything can see the dangers hidden inside of you? WHY? WHY? WHY?”
“By your silence, the court of public opinion has come to the conclusion that you, Fresh Water from Florida, deserve the blame on this episode of the Blame GameShow. You will be mercilessly ridiculed on social media; you might as well delete your Twitter account now. Release the hounds! Prepare you butt!”
“Well, that concludes this episode of the Blame GameShow. Join us next time when we find out what is more to blame for childhood obesity: Big Sugar, Big Pharma, the parents, advertisers, companies using sugar, or how sugar makes everything delicious. Remember, help control the people population. Have your children spayed and neutered. We will see you next time. Bye bye!”