Yes, this is an odd one involving cake, kindness -- and a freakout.
SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- Parents and police are on edge after a stranger offered two children cake out of his car.
Liam Ralph and his friend were playing in his front yard when a driver pulled off of West Quinalt Street and into his family's cul de sac Sunday afternoon.
The 10-year-old said he felt uncomfortable when the stranger gave him an entire Oreo cake that had expired.
Of course he felt uncomfortable. Kids are taught stranger danger (even though the vast majority of crimes against children are committed by people they know). Then the media and the police reinforce that message -- despite ZERO EVIDENCE of the "danger" half of the equation. The anchors even introduced this story as one that is a lesson "we can ALL learn about stranger danger."
HOW? Considering there wasn't any danger?
It's like no one can imagine ANY reason to do ANYTHING nice for a kid other than to rape or kill 'em:
Lt. Scott McKee with Springfield Police Department said the driver was trying to either drug the children or trying to groom the children and draw them to his car.
Um, maybe -- except that the cake tested negative for drugs, and the kids did not say the man tried to get them into his car.
To get a glimpse of the world we live in -- where the reality (some guy gives kids a cake and leaves) is at odds with desperate-for-drama media (the reporter speaks in tones usually reserved for horror movies), take a look at the video. I'm so sorry the embed code did not work!
Anyway: If a town is so safe that this story merits news time, I'd say let ALL the kids play outside without supervision.
Instead, the lesson the report is trying to teach parents is: Your kids are NEVER safe without supervision.
This is a constant drumbeat, and it's working. The number of kids playing outside or walking to school is massively down from a generation ago. As for my theory about the cake-giver, one of the comments on the Facebook page struck me as most likely:
There is a glut of cakes and pastries right now in the food for homeless groups. Food For Lane County and other local gleaners have more than people can eat.
And some guy, maybe even a guy who needed the food pantry, decided to share.