Posted by: laughs4dads | April 12, 2010

Spring Breakage

I read recently in the New York Post (“All the News That Can Be Accompanied By a Photo of a Girl in a Bikini, We Print”) that Beth Holloway, the mother of Natalee Holloway, the high school senior who went missing in Aruba five years ago while on spring break, has joined forces with the Investigative Management Group (IMG) to start Mayday 360, an organization that promises to jump into action on behalf of parents at the first sign of trouble with children who are overseas.

That’s a nice mission statement, but it’s impossible to accomplish. Because the first sign of trouble is the kid being permitted to go in the first place.

Why would somebody in their right mind allow a high school kid to go to a foreign country with an 18-year-old legal drinking age? I mean, the best possible outcome you could hope for is that nothing worse will happen than your kid throwing up in her hotel room, which she is sharing with eight other kids who are also throwing up or out having sex with exotic locals.

Of course, many other outcomes are possible: they could be arrested buying drugs and end up in some horrible foreign prison like in the movie Midnight Express (for some reason, it would be a Turkish prison, regardless of what country they actually went to); they could wander into the middle of a drug war and be gunned down; they could contract some disease with no known cure and bring it back home and start a pandemic; they could get a really bad sunburn; they could wind up doing something embarrassing on MTV; they could be kidnapped by rebels (there are always rebels in these places); they could become a girl gone wild; they could fall in love with the exotic local they were having sex with and stay behind to start a family in a poverty-stricken area of some remote country with nothing but a small vegetable garden and a satellite dish; they could lose their passport or, worse, their iPhone; or, like poor Natalee Holloway, they could never be heard from again.

In fact, way down on the list of possible results of letting a high schooler spend spring break in a foreign country is that they come back totally unscathed.

So here’s my advice to IMG’s new Mayday 360 Group: if you want to intervene at the first sign of trouble, show up at the teen’s house just as the parent is saying “Sure, you can go,” and shout, very loudly into the parent’s ear: “ARE YOU CRAZY?”




  1. Oddly enough, this post reflects my opinion on Spring Break trips very accurately. Of course, several of the possible outcomes are just as possible (and likely) even if the beach the kid winds up at is still located in the United States.

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