I love them. Secretly, though. Outwardly, and for all practical purposes, I'm afraid of them, as I've been taught to be. We're a careful people and I don't want to end up like Adam Walsh, now do I?
Hold mommy's hand. We're in a busy place.
I got lost in a shopping mall in Fort Wayne once when I was very young. I hallucinated skeletons because I equated being separated from my mother to death. Maybe sometimes I still do. Maybe. Sometimes. The skeletons, I mean. Mom bought me a large cookie with thick yellow icing on the top to aid me in forgetting the endeavor. I don't think it worked.
My terror probably stemmed from two things: the made-for-TV movie called Adam and a Berenstain Bears book called The Berenstain Bears Learn About Strangers, which is essentially in the style of 50's anti-Red propaganda. Both are scary in their own ways, but Adam was definitely the clincher in ingraining a fear of strangers in me. After all, the kid was decapitated.
The concept of decapitation was really weird and thought-provoking to me for a long time. Cartoons used to tell me about such things, and, honestly, I don't know how kids today learn about them. To my knowledge, Spongebob has never been decapitated. Unless it's like it is on Weeds, when the small child plays "infidel scum" with his young friend.
Also, I think that "Berenstain" is probably spelled the way it is (rather than "Berenstein") because they want to give the bears a distinctly Christian edge...
Also, there was a man in here just now that smelled like my father. Strange.