It has come to my attention that I am old. Or at any rate, not young.
And what this means, for me, is that I am coming to terms with the fact that my children are growing up in a radically different world from the one I inhabited. Do I mean social media, climate change, digital life? I do not. I mean menaces in books. And maybe movies and television.
See, in my (lost) youth, you knew what to fear: killers with hooks for arms. Vampires—sure. And above all, quicksand. It was everywhere, in every book. "Oh no, Dale, quicksand!" Which meant, of course, that I am well-trained in how to handle it. Don't struggle! The more you fight it, the likelier that you will be pulled under! Get a friend on shore to hold out a stick as they lie down on solid ground! Etc, etc. In case of vampires I've got the whole garlic, wooden stake, cross thing memorized, and of course there's not a lot you can do about the guy with the hook (which was the whole problem with him).
But kids today? (Aren't you happy for me, that I could start a paragraph with "Kids today"?) Do they know anything about quicksand? No, for them it's zombies, zombies, zombies. Sure, they have vampires, but not useful ones. And it's…I don't know, it's just one of those things that make you sharply aware of how much we have no real idea about how to handle the world around us, and how desperately (plaintively) we try to anyway.
All I can say is, I have made sure my kids know the whole quicksand drill. They, in turn, have given me some zombie tips ("just explode their heads, Mom, it doesn't matter how"). And you guys? You just remind me of any menaces of yore I may have missed, in the comments please.