Anxiety Episode #8: While I’m trying to safely wrangle my children into their car seats, I am attacked by a violent, videotaping delinquent.

Last spring I was standing outside my school at my dismissal post when my assistant principal walked by. She struck up a casual conversation with me which led to her inquiring about whether or not I had heard of something called the “Knock-Out” game. I told her I hadn’t. She then explained, much to my horror, that her husband had warned her of some kind of bizarre and violent game occurring on streets around the country.  

The basic premise of the game is that attackers try to land one sucker punch on an unsuspecting victim, thus rendering the victim unconscious. Heinous, right? Often, these bad guys videotape their actions and later display them online. Oh, and I guess they do this just for fun? 

Initially it sounded to me like the stuff of urban legend. I hadn’t heard of anything like this happening in our community. But when I checked it out, if online media outlets are to be believed, it seemed like a legit thing, trending even, and gaining in popularity at the time.

Shortly after my AP told me about this “game” I was constantly on the lookout for suspicious “Knock-Out” villains. I tried to make sure I was always aware of my surroundings when I was walking about in public spaces.

And then, thankfully, after a short time, I forgot about the atrociousness of it all. 

Until recently, that is. For some reason, the game popped back into my mind. But I only consider it now when I’m in public parking lots trying to fasten my kids into their car seats.

Winter time is the absolute worst for buckling children into car seats. The added bulk of winter jackets, combined with hats and mittens and layers upon layers of warm clothing makes the task daunting, unpleasant, and altogether stressful.

So, onto the parking lot scenario. Lately, I’ve found that when I’m deeply involved in tugging on a stiff sleeve and willing it to slide easily under a strap, I feel very vulnerable. Like that would be the perfect instanceme there struggling in the car with straps and jackets and children’s limbs akimbofor some ne’er-do-well to come in and drop me right to the ground. 

All too often, I find myself hurrying and looking about, trying to free up the use of my hands on the off chance I need to land my own defensive punch. Passersby probably see my paranoid glances and hurried movements as suspect. Perhaps they imagine I’m attempting a kidnapping. 

Chances of this actually happening—me getting attacked like this—are slim to none, I know. All the same, I will be grateful soon for warmer temps, fewer layers, and easier and quicker access into and out of these damn car seats. 


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