Some guy in Georgia wants YOU to help him punish his kids... and he seems to be getting a real kick out of it. Kinda uneasy-feeling details after the jump:
The story: Allegedly, this guy's two kids busted up the bath tub by using it as an "arena" for their Beyblade toys (a spinning-top game based on an Anime series); so to punish them, he's selling-off said toys on eBay to pay for the damage. Yes, it's real,
Okay, so... sounds a little harsh, but also sounds like a sensible "cause and effect" type of punishment i.e. a kill-two-birds mix of "actions have consequences" and "use it properly or lose it." Probably wouldn't be my approach... but okay, he's got kids, I don't, etc.
Here's where this tips over into "red flag" territory for me: Instead of posting a good photo of the actual items up for sale, he posted a picture of the two kids holding them up. I don't want to put the image here,
This is where my head is at on this: What exactly is he REALLY selling here? There's no specific detail on what the items are for anyone who wants to buy them, and no image you can see from, so he's pretty-much selling "bag of random toys." But the picture of the two kids, both of them clearly captured in a moment of very real (deservedly or not) trauma... I'm sorry, but what this says to me is that his (apparently sincere) sales pitch isn't the bag of Beyblades so much as "Hey, y'see this sobbing child? Bid NOW for the privilige of being part of making that happen!"
For those who'll offer that "context is everything," he doesn't describe the items in the text-description, either - instead, he relates the story of the punishment, plus the exact dollar amount of what he's already confiscated from their piggy-banks. Oh, and it's capped-off with a rather gleeful exclamation of "and then it's on to their other toys!" And let's not forget: He's showing-off a picture of his visibly-shaken post-punishment children on the internet, for all the world to "enjoy." Folks, I've been punished in my life - often severely and quite deservedly... but my parents NEVER took a photo of my anguished expression and plastered flyers of it reading "look what Bob did!!!" all over the neighbor, to say nothing of THE PLANET. And if they had, I imagine Child Services would be knocking on the door for that sort of thing.
So... am I NUTS, or does this just scream abuse? I don't mean the initial punishment - fine, sell the damn toys, whatever - but proudly showing it off for The Internet like some demented cross between the dad from "This Boy's Life" and that Tiger Mother sociopath... wouldn't "subjecting child to public humiliation" constitute abuse in and of itself? And if not, wouldn't it at least be probable cause for Child Services to maybe show up and check these kids for bruises or whatever else could cause the younger-looking one to have a goddamn thousand-yard-stare at that age? I'm NOT "accusing" the guy, I'm just saying... if I was a cop in Georgia, and I saw this, I'd be inclined to follow-up on this.