Buffalo

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When I was a kid, there was a TV station in Buffalo that would start its evening news with a public service announcement:

“It’s 11 o’clock. Do you know where your children are?”

I always thought it a little odd. Were Buffalo parents really that bad that they had no idea where their kids were at 11 pm?

I imagined some fat, hairy father in a sleeveless undershirt, chugging a beer and waiting for the news.

“It’s 11 o’clock. Do you know where your children are?”

“Why? What’s the little bugger done now?”

Or a dowdy housewife, cleaning up the dinner dishes, suddenly thinking to herself:

“Oh shit! I left Billy on the mechanical horse at Wegman’s!”

“It’s 11 o’clock. Do you know where your children are?”

All these parents sitting home watching TV while thousands of kids run loose on the streets of Buffalo—taunting the homeless, looting Toys’R’Us.

“Oh my god! They’ve set fire to North Tonawanda!”

“It’s 11 o’clock. Do you know where your children are?”

They don’t start the news with that anymore. Do you think some guy at the TV station came into work one night and said: “Screw ‘em. They’re your kids. If you don’t care where they are, why should I?”

Of course, I guess the final joke is on us what with Alzheimers and all that.

“It’s 11 o’clock. Do you know where your father has wandered off to?”

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