deird1: Anya looking stern (Anya glasses)
deird1 ([personal profile] deird1) wrote2016-06-21 07:10 am
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I've been seeing this argument all week. I'm getting rather sick of it.

The Context
A kid was killed by an alligator at Disney World. The pond he was wading in had a sign saying "no swimming".

The Argument
The parents were at fault because
a) It's Florida, alligators are everywhere, and everyone should know this.
b) There was a "no swimming" sign, which should have clued them in that alligators were likely to be in the area.

The Rebuttal
a) I am Australian. I live in a very dangerous region of the world, where we don't put on gumboots without checking for spiders. We expect to find snakes, dingoes, sharks, and crocodiles in most outdoor settings.
I would not have expected there to be alligators in this pond.
Yes, I'm aware that Florida has alligators, but Queensland has crocodiles, and I still expect hotels to be crocodile-free. Crocodiles can't generally get over fences. Alligators can. I didn't know this.

b) If I see a sign that says "Danger: Crocodiles! No swimming!", I expect there to be crocodiles around, and that I shouldn't go swimming. If I see a sign that simply says "no swimming", sans explanation or exclamation marks, I assume it's roughly equivalent to "keep off the grass" - ie: the maintenance crew are trying to stop you from trashing the area. I certainly wouldn't expect wading to be dangerous.

People who keep making this argument? You kinda suck.
immer_am_lesen: (Default)

[personal profile] immer_am_lesen 2016-06-21 11:57 am (UTC)(link)
Yeah, pretty sad. :-(
I agree, the resort needs to have proper signage and visitor info, for visitors who don't know about the danger/ likelihood of wild alligators. Out in the open, like that poor lady in Queensland who recently was taken by a croc as she splashed around on the beach, it's more expected, but in a safe fenced-off magical happy land? Not so much. :-(

I can't agree with your generalisation of what we Aussies expect, though- "We expect to find snakes, dingoes, sharks, and crocodiles in most outdoor settings." You make us all sound like Crocodile Dundee wannabes... :-p
Snakes, yes, they can show up anywhere, in houses and on land, urban and rural...dingoes, crocs, and sharks, though, only in wild/ bushland/ coastal areas, not in somewhere suburban, or a theme park. Unless it's a wildlife park, of course.

PS- boots at most places I've seen are kept in the laundry, for that exact reason- to stop spidies thinking they're a good hiding place. I'd never leave mine outside... :-/
immer_am_lesen: (Default)

[personal profile] immer_am_lesen 2016-06-22 09:10 am (UTC)(link)
You just want all your friends to think we wrestle crocs in our spare time, and box with kangaroos in our front yards. ;-)
(our roos do loom very threateningly when accidentally disturbed, but luckily are huge but timid, and hop away and suspiciously glare at you until you move away...I'm so glad they're vegetarian.)

Heh, and *I've* never seen boots kept outdoors- always in the laundry, or inside by the front door. I *have* seen other 'spare' shoes left outside (e.g. sandals which you can see into), but the frequently-worn ones, and especially those wherein fun beasties might lurk, have always been safely indoors. Rural vs. city folk, mebbe? :-)

btw, interesting reading all the other comments. I'll admit that as a foreigner I'd never assume to find a dangerous animal in a safe theme park, and yes, would naively expect staff/ general people or giant signs to warn of danger, rather than assuming everyone just 'knows about it'. No mention = all is good.
Poor kid. May his parents find some peace. I know I couldn't. :(
lydiabell: (Default)

[personal profile] lydiabell 2016-06-21 03:16 pm (UTC)(link)
Also, why should people from Nebraska, a thousand miles or so away from any coast, be expected to be savvy about a danger specific to the Southeast? I'm from pretty far inland myself, and while of course I know that there are alligators in Floria, I hadn't realized that they're in basically every imaginable body of fresh water! Including ones that the famously control-freakish management at Disney lets people splash around in! That's not something tourists can be expected to know.
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)

[personal profile] melannen 2016-06-21 04:27 pm (UTC)(link)
I do generally expect a "no swimming" sign in an otherwise public area to mean "the water is dangerous" (although here it's more likely to mean pollution or riptides than giant prehistoric predators...) I would also, however, generally expect another sign that attempted to explain why it was dangerous.

Also I would expect any body of water in Disney World that wasn't fenced off to be reasonably safe to wade in even if posted No Swimming, because... Disney. And alligators can move fast on land too!
lliira: Fang from FF13 (Default)

[personal profile] lliira 2016-06-21 08:44 pm (UTC)(link)
It is sad, but... I don't know how prevalent crocodiles are in Australia. In Florida, alligators are EVERYWHERE. Seriously everywhere. You aren't supposed to let your dogs swim in any ponds, you most certainly are not supposed to let your kids swim in them. And it's not possible to keep them out of where they want to be.

Disney should have put a "danger, alligators" sign up as well. But I do think the parents were at fault for not educating themselves about this. It would be like someone from Florida not taking a coat to New York in December and then complaining about the cold (something someone I knew actually did.)
zeborah: Zebra standing in the middle of the road (urban)

[personal profile] zeborah 2016-06-22 07:50 am (UTC)(link)
I've been to Orlando and saw no alligators, so they can't be EVERYWHERE. Nor did anyone warn me about them beforehand, or ask me if I saw any after, or anything. How is one meant to educate oneself about a danger one doesn't realise is a danger? You can't google a negative.

Also I once hosted someone from New York on a visit to my country, and I warned her it could get cold that time of year so bring layers. She (judging by our latitude and therefore assuming I meant "breezy") brought one thin cardigan and so (upon the warm nor'wester swinging around to a southerly straight from the Antarctic with no intervening landmass or warm sea currents like you get in the Northern Hemisphere) we had to go shopping. I may have privately rolled my eyes a little because I did warn her - but I also recognised that actually, she had no way of knowing that the Northern and Southern Hemispheres are that different, and no way of knowing what temperature range I actually meant when I said "cold".

Just like non-Florida folk have no way of knowing what "alligators are everywhere" actually means. One per square metre? One per square kilometer? Everywhere in rural areas? Everywhere in cities? Are there as many alligators as cars (and if someone's child gets hit by a car are the parents at fault because they should have educated themselves about how many cars are on the road, or do we recognise that parents already spend every waking moment trying to keep their children safe and happy and if an accident happens they're devastated enough without having literally the entire world debating whether it was their fault)? People make assumptions and think they understand risks and turn out to be wrong ALL THE TIME and mostly this doesn't kill them.

And yet none of anything I've just written makes a blind bit of difference. Screw who's "at fault". Why are people so fixated on casting blame? What is so important about doing that? Their child just died.

Their child. Just. Died.

It is sad. There's no "but". It's just sad. Full stop.
cereta: Barbara Gordon, facepalming (babsoy)

[personal profile] cereta 2016-06-22 04:43 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you. I spent a weekend with my mother throwing every bit of evidence at me from the gorilla incident (I'm from Cincinnati, so I couldn't watch five minutes of live TV without another story) that "proved" the parents were at fault. I finally had to tell her that I was Done with the topic. Full-on DONE. I am so tired of all these perfect parents (especially the ones without kids) analyzing every possible way to make things worse for people who have suffered a devastating loss. As you say, there is no "but" after that. DONE.