Aaaaand that was “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People, followed by the classic Boomtown Rats ballad “I Don’t Like Mondays.” We’re just two songs into our Calamity-on-Campus 3 o’clock joyride here on K-I-D-Z FM, where the fear — haha! I mean the fun! — never ever stops. We’ll be back, faster than a bullet, with Pearl Jam and “Jeremy” right after a word from our sponsor. Don’t touch that dial! …
[Fade in ad spot.]
“Parents, remember back in your day, when all you needed for a successful start to the school year were some sharpened No. 2 pencils, a bitchin’ Trapper Keeper, and a brown paper bag that you could origami into sweet textbook covers?
“Well, those days are over, my friends.
“Ours is a dangerous world today where your adorable grade-schooler is as likely to be stung on the playground by a 9mm brass jacketed hollow point* as a common honeybee.
“Mass shootings are up — way up — as the people in Dayton, El Paso, and Gilroy will tell you. School campuses are no longer the safe, innocent spaces they used to be. That makes parenting tough. We get it! I mean, when you usher your nervous child into their classroom on the first day of school, hug them, and promise them it’ll be okay … and that you’ll see them at 3 o’clock … dammit, you want to mean it.
“And now you can! Thanks to the Bulletproof Backpack™.
“Fashioned of ballistic Kevlar and decked out in Disney and Avengers designs, the Bulletproof Backpack™ is sure to put your child right at ease* — like they haven’t a care in the world.
“You wouldn’t want your kid to be an average student. Why would you want them hiding behind an average backpack when the active shooter comes storming through their cafeteria? With the Bulletproof Backpack™, your child will be a superhero with her own army-grade shield! Ping! Ping! Nice try, bad guy! And guess what? When the lockdown is over, the juice box and Go-Gurt inside will still be perfectly intact and ready to slurp.*
“Our backpack even comes with an adorable instructive comic book showing kids how to use it to deflect incoming ammo from all directions. Because, hey, they won’t learn that stuff in school.
“We’d all love to believe that our schools can protect our kids. That our government has our backs. That our evolved species wouldn’t, couldn’t, harm innocent children. Sadly, those beliefs don’t stop bullets. But our backpack does.
“Look, America may not be perfect, but we have always attacked our problems with ingenuity … and good old-fashioned capitalism. So stop wasting time calling your Senators and call your local Walmart instead — to see if they’ve got any of these bad boys left. Because they’re flying off the shelves faster than you can spell w-h-i-t-e n-a-t-i-o-n-a-l-i-s-t!
“We also offer Bulletproof Notebooks™, Bulletproof Pencil Cases™, and Bulletproof Lunchboxes™ that can be worn as a helmet if Junior needs to combat-crawl through an area with live fire.
“If you’re tired of feeling helpless and scared, make a decision not to be a victim! And make a purchase so your child won’t be one. When you’re shopping for school supplies this month, look for the most important items of all: The ones that guarantee* your child’s safety in a nation that, let’s face it, is lousy with deranged white men and semiautomatic weapons.
“Look for the Bulletproof Backpack™.”
*Only rated for handguns, not for use against bullets from military-style weapons such as those used in the recent assaults in Dayton. El Paso. Gilroy. Or most other mass shootings. Backpack will not help if it is not actually ON child at time of shooting, or if, say, shooter aims for head, legs, or arms. Use of tactical gear at school may cause extreme anxiety in children; ask your pediatrician if your child experiences agitation, trouble sleeping, tantrums, crying, or meltdowns before or after school. Ingesting snacks inside bullet-riddled backpack not recommended; check for shrapnel before consuming.