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Parent Delighted by Kids Falling On Ice

Parent Delighted by Kids Falling On Ice

OK, everybody’s been slipping on ice. Let’s see what these ladies do.

After this charming, fatherly intro, a girl proceeds to do a full frontal body plant on the ice. The loving dad chuckles and says:

Oh, there goes one! Oh, that’s funny!

We’ve all seen the slips and trips and pratfalls so popular on YouTube in the style of America’s Funniest Home Videos. And we collectively laugh at the misfortune of the unknown victim. But today a friend of a friend of a friend posted a video on Facebook that took me aback. 


In general, these “funny” videos are captured by chance. They aren’t funny because someone is hurt. (In general they aren’t even published if that is the case.) Instead, they are funny because they look painful or spectacular, but resulted in no serious injury or because of the surprising nature of the event being captured on video.

  • A couple is getting married, the best man trips up the stairs on the way to deliver the ring, accidentally bumps the bride, who is pushed into the pond. We gasp in horror at the awfulness of it all and hope they can laugh later. Years later.
  • Something is being videotaped and an accident is coincidentally filmed in the background.
  • Someone is engaging in a sport or activity, is being recorded, and has a spectacular fail.
  • A news segment is being videotaped and someone accidentally falls due to accident or impact. If someone is actually hurt, it’s painful and we are concerned (see the first woman). If they recover without missing a beat (see the guy at the end who does a complete 360° arial and just picks up his mic and moves on), we laugh and cheer.

But there was something troubling about this Facebook video. It was taken by a father waiting to pick up his kids from school and there was a patch ice on the sidewalk nearby that no one could escape.

What did he do? Did he hop out of the car and warn the approaching kids that it was slippery? Did he stand guard to make sure no one was hurt?

No, he took out his phone and sat in the car giggling for nearly six minutes as he watched his kid’s classmates fall. He wasn’t just laughing at the banana-peel-slipping silliness, he was snickering, chuckling, and snorting in anticipation of the possibility of the next fall. And then his charming daughter joined in the fun. At one point she said:

We’re kind of bad people.

You know, because maybe getting your jollies at the expense of others isn’t the very, very best thing you can do with your time.

Fortunately, no one (at least no one that shows up on the edited video he uploaded) was badly hurt. But what kind of adult — and parent — shows so little concern for others, even children, that he values his amusement more than safety?

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Shelly February 18, 2014, 4:33 pm

    If my husband went to pick up our kids from school and saw a dangerous patch of ice, he’d stand near it and help the students across it. If he had a shovel he’d spread dirt on it. If he had cat litter or sand he’d sprinkle it over it. He would absolutely not film and laugh at everyone falling. Even more, he teaches our children to do the same. My husband is a gentleman. He won’t go viral, but I won’t trade.

  • Alison Moore Smith February 18, 2014, 4:55 pm

    Exactly! Perfect!
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Parent Delighted by Kids Falling On IceMy Profile

  • Marci February 19, 2014, 1:03 am

    I’m with Shelly. I keep seeing people laughing about how HILARIOUS this is and I do think it’s awful. And it’s awful for the exact reason you said. The man was enjoying the anticipation and prospect of someone falling and he well knew the possibility of injury.

  • Cambendy February 19, 2014, 8:34 am

    I’m sure this guy would have laughed his ass off if a different dad was filming and his daughter got hurt.

    Oh, yea, juvenile adults like this would actually sue the school instead. But as long as he has some fun, who cares, right?

  • Paul February 19, 2014, 9:19 am

    I think you hit it on the head. It’s one thing to laugh at a spectacular fall knowing that nothing bad happened. (AFHV and other shows don’t show videos in which people were actually injured.) It’s quite another to know of a danger and amuse yourself watching people get in harm’s way.

    Today we can actually laugh at the horrifying time my toddler son walked onto trail tracks and was swooped off just before being hit. But that’s because the toddler is not 29 years old. We laugh BECAUSE of his precociousness and the trauma and guilt that incident brought. What if I’d whipped out my phone to take a “funny” picture at the time?

    Just as you way, it is the context that matters.

  • Andrea February 19, 2014, 10:04 am

    This video is a troubling and sad commentary on our society. Making the misfortune of others, especially unsuspecting children, into entertainment…and then sharing it with the world, is disturbing. If he had acted like a MAN instead of an immature teen, he would have been the first to jump out and protect those children instead of laughing when they fell.
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  • Alison Moore Smith February 19, 2014, 10:54 am

    Had an interesting conversation on Facebook this morning. Thought I’d share.

    My friend (a dad) posted this video, thinking it was great fun. I linked to this article. He said:

    Welp I guess there is the type of person that laughs at this kind of thing and the kind who doesn’t. Feel free to judge away. I wouldn’t have found it hilarious if it appeared anyone had been hurt.

    I responded:

    At this point, it’s safe to assume that no one got hurt or most decent people wouldn’t be posting and laughing. But when the guy recorded it, there was the very real possibility that someone could be. (He even noted in the vid that at least one did appear hurt.)

    I would bet that if one of your darling little girls was hurt and you found out another dad was sitting in his car a few feet away gleefully anticipating the next fall, you would have been more than pissed off. That’s the point.

    He answered:

    Yep, different schools of humor for sure. I grew up in a house with a big (carpeted) staircase and we laughed when people fell down the stairs. We’d laugh first, check for vitals second. Certain people find that abhorrent, and that’s just fine.

    I don’t intend to respond further over there (you know, the sanctity of one’s wall and all that 😉 ), but thought I’d bring it here.

    Sorry, I just don’t buy it. (Yes, I do think it’s funny that the judging thing came up. Anyway…) Of course different families and different kinds of humor. (We, for example, are infamous for quoting song lyrics or movie lines in every (even inappropriate) situations.) But did he really grow up in a house where everyone was gasping in breathless guffawing at every accident only to “check for vital signs” later. Of course not. And in this kind of discussion, the hyperbole is presented as fact, when of course it’s not. (He’s a very decent guy in real life.)

    What really happens is that kind of scenario is that the accidents happen very quickly and unexpectedly. The laughter almost always happens AFTER the accident and AFTER there are indications of a good outcome.

    In spite of his protestations, I cannot image that this man (who has darling little girls) would watch one of his children fall and laugh BEFORE having a clear idea that it wasn’t serious. If she fell on her face and didn’t move, would her really real back in laughter and then go see if she was breathing? (Perhaps he’s actually never experienced a child with a serious injury before — even one from a seemingly trivial circumstance?)

    When I was seven years old I went with some boys in the neighborhood to a home under construction. This was contrary to every rule my parents had about all the local (and attractive) construction sites. (I had already had an emergency room visit due to falling off a stack of forms at a different home site the year before.)

    Our explorations led us to a concealed attic space — that one of the boys accessed by knocking out the wallboard with a hammer. Nice! As we played up there, one of the boys dared me to jump on the flooring (which was actually the ceiling of the room below). Not to be called a sissy, I did. I landed on the floor in the family room right by the fireplace.

    I was seriously injured and on crutches all summer and into the school year. Eventually I recovered physically, but my dignity will forever be scarred. 😉

    Hers’ the thing. TODAY we all laugh about the story. TODAY it’s a crazy, idiot kid story. BUT has an adult had hidden in the house with a camera watching and laughing at the possibility that I might fall through, it would be awful. Period.

    Honestly, I think the differences in reaction are due to people conflating the kind of inherent funniness of pratfalls and the fact that this dad — NOT KNOWING THE OUTCOME — sat in his car and got his jollies over watching people come into harm’s way.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…I Hope She’s Pretty – Boys Will Be BoysMy Profile

  • Stephanie {Binkies and Briefcases} February 19, 2014, 11:08 am

    I didn’t think it was funny either. It makes the dad look like a douche (sorry, but it’s true) and I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to film other people’s children and put them on the internet without permission from their parents. He better be careful. I’m sure the parents of those kids aren’t very happy with him. If my child got hurt while an adult sat there and filmed it on purpose and then he had the nerve to put it on the internet where it went viral and everyone was laughing at my child falling, I would not be a happy camper. Can you imagine how those kids feel now knowing that an adult in their community was sitting right there laughing at them like that? If I was ten and saw a video of my friend’s dad behaving like that while I fell, I would be devastated. At the very least, as a mom, if my children were in this video I would potion the dad to remove it from the internet.
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  • Marta February 19, 2014, 2:47 pm

    I tend to agree with you. I had seen (and laughed) at the best man/bride video before but this is different. This isn’t accidental in the sense that they’re not preventing it from happening — they’re taking amusement from knowing that it will. My dad broke his leg slipping on a patch of ice when I was kid, you CAN get seriously hurt.
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  • Alison Moore Smith February 19, 2014, 5:54 pm

    Thank you for actually getting the POINT people!

    In social media I’m getting a bunch of “What’s the big deal?” and “He’s just having fun!” stuff, but honestly, I think it’s from people who didn’t read the and, as I said, are conflating two issues.

    Marta, my neighbor slipped on the ice a couple of weeks ago and broker her leg severely enough to be in the hospital for a number of days and is now in residential rehab.

    It’s a no-brainer to recognize that this is potentially serious.
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  • Jennifer Beckstrand February 19, 2014, 6:25 pm

    Alison, I couldn’t agree more. I don’t know this dad personally, so I want to give him the benefit of the doubt, but I think this is very sad behavior. I’m with Shelley. My husband would have tried to warn kids about the ice. I’m glad I’m married to him. 🙂

    Unfortunately, it’s a symptom of the times we live in. We took my son to the airport today to say goodbye for 2 years. There was another missionary family there recording every hug on two smart phones. Not that smart phones are bad (we took our share of pictures), but we tend to Instagram our lives instead of actually live them. It seems that to this dad, an icy sidewalk was an opportunity to go viral instead of an opportunity to help someone and actually connect with the human race.
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  • Alison Moore Smith February 19, 2014, 7:47 pm

    Jennifer, someone who knows him (and was defending him) said he was super excited about how many view he got. Woot for him…I guess.
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  • Kathleen February 20, 2014, 8:19 pm

    I think this dad is a terrible example for his daughter. Yes, it can be humorous, but I wonder how funny he would have thought it was if his daughter had fallen and cracked her head open on that ice. Why would it be any less bad for someone else’s child to take that chance. He should have either helped the kids across the ice or figured out a way to fix the spot. Shame on him!
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  • ABDUL GHAFFAR March 9, 2014, 12:03 pm

    I tend to agree with you. I had seen (and laughed) at the best man/bride video before but this is different. This isn’t accidental in the sense that they’re not preventing it from happening — they’re taking amusement from knowing that it will.This kind of accident make a lot of sense.Thanks for sharing the great article.
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  • Sagar Nandwani March 16, 2014, 1:29 am

    I usually find falling funny but this was stupid because they more than likely got hurt from the fall. Falling on ice is no fun, it stuns your body and is very painful.

  • Lori March 24, 2014, 5:19 am

    I’m so glad to see people agree with me in these comments. I was horrified when I saw this. Nothing inside of me thought that was funny.

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