I Don’t Have A Cat (A story of stolen innocence)

I’m going to keep this post clean, even though I’m writing it in anger and fear, and all I want to do is say the crudest words I can think of while punching someone’s face off. The reason I’m not going to be my usual foul-mouthed self, is that I don’t want to alienate any potential readers. Not because I want more, but because this is serious, and people need to know that. For whatever reason, swearing makes a lot of people not read things that I write, so for this one post, I will try to refrain from using expletives. Okay, here goes…

Our oldest got a text last night.

Well, they started yesterday morning, but last night is when the last one was.

Seems like a grand idea, right?

She was texting her friend that was with her when the dog attacked her. She was texting from her ipod to her friends ipod via an app called Text Now. These apps, assign you a number that you can use to send and receive texts like a regular phone, but you do it through your wifi. The problem here was that her friend had cancelled her Text Now account and the number had gone to someone else

I had originally thought that this app was awesome, because we could now walk down to the grocery store and if there was any problems they could send us a text. We could be there in five minutes to make sure that T’s finger wasn’t really broken, or to assure them that Blue’s farts weren’t going to kill them. (They will, but it will take years.) We just figured that this was the cat’s pyjamas, but the really great thing was that they could also use it as a phone if there was an emergency. It was a way to start giving them a bit of freedom, but leaving them with a lifeline.

Until yesterday.

Now I feel sick, and there is nothing I can do about it. Well, that’s not totally true, there are actually several options. What I should have said was that there is nothing I can do legally. What I want to do is go for a drive down to PA and look up Youngman Brown. Then I’d go and talk to some private investigators to see if we could place an address and a name to this number. Then…

“…send me sum pics”

But I’m not going to do any of that. Partly because I’m not allowed, but mostly because I made the mistake of phoning and leaving a message for this goof. It started out calm enough, I guess. I said that I knew about the dirty texting to a little girl, and that I was giving the information to the police. What happened next was not in my cue cards. I ended the monologue with something along the lines of “…then I’m going to come to Philadelphia and find you, and f***ing kill you.”

 “Send sum nasty ones lol”

I know, not my most creative work, but you didn’t see her tears and the fear in her eyes. You didn’t have to calm her sobs because they were making it so she couldn’t breathe, and because you were afraid her little sister was going to hear and get upset as well. You didn’t have to tell her that this person was far away, and wouldn’t ever find her because he can’t cross the border and her number isn’t a real phone number.

Just like his probably isn’t… but there was voicemail, so maybe.

“Send me one of ur p***y”

For all I know, this place in Philly is just a company like Text Now, and they have no way of knowing who is assigned to what number, or what those people are writing to each other. I think they should know. I think you should have to somehow prove who you are before you are given a phone number. I had to. I had to jump through hoops to get mine.

“I don’t have a cat”

That did it. That’s the statement that made me see red. Some scumbag has just stolen a ten year old girl’s innocence. Up until this point she thinks she’s talking to her girlfriend. She has sent a couple of very innocent photos of herself, and the nasty one was of her in a lifejacket and a bucket hat. You know why? Because she’s ten.

Ten year old girls aren’t supposed to know what kind of sick crap is going on in the world, and they are certainly not supposed to have to deal with it. They are just supposed to play with their friends, start liking boys, and piss their parents off. That’s it. Not one ten year old should know that to an older person “nasty” means sexual, and that some people would exploit them to get those kinds of photos, but they have to know. To protect themselves, if for no other reason.

I think the worst part for me, was having to sit there while her mother explained what this person was doing, and how good she was to immediately tell us when she knew something was wrong. I had to listen to her explain that this person wanted to see a picture of her private area, and that she should never give anyone pictures of herself online. We then had to tell her the dangers of showing people anything on the internet, and in real life, because once you give someone something, you can never get it back.

It was so hard to listen to this when all I wanted to do was hug her as tight as I could and promise her that I would never let anyone hurt her. I wanted to tell her that I would chop someone to pieces if they ever tried to touch her, and I would gladly go to jail if it meant that she would never have that kind of pain.

I didn’t tell her these things. I didn’t tell her that I would die protecting her if I had to. I would do it, but I didn’t tell her that. I guess the reason is that she is going to have to deal with a lot of twisted crap in her life, and although I want to shield her from everything that is evil, I can’t. I can’t, and I shouldn’t promise something that I can’t deliver. Instead, I asked the officer to explain to her that this person was in another country, and wasn’t going to be able to cross the border, even if they did know who it was. I think it helps to have someone whose job it is to protect us, tell a child that things are okay.

The officer I spoke with about this has assured me that she will do whatever she can, but that so many of these people can’t be found, and if they are, you can’t prove it was them that actually sent the text. I guess that’s the problem these days; we have all of this wonderful technology to help us along, but it is also a bane on society in that it allows way too much anonymity among us. Nobody needs to be held accountable for their actions, because no one will find out it’s them.

Well, I know it’s you, pervert, and I’m going to text you every day until you respond or you give up that number.

Birdman

 

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37 thoughts on “I Don’t Have A Cat (A story of stolen innocence)

  1. Okay, a few things here:

    1) One of my favorite moments in reading your blog occurred for me in this post. It was in the beginning when you referred to her as “our oldest.” Definitely made my heart twinkle.

    2) What a sick pervert. I am so sorry for her to have to have that explained to her at such a young age. But good for her for coming to you right away. I am so scared of having kids and knowing when is a good time to expose them to the new interconnectedness that technology offers these days. It is amazing, because you can meet cool people from Canada that you would never meet otherwise. But it is also scary, because you can also encounter perverts who live within walking distance of your house.

    3) Come on down, man. You can stay at my place and we can do stake-outs and shit like that. I even have walkie-talkies somewhere.

    And a baseball bat.

    • I knew you’d be in. Thanks for being such a stand-up guy, and thanks for all of the support, on and off the field. You’re a champion among men, Mr. Brown.

  2. OMG… that’s horrible. I am in tears over this. How can people do shit like that? She is TEN YEARS OLD!!!! This was a HUGE eye opener for me. My kids aren’t quite that age yet, but they will be and now I’m scared. I hope that O is okay. You are doing the right thing by sharing this, hopefully it will make people stop and think. Thanks Birds.

    • Thanks Deanna. I wasn’t going to write about it, because I thought it was a little bit private, but Mrs. B said it should be shared, so we did.

  3. Can I come with you when you go looking for theis f**ker? You think Youngman will lend me his bat so I can get a few swings in?

    And thank you for sharing. It is important to get these things out there for people to read. Hopefully it will start a conversation between parents and children about this kind of thing. To let the kids know that they did nothing wrong and they are doing the right thing to come to thier parants about it. So WOO! For O coming to her parents and speaking up about it. She is a brave little girl.

    And you Birdman and Mrs.Birdman, are awesome parents for handling it the way you did. Love you guys!

    • Sure you can come. We are gathering quite a nice posse now. I’ll lend you a putter or something to fight with, we don’t want all of the lumps looking the same.

  4. Chris,
    Probably the best thing for you to do is contact the following organization. They are a Canadian non-profit agency that collects, collates and distributes to a federal investigative unit.

    http://Cybertip.ca/

    I’ve posted this to inform your readers in case such an act happens to a loved one. I would encourage you to fill out the online submission form in order to notify these authorities.

    Newsome

    • Thanks, Jamie. I checked it out, and there’s also some great resources like TextEd and other programs. Great link, and thanks for sharing it.

  5. Wow. I recently got a new phone and let my 10,9, and 6 year old text me via app with the WiFi. Different app but it might not.matter. My son said someone called the other day that I was at the store but he didn’t answer…someone texting never crossed my mind. I’m so sorry this happened to your daughter but I am glad to see there are more patents out there who would respond with bloody murder if someone harmed their child. Great post, I will be even MORE vigilant now.

  6. OMG! That is so wrong! I think the two of you handled that beautifully and it was a very valuable lesson for your girls and for everyone reading this. Thank you for sharing and opening up this dialogue! Hope the Bastard rots in hell where he belongs!

  7. Holy crap. My daughters are four and two. I immediately pictured this happening to them, and almost ripped my desk from my cubicle wall. I’m so sorry that this happened to her, and to you.

    The real world sucks. I’m trying to keep my girls out of it for as long as possible.

    The Duke.

  8. Reason number 2,046 on why my kids won’t have access to things like that until they are older…much older. Grants they are all boys but I cringe every time my wife lets my 8 year old text his cousins from her phone.

    • Yeah, the kids can’t use my phone because of predictive text. Seems the phone is smart enough to know what the letters after F usually are, amongst other choice words.

  9. Oh, I’m in! I’m in Philadelphia for an editorial meeting, err site seeing with the family. I don’t have a baseball bat, but I’m sure I can find something in my hotel to wield!

    This gave me a panic attack as I have an eight year old princess and the thought of this is beyond scary.

    Great writing about a a hideous subject. WG

  10. My daughter will be turning 9 this year. But thankfully I’m broke as hell and can’t afford to buy her all the latest gadgets and devices. We barely let her get on the computer to play Disney games, so even if I could afford it….it won’t be until she is at least 16 before she gets any of that stuff!

    • Yeah, it shouldn’t be about money anyhow. I think kids should have to make do with what they can come up with on their own. We used to build forts, swim, fish, and go hunting, and I’d like to think it made us into better people. (just because there was no such thing as Wii and XBox., lol)

  11. Man, it’s quite disgusting how far people will go now when they have the luxury of being faceless and anonymous, hiding behind a phone/computer. Sorry this happened, but it’s great you have a daughter sensible enough to talk to you guys about it!

    Well handled from your side. Hopefully it will end up being a good learning experience about the real world and the occasional sickos that inhabit it.

    • Yeah, if it can even shed a little light for other parents as well, I’d say it was for the better. It could have been so much worse.

  12. I’m not a great fan of technology for the young and incidents like this reinforce my views. I understand your logic in why your daughter should have the phone and may have done the same. Thankfully my daughters were into their teens before mobile phones became the norm for younger kids.

    I wouldn’t mind betting the source of the messages is a teenager but whoever it is must be able to be traced I would have thought. Try not to laugh too loud when cutting his balls off.

    • Thanks for the comment, JP. It wasn’t a phone, but an app that will turn an ipod into a phone-like object. I hate that technology has done this to our society, but it’s because we are afraid of letting them run around town by themselves, that they apparently need to connect with their friends in other manners. Let’s just all head for the bush and live off the land from now on.

  13. It’s a shame that all the advancements in technology that are supposed to make things easier for us are the same things that are forcing our kids to grow up so much faster. That part sucks so bad! I feel so bad for you and your family for having to deal with this. Especially at a young age like that!

  14. Okay. Wow.

    I just bought my oldest son (he’s 8) an iPod Touch for his birthday. I am not familiar with i-products, so I took a little time familiarizing myself with both the apps that came with the phone, as well as the apps he downloaded. I saw Face Time, the app you talked about, a “telephone” app and a few others and all I could think was… this can be very, very, very bad. You have confirmed my fears.

    I’m so sorry that this happened to daughter. Sick, sick, sick…

    Vigilance bro. We have to be vigilant with all of this new technology so that we can ensure that our kids innocence isn’t stolen by some creeper.

    • Yeah, you should come up here for a couple of drinks and we’ll get to the bottom of it. The bottle that is.

  15. I have no words. I’m just so sorry that your oldest daughter had to deal with this – especially at such a young age. What is wrong with people??? I am glad that she has such awesome parents that will protect her and help her bounce back from this. Hang in there.

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