ABDUCTION ALERT is posted on the freeway signs. GREY CHRYSLER SUV LIC 1ABC234.
First of all, be afraid. Your child too might be abducted. What does that mean, abducted? Kidnapped? A stranger in a car with windows tinted dark rolls to a stop beside your seven year old daughter on her way home from school… Wait. Does your seven year old daughter actually walk home from school? Don’t you pick her up? You don’t trust people enough to actually let your kid walk to and from school, do you? Well, maybe you live in a small town where you know everybody and they know your children and watch over them like the sparrows in the field each morning and afternoon, (but if you do, what are you doing on a Southern California freeway?), so it is a real shock, a horror beyond imagining, when hands reach from the rear door and one covers your daughter’s mouth so she can’t scream and the other drags her by the neck into the car, the door closes and the car smoothly accelerates down main street and onto the road out of town; but your neighbors the birdwatchers have fortunately noted the license number and make, model, and color, so after only a mild hassle convincing the highway patrol that yes there has indeed been a kidnapping, or abduction, as trained officers of the law and experts in terrorism call it, the information is flashed statewide on the state’s freeway signs, even regionwide, we don’t know, we could call the highway patrol to ask how far the net is spread but don’t feel like concocting a story about writing a newspaper article so they won’t put a trace on our phone to determine the source of the security breach.
But the sign doesn’t say KIDNAPPING, does it. Those are rare. It says ABDUCTION. Some distraught or pissed-off spouse picked up the kid for an afternoon and didn’t return him, and the offended spouse called the cops and they don’t have anything better to put up on the signs, and it helps deliver the message: Be scared. Your kids too can be kidnapped any time. Shut up, obey the cops, and you’ll be safe.
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