Joe Boughner: The Naked Dad


A Call To Arms: The Enemy Walks Among Us

Parents, Romans, Countrymen, Lend Me Your Ears

In every man's life, there comes a time when he must choose to speak out or to remain silent. Today, friends, is my time to speak.

I am but one man. One parent. One voice speaking out. A solitary voice speaking out amidst a deafening chorus that threatens to drown me out. That threatens to silence my song before it's heard by even one who may take heed and be spared the same fate that has befallen me time and time again. But speak I must, friends, for if I can save but one, then I know I have not spoken in vain.

Friends, the enemy walks among us. It lives in our homes. It stalks our playrooms and activity cupboards. It's in our schools. Our recreation centres. It is as much a part of the fabric of parental life as first steps and scraped knees. 

I speak, of course, about Play-Doh. 

Oh sure, on the surface it seems harmless. Beneficial, even. Our children play with it, they create with it. Our children present to us their colourful creations and we delight in the misshapen beauty their tiny hands have formed with as much passion and reverence as the people of Florence bestowed upon David, himself, as Michelangelo first wheeled him into the town square more than half a millennium ago. 

But my friends, the colourful hues of this childhood staple mask a darkness that lies beneath. Because for every colourful creation and malleable blob of manifested childhood imagination, there are traces of forgotten Doh. Pea-sized remnants of abandoned potential, littering our floors and lining our tables. Laying in wait. Biding their time until a careless foot falls upon them, when their true nature is revealed.

Friends, I too have heard those who say that stepping on a Lego block is the purest form of agony that any parent will ever know. I've seen the memes. I've chortled at the humorous posts that aim to educate and arm parents against the threat. And while I grant that an errant foot landing on a colourful plastic building block is, indeed, something to avoid, the pain is orders of magnitude more tolerable than the 10,000-sun burning intensity that is the pain of stepping on a shard of hardened modelling clay. 

The time has come. Battle lines must be drawn. We must drive this enemy out of home after home until there is no refuge and no rest. And we must pursue homes that provide aid or safe haven to this enemy. Every home, in every region, now has a decision to make.

Either you are with us or you are with Play-Doh. 

I trust you will choose wisely. We shall overcome.