Screech Machines Will Keep Teens in Line for Us

Jeanne Sager

screech machineThink you've got the laziest parenting story ever? Just wait. A city in Minnesota has so many parents ignoring their teenagers that they've invested in screech machines to keep the oversized brats from hanging around their parks, making out, drinking, and annoying the rest of us.

So, instead of your high-pitched Mom whine shrieking, "Get outta bed, it's noon for cripes sake," they'll have a noise closer aligned with the buzzing of a mosquito telling them to "get offa that piece of playground equipment, that's for the little kids, for cripes sake!" Way to abdicate, Mom and Dad. Way to abdicate.

If you're wondering what this could really do for these parents, stop scoffing. You've been hearing for years about those secret "high pitched" cellphone rings that only teens can hear? It's the same concept. And I can tell you with certainty that these pitches exist.

Case in point: back in high school (which we will pretend was less long ago than it really was, OK??), my parents had some pesky squirrels crawl into the attic. Considering we were LIVING in the house, they didn't want to use chemical means to drive them out, so they opted for one of those high-pitched machines that only animals are supposed to hear. My mom set it up in the attic, flipped the switch, and went on her merry way. She was fine. My dad was fine. My little brother was fine. It drove me BATTY. I couldn't concentrate on my homework. I couldn't sleep. (P.S. Mom, the reason you could never get rid of those squirrels? I'd turn that stupid thing off at night so I could get four hours of shut-eye. You're welcome a decade and a half later.)

Now, it is entirely possible that my parents were trying to tell me something. But usually they did it the old-fashioned way. By walking into my bedroom and telling me "you're grounded." Sigh. I heard that a lot.

Is it any wonder I don't understand mass groupings of teenage hang-abouts at places they just don't belong? My parents actually knew where I was on a Friday night, and expected me not to be acting like a jerk in public. Am I just showing how long it's been since I could hear one of those screech machines? 

What do you think of these machines? A great idea? Or just another sign that parents aren't parenting?


Image via gemsling/flickr

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