Idiot surfing!

by Janelle Hanchett


I have a new favorite past-time. It’s called “idiot surfing.” It involves reading parenting chat-boards and Facebook comments in response to questions involving mothering. It’s not really a past-time, but I do in fact engage in the activity with relative frequency. I don’t really know why. I mean, I know where it’s going to lead and it’s all bad. I see the question, I know I’m going to hate some of the answers…I know I’m going to have moments filled with rage, moments filled with desperation at the plight of humanity, moments filled with “good God I don’t even know you, yet somehow, I fucking hate you” – and yet, I read any way. So I decided I might as well generate some good (or something productive, at least) out of this particular sadism.

Therefore, this blog post. I have a feeling this won’t be the only one.

Recently I saw the following question on Facebook: “Do you allow your kids to have toy guns? Why or why not?”

And here were some of the responses that generated one or all of the aforementioned visceral reactions:

  1. “No. My husband and I both agree that guns represent violence against people and animals and those are equally abhorrent to us.” – Obviously violence against people and animals is abhorrent. But really? Do you have to say shit like that? It just sounds so pretentious and holier-than-thou. I bet the person that wrote this is one of those really loud vegans (oh come on, you know the type), with a “Do no harm” bumper sticker on her car, which is ironic, considering driving a car in the first place is, well, doing harm. Carbon footprint, bitch. Plus, do guns really represent violence? Or is it the person behind the gun, pulling the trigger? Is a gun, alone in the wilderness, still a gun? Hmmmmm. Deep thoughts.
  2. 2. “We have a squirt gun. but we dont call it a gun – its a “squirter”. No guns!”– Um, hey genius. You can call it whatever the fuck you want, but it’s still a gun. Does calling it “squirter” diminish any of its gun-ness? I could call war a “drum circle” but I don’t think that would help any, now would it? And, you might want to consider the occasional, strategic use of apostrophes.
  3. 3. “Uh, no.” – Translation: “How could you even ask me such a question? What kind of idiot do you think I am? Everybody with even the slightest sense of perspective, of depth, of good parenting, would never even think of such a thing as allowing a kid to play with a TOY GUN. Pssshht. I’m so above that I can’t even respond.”
  4. “I don’t stop my kids from playing with them. But often I give them ideas of how to use them as energy healing guns! Where they shoot loving healing energy at their target, or shoot beams of zero point energy to stop and move things :)” – I forgot the other reaction: vomiting a little in my mouth. Fucking healing energy. Oh shit. There it is again. *hacking noise*

I’m sending all of you some healing energy. It’s called “go idiot surfing and immediately feel better about yourself.”

And, next on the list, we have a quick one. Here’s the question: “How do you teach your kids about Earth Day?”

And the only response we need to highlight…

“Homesteading- the same thing we do every day But I did make homemade bread this morning and three kinds of jelly: spicy tomato, dandelion, and mint (the last two made from foraged plants!)” – What the FUCK is ‘homesteading?’ And you baked homemade bread and crafted three kinds of jelly from “foraged plants?” You’re a damn liar. Stop lying. You know you went to Grocery Outlet.

Foraged plants.

Kids will probably end up weed dealers.

But it’s cool. Cause it’s ‘homesteading.’

Whatever the fuck that is.

So…what do ya think of my new past-time?

  • Wendy

    I absolutely LOVE your new pastime!!! Hilarious!

  • Lala

    As usual, another insightful, cut through the crap, post. I am surrounded by these vegans (or granola types) and (as extension to your first point) I love the vegans who claim to BE vegans based on principle (they think eating animals is cruel and morally wrong). They walk around superior to all the carnivores out there, yet don’t seem to think there is any conflict in wearing their beaded, leather purses and sandals. This is what you call hypocrisy and it seems to be everywhere.

    Interesting post!


  • Dee

    LOL. We foraged wild blackberries the other day. Or you know, just picked them from a bush we saw. Whichever. I enjoy reading FB and message board drama too. It’s reality tv on the internets…

  • Shan


  • Christina

    Holly crap Janelle…. That is some funny shit.

    For some reason I instantly think of a ‘friend’ of mine who always says shit like this when talking to parents. Then when your at her house you see her 3 year old drinking Coke out of a 2 liter and 2 empty bottles of wine on the floor from the night before.

    This same person actually told me she was, “appalled” that I fed my 6 month old avocado. Wha?

    I think of her as a fake-vegan.

  • Margie

    I often remind Bennett that we don’t shoot at people, only animals that we intend to eat or use their hides. He, of course, knows that he is only pretending to shoot, so he tells me that he’s pretending that the person he’s shooting is an animal that he’s planning on eating. I love that kid and the fact that at age 5, he can spot a heaping pile of bs.

  • Lysa

    Hilarious! You help keep me sane! Thank you!

  • Michelle

  • Margaret (Nanny Goats)

    I think you will drive yourself insane reading such superfluous pot-stirring nonsense. I’m not sure why toy guns are considered bad because 30 years ago, you can bet that every single kid had a toy gun and a certain percentage (e.g. the majority) of them did not kill someone later in life. And I’m probably going out on a limb here, but I’m thinking that reduction in ownership of toy guns today has not affected that percentage one bit. The majority of childhood toy gun owners still do not grow up to kill people.

  • jess


    Spot on, as usual, and hilarious. I think of it as the prig-face…..that self righteous look that people get when theyre being total parental assholes.

  • dani

    If these posts are part of that hobby, then I’m in full support of idiot surfing.

    My dad gave me a 9mm Glock as a wedding gift. Just sayin’.

    Those vegans are why I refuse to claim the title.

  • Lesley

    Fantastic Post! I think it ought to be a theme – do the idiot serfing for us and report back weekly.

    I like to shoot guns – very much!

  • apostrophe user

    Strategic use of apostrophes. AWESOMENESS.

    Grocery Outlet. MORE awesomeness.

    You make me laugh, and for that, I love you. Well not JUST for that, but you know…

  • Motpg

    I don’t know. Poison ivy jelly? Maybe some nightshade tarts? What is she really up to?

    When my kids were in pre-school the teachers told us, “Toy guns aren’t allowed. But, it doesn’t really matter because they will make one out of anything from a stick to Lego’s.” And it’s true. When my daughters were younger they created an arsenal completely crafted from things they foraged in the front yard.

  • Sara

    Husband and I went looking for a toy gun for his Halloween costume and it was nearly impossible to find one. Swords, light sabers and nerf darts in abundance but no toy guns. We ended up finding one in the only sheriff playset Walmart had in the month that we looked. Apparently demonic looking space aliens are way more acceptable (until you step on one of their little hatchets and get it lodged in your foot, then that toy guy is looking better).

  • Trackbacks

  • Trackback from Idiot Surfing, Volume II - renegade mothering
    Tuesday, 6 September, 2011

    […] Idiot Surfing, Volume II by renegademama var addthis_product = 'wpp-261'; var addthis_config = {"data_track_clickback":true,"ui_508_compliant":true};So that didn’t take long. We already have material for a new volume of Idiot Surfing. […]

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