In Search of Dumpster Babies
At the insistence of my six-year-old daughter we took a much needed stroll around the neighborhood. And while engaged in a discussion about a magical, fuchsia and lavender-colored, flying horse named Princess Celestia (see earlier entry), I spotted this.
This made me wonder what would prompt someone to stencil this rather bothersome decree on their dumpster.
Might there be a grizzly history attached to this dumpster? Might it simply be a warning because of past grizzly events? Or might it simply be a random tagging by a conscientious Crip?
In 2001, about a year before Michael and I started the adoption process, "dumpster babies" were on the rise. Now, all fifty states have enacted their own version of the Safe Haven Law, which allows parents to relinquish a newborn baby to any hospital (sometimes a police station or fire station depending on the state), within 72 hours of the child's birth without any threat of being prosecuted.*
One would think finding a baby in a dumpster would be a thing of the past. But if that's the case...if there are programs and release sites available...why am I coming across this edict during my neighborhood constitutional in twenty-twelve?
I went online to find out some abandonment statistics. Instead, I found a whole dumpster baby subculture...
There's the episode of Family Guy in which a dumpster baby twirls his umbilical cord and sings Prom Night Dumpster Baby. There's a blog called I Want a Dumpster Baby, which chronicles the trials and tribulations of a woman trying to get pregnant. Dumpster Baby is a low budget, horror flick, and on reading the IMDb reviews I found out the acting is horrible, the sound abysmal, and the ending utterly predictable; the one bright spot, however, seems to be that "there's a couple decent sets of tits." And then on the punk album The Unclaimed Freight Band, the band Dumpster Babies sing mildly humorous yet atonal songs including: Bung Hole, Where is My Duet (With Tony Bennett), and Phone Douche.
This was getting me nowhere. I went to Google Images and quizzically found dumpsters stenciled in the exact same manner, all over Los Angeles, making me think it was less an urban proclamation and more a publicity gimmick.
What started out as a legitimate concern became a peculiar commentary of today's culture. And because preposterousness seems to be the order of the day look at the definition and usage I found for "dumpster baby" when I went to Urban Dictionary:
The Dumpster Babies were an elite fighting force in the war on terror. Their members were comprised of the bastard children of central Texas prostitutes. They were raised by the state and taught a variety of complex fighting styles. The trademark look of the Dumpster Babies were their horrendous mustaches and mirrored aviator sunglasses.
Mohammed: They killed the men, sold the children and went family style on the women.
Habeeb: Fuckin' Dumpster Babies!
*National Safe Haven Alliance would be a good place to start if you have questions about what relinquishment services your state offers.