Resolving An Important Father And Son Debate

Today, I present to you a post that has been jointly authored with The Omawari-son (who blogs under the name Greenwuf). For years we have debated an important issue and have decided that the only way to resolve it is to bring it to you for a vote. After this introduction is a photo of what we have battled about. After both our arguments, please let us know which of us is correct about that something by voting and commenting.

First, the ground rules.

  1. Each of us has written our argument without seeing what the other has written. Any references we make to what the other may have said are from memory of past verbal debates on the topic.
  2. The Omawari-son emailed me his argument and I pasted it in as written.
  3. The order the arguments were determined by a coin flip.
  4. The decision of the voters will be binding upon us both.

Here is a picture of the item in question. One of us says that this is a child. The other says it is a turtle.

(image via

This Is A Turtle (Omawarisan’s Argument)

My son is wrong. He has been for several years. I don’t hold it against him that he is wrong.

I just hold it against him that he refuses to learn from his ongoing mistake. This important debate has raged between us. I look forward to you helping me prove to him that there is no shame in changing his position to the correct one.

The item in question is, without question, a turtle and not a child. Let’s discuss.

Do You Know Any Green People?

I know a gentleman whose last name is Green. He is not a turtle, but he is quite the squirrel.

People are not green, even if that is their last name. Turtles are green. Human children are not green.

When I’ve pointed this out to the Omawari-son, he presents a nonsensical argument. He says that the color of the plastic is not there to reflect the skin tone of the character represented. Green was just a choice made by the manufacturer.

Come on, does he really think that I don’t know that plastic comes in whatever color best suits the purpose? I was alive when plastic was invented. No one would make a child character and then pick green plastic to represent that character. They wouldn’t, unless that child was a turtle, which he clearly is.

The Turtle As A Metaphor

The point of this device is to let drivers know that children are likely to be playing in the area. Why would you want to do this? So that they will drive slowly, in the interest of the safety of those children.

Who better to represent the concept of slow than a turtle? Turtles have always been the symbol of measured, sure progress. Perhaps you recall the fable of The Tortoise And The Hare. In that story, the Tortoise was able to reach his goal though he did not move as quickly as The Hare.

The message of the turtle character represented here is clear. Move steadily, with caution, and we’ll all be better off.

Meeeee Shellllll, My Belle…

Examine the back of the figure, the part where there is a handle cut in it. I find that very shell like, don’t you? I thought so. Children don’t have shells.

My son counters that this rounded area is not intended to represent a shell. Instead, he sees it as a backpack.

A backpack? What child plays with a backpack on? I know one guy who would not have gone out to play had his father insisted he carry a backpack while doing so. And that same guy will look me in the eye and make that backpack argument with a straight face. I think it was John McEnroe who once said “you cannot be serious”.

John, I think he is.

This Is A Child (The Omawari-son’s Argument)

Hello, I’m the Omawarison also known as Greenwuf, and I believe that the children at play sign is in the shape of a kid, not a turtle. I’m not fully aware of what my old man has told you, but it’s all wrong. Well, that’s my argument. I hope I’ve convinced you.

Wait. Never mind. After considering this tough and important issue for the amount of time it took you to scroll down, I have come up with evidence supporting my claim. Thank you for scrolling.

1- Turtles do not have opposable thumbs

We all have seen these signs. Bright yellow, kid shaped, and holding a flag. This is just one of the reasons the child at play signs are in the shape of a kid. Opposable thumbs. We tend to take these appendages for granted, but when considered, we are one of few species on this earth to have them. You know, besides monkeys. But they aren’t part of this.

Turtles clearly do not have opposable thumbs and thus, would not be able to hold a flag. If a turtle was able to hold such a flag, I’m sure we would notice a turtle being able to grip things. People would take notice of a turtle’s ability to hold a flag. So have we seen a turtle holding anything? Nope. All I’ve seen in terms of turtles with odd bodily alterations are two-headed turtles. Clearly that doesn’t not help.

2- Turtles are no help

Wait, you might say, clearly this turtle is personified. Giving this turtle human traits has given it the ability to hold flags and do people things. Okay, I’ll roll with it. Say it is personified.

Have you ever seen a personified turtle helping anyone? Clearly they are too busy doing other things with their newfound abilities rather than standing around all day holding up a single flag to protect some kid in a neighborhood.

I know I would. Imagine not having the ability to do things like people or even opposable thumbs. Suddenly you have them. What would you think? “Let me go hold this flag for some kid I don’t know all day,” or “Woah. I have thumbs! I’m gonna go try this human thing called ice cream!”

This turtle should put on some pants. (image via University Of Maryland Office Of Off Campus Housing

Just look to The University Of Maryland mascot for example. He is too busy covering himself up with letters to help someone. Hey that’s his prerogative. If I didn’t know what pants were I’d grab the closest thing to cover up too. I just wish he would learn soon.

3- Signs tend to show or take the form of what they are about

Have you ever seen a deer crossing sign that instead had a picture of a tyrannosaurus on it? Should such a sign occur would you think “Oh! A deer crossing. I’d better be careful,” or “What the heck was that?”

The sign is meant to say: “Caution. Kids are playing here. Slow your car.” Not “Slow down for the turtles!” It is a sign made for the safety of kids. Clearly it must represent that which it is attempting to protect. Otherwise, there may be some confusion.

4- Sellers of the sign claim it is in the shape of a kid

Finally I present to you, the most clear piece of evidence. A company that sells the sign claims it is a “Child-like figure.” The company selling them must know what it is. It is their product after all. Furthermore, the site never even hints at a turtle. The description can be found here: .

I thank you for reading my argument on this important debate. Clearly this is an issue that affects us all, and the thing I agree with Omawarisan on is that this is an important issue that affects us all…especially in these hard times.

Now it is time for voting and commentary. Who is right?


58 Comments on “Resolving An Important Father And Son Debate”

  1. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    I apologize but I really have to go with Greenwuf on this. True, it’s not a respectable likeness of a child, but your kid had me at the argument – no one would stop for turtles. It’s true that people barely stop for pedestrians, including children – in fact drivers try to run over most of us, but people make a game out of squashing other innocent things like squirrels, turtles and pumpkins. But if it makes you feel better, Oma, you can tell Greenwuf that I’m your lunatic commenter who never makes a lick of sense.

    • omawarisan says:

      No apologies needed, he presents a formidable (yet wrong) argument!

      You always make sense to me, except here where you associate innocence and pumpkins. Pumpkins have it coming to them.

  2. AiXeLsyD13 says:

    I would say the solution to all of this is to teach your children to not play in the street. That’s just me though.

    (I voted turtle.)

  3. mikegee64 says:

    I too have to side with Greenwuf and not simply because he is my nephew, although I would be right in doing so.

    What is wrong with you? A turtle? C’mon! This sign is intended to warn motorists that children are playing nearby and that they should drive slower and show caution. MOTORISTS… implying that they are addressing adults, not children. Adults do not need to see a whimsical turtle to get the message across. When adults get an e-mail from their boss reminding them to turn in their time sheets, the boss doesn’t include a picture of an elephant near a time clock with a string tied around it’s trunk.

    What is even more troubling, is that you (Oma) look at that photo and see the item as green. It is yellow for crying out loud! I think that thing they put in your neck is seeping something into your blood stream that is going to your brain. Have you learned nothing from Play-Doh and Zip-Loc bags? In order for something that is yellow to be called green, there must be some percentage of blue in there.

    Put another poll up there asking what color the child is!

  4. Christy says:

    So sorry Oma, it’s a kid. Yes, it’s a green kid, maybe he’s not feeling well but insists on playing anyway? Or his great great great grandpa could’ve been a turtle but he definatly has more child like features than turtle features.
    As the mother of 2 college students I have to say this to Greenwulf, you may win this arguement (You’d have my bet if there were a bookie around), but your dad is still usually right on most other things. IF you win, you shouldn’t use this against him on totally non related debates/arguments, it just wouldn’t be fair. Fathers (usually) know best.

  5. Lenore Diane says:

    I so enjoy a good debate between a father and his son.
    You both played nicely in the sandbox, each stating your case well.
    I think it is a child with a turtle on its back.

  6. robincoyle says:

    You are both wrong. It is a frog. Remember Kermit?

  7. omawarisan says:

    85% to 14% at this point.

  8. Laura says:

    I voted “child”, but I wish the options had been more specific. The picture reminds me of a zombie chocolate bunny I received in the mail recently. The bunny was green and had the same overall stylized appearance as this picture. So, clearly, it’s a zombie child. The sign is warning you that there are zombie children playing nearby, so you should drive carefully with your doors locked and windows closed.

  9. Rich Crete says:

    1. Opposable thumbs are not required to hold a stick.
    2. Turtles rarely wear caps.
    3. I have never seen a child or a turtle play with a flag.
    4. If it was a child it would be playing a video game.
    5. How do we know “slow!” is an instruction and not a label?

  10. 1. Greenwuf went straight to the manufacturer because he’s a student and he’s used to investigating things (that’s not the word I’m looking for but I’m NOT a student so I can’t think of it).
    2. Turtles don’t stand on two feet. It’s only bright green to get your attention.
    3. I personally am offended by these signs because who points out the “slow” children like that? I don’t walk around with my nephew and hold a sign over his head that says “Slow child” with an arrow pointing down.

    How rude.

  11. Linda Sand says:

    You need a “neither” category on your poll since you’re both wrong. I know a guy who owns one of these and he calls it the “little green man.” It’s not a child, it’s a grownup nagging all of us to slow down. You can tell it’s a grownup because his ball cap bill is pointing forward.

  12. My Odd Family says:

    If I agree with you do you promise not to make your next parenting point by shooting something? I did not read the arguments. I looked at the sign and thought turtle. Sigh.

  13. List of X says:

    I initially voted for “Child” because Greenwuf included the link and using internet links to prove the point makes any argument irrefutable (that’s how forums and comment sections work).
    But then it dawned on me… It’s not a child… and it’s not a turtle…. IT’S BOTH! It’s a Teenage Ninja Turtle! The greenish color, opposable thumbs, shell/backpack, it all fits! So you are both right!
    And to make my argument irrefutable, I will also include a link:

    • Omawarison says:

      I agree with your reasoning. It seems like a good compromise. The TMNT take action for people’s safety, and are in a way a combination of person and turtle.

    • znsinger says:

      That’ not a teenage ninja TURTLE. He’s a teenage ninja FROG. Some of the time anyway. And no, they’re not the same.

  14. omawarisan says:

    83 – 16 now. I’m turning the tide on him!

  15. If he’s a turtle, one would slow down to rub his nose for good luck. But I don’t see a nose.
    If he’s a child, why would any caring parent intentionally label him “Slow”?
    He’s green, which means “go.” That frightens me.

    I think what I mean to say is, I think it’s best not to get involved in a land war in Asia.

  16. Debbie says:

    Greenwuf has done his research. The manufacturer says this horrid thing is a child-like object. But it’s still green, so I have to vote turtle. You’d think manufacturers could come up with something a bit more kid-friendly if they’re going to represent children. I know for a fact that Domer NEVER was green, nor did he play with a backpack strapped on, nor did he have a funky fin-thing coming out of one leg! Just sayin’.

  17. znsinger says:

    It’s a child. But I SO see the turtle resemblance. Which is a severe failing on the part of the maker. Do I vote with my common sense, or punish these idiot manufacturers by flaunting their unintended but rather vivid mistake? Being occasionally controversial, I’ll say turtle. They have it coming. In fact, I”m tempted to write a review on the product citing this article proving its resemblance to turtles…can I?

  18. We Found Him Captain! says:

    It is a child posed for by Connie Chung at the age of five. The flag advertises a TV program of the future which decides paternity. The name of the program shall be called “Who’s your Daddy”?
    Little did Connie realize she would be married to the guy who would become the “host” of this award winning show.
    PS: Tickets to this program are available as long as you can prove you have a single digit IQ.

  19. Rebecca Stibrany says:

    Blatantly a turtle.

  20. The Jagged Man says:

    I voted that it is a turtle though your son has laid down one well thought out and researched laced argument.
    My reasoning is there never would be chid who would hold still enough to do the job. A turtle? The epitome of patience.
    Loved the post gentlemen!

  21. Oma, what do you have against green people like the Wicked Witch of the West?

    That said, I think it’s a turtle, too.

  22. dufmanno says:

    It’s a man turtle hybrid.
    More importantly, I’ve run over one of these with my giant truck without even seeing it, so someone tell the manufacturer that distracted, entitled ladies in a hurry to get kids from practice need a taller more flashy version to protect the “playing children” of the world.
    You should have seen the horrified faces of onlookers as I dragged its mangled green plastic body out from underneath my tires.

  23. Sonja L. Smith says:

    Oma…my bet’s on OmawariSON simply because.

  24. Betty says:

    I voted turtle for all the reasons you list. But I have to admit, O-son made some good points. I’d be curious to know if age plays a factor in how readers vote.

So, what's on your mind?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s