We know a Scarlet Letter is the historical, puritanical, mark of an adulterer. Do you find the modern day Maryland “Scarlet Pumpkin” below to be enough of a warning against pedophiles and violent sex offenders to be effective on Halloween eve?
ANNAPOLIS — Sex offenders in Maryland have begun receiving paper signs in the mail that read “No candy at this residence,” which they must post on their front doors or possibly face a parole violation.
The signs began arriving last week in the mailboxes of the about 1,200 violent and child-sex offenders across Maryland. The signs were accompanied by a letter explaining they must stay at home, turn off outside lights and not answer the door on Halloween.
Does the Scarlet Pumpkin strike you as a good deterrent against bad behavior or not?
Will the Scarlet Pumpkin have the opposite of its intended effect: The cartoon is inviting to children and, in order to even begin to read the text, you have to come close — closer… Closer… CLOSER!… — to read all those words and try to make sense of the funny, orange, pumpkin face and all those strange, green, all-capitalized words.
Does the pumpkin’s gaping mouth semiotically suggest a sexual sucking?
How many young children trick-or-treating alone will know enough to avoid the house with the strange pumpkin writing in the window?
How many young children understand the word “residence” means house?
What happens if a child, wanting to get as much candy as possible, begs a parent to visit the Scarlet Pumpkin home on the corner? Will the parent say, “Sorry, kid. That’s the pervert’s house!” Is sex education now regulated outside the home and remanded into the gutter as a pumpkin in a picture window?
How could the Scarlet Pumpkin idea be made clearer, and more effective, in the mean city streets surrounding pedophilia suburbia?