20 Pages

Me and My Monkey

ByWhat’s Hiding in the Security State

In the impulse purchase section next to the cash registers of my neighborhood drugstore is a spindle of disposable camera packages that look a bit whimsical. Screaming “child-friendly,” the cartons, on closer inspection, make a travesty of the term. Not at all the cameras for kids I imagined them to be, these were “Child Safety Camera I.D. Kits” that contained a camera for taking mug and full body shots of up to three children, including their particular birth marks or unique characteristics; three “DNA bags,” otherwise known as “ziplocs,” for storing a lock of hair (missing from my kit); three “personal prole sheets” for recording vital statistics such as the child’s seemingly unchanging height and weight as well as their dental chart and medical conditions; and three “non-toxic ink strips” for ngerprinting. Dragnet comes home.