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Published June 07, 2011, 12:00 AM

Parenting Perspectives: 'Cab for kids' business concept can’t fail

I think if I were a young entrepreneur I would start a business that preyed on us overscheduled, weary parents who run after our children from one end of town to the other.

By: Devlyn Brooks, INFORUM

I think if I were a young entrepreneur I would start a business that preyed on us overscheduled, weary parents who run after our children from one end of town to the other.

All you’d need is a fleet of professional-looking minivans that contained all of the latest electronic gear.

The idea came to me on a recent Saturday when I was waiting outside a local hotel for my son, the Bug, to finish a birthday party for one of his friends. I had just come from dropping off my teenager at the movies and it made no sense to drive home before picking up Bug, who was scheduled to go to his own movie after the birthday party. So, there I was, sitting in the parking lot, killing time.

Previously in the day it had been other stops for other appointments. And the night before it was baseball practice, a sleepover and another movie. It felt like I’d been shuttling kids since the moment I got off work on Friday.

Now admittedly, I’m a bit jealous of the kids because in my day had I asked my mom for a ride to any of my activities she would have pointed to my bike and asked if my legs were broken. But times are different and I accept that.

However, imagine if you had another option: Overbooked kids and you need some help? Call Lil’ Johnny Cab!

With the touch of an app on your smartphone you could schedule pick-ups for Johnny’s soccer practice and Suzy’s music lessons and every social, athletic and artistic event in between. Your little songbirds would be picked up and dropped off on time, and safely delivered home to your nest by a host of well-trained, courteous valets.

Your worries about making everyone’s schedule work would be alleviated and the kids would be thoroughly entertained with the plethora of electronic gadgetry they’d find in their shuttles. Besides, the kids would no longer have to worry about their friends seeing what their parents drive because everyone would be dropped off by Lil’ Johnny Cab.

No muss, no fuss. Everyone wins.

Yep, if I were a younger man, I might give it a go, dig around for some economic development money. Take my shot. After all, America is the land of the entrepreneur.

But, unfortunately, I’m currently too busy carting kids around to have the time to draw up a business plan. Sigh … my loss.

Anyway, when I pitched the idea to my teenager, he queerly looked at me and said, “Who’d want their children picked up by a guy that’s the size of an NFL lineman, has a shaved head and wears a goatee?”

Point taken.

So I’ll leave it up to another young soul who has the wherewithal to outfit the necessary vehicles and the patience to handle squabbling siblings.

I know there’s gold in dem der hills; just remember to thank me when you’ve made your first million.


Devlyn Brooks works for Forum Communications Co. He lives with his

two sons in Moorhead.

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