This story is now published as part of the anthology ‘Loyal and True’.
We have all seen the signs, but why does this affliction strike such quiet middle class neighbourhoods?
It sounds terrible but, you would expect slow children to inhabit deprived neighbourhoods.
Alcoholic parents, poor education and rough housing but no; it seems that the nicer the suburb the more likely you are to find them.
Your first hint is obviously the street signs; but what lies behind this phenomenon?
A closer examination shows that some children in these suburbs escape, because there is no shortage of educated ‘Yuppies’. [Are they still known as Yuppies?]
Some researchers have put forward the theory that BMWs have something to do with it.
Possibly some form of radiation emitted only by BMWs, affecting the sperm of their male occupants.
Most scientists have rejected this theory since it was revealed that the study got it’s funding based on the most popular type of car found in the affected neighbourhoods.
Bottled water was considered, as was a taste for strange furniture. These too have been discounted.
The most likely theory suggests that it is as simple as too much income.
Rich parents buy their children whatever electronic gadget they ask for. The children sit for endless hours and become ‘slow’.
This answer is obviously too simple but it is a good start.
Further research will be necessary.
In the meantime, someone suggested changing all the offensive street signs to ‘Bright Children’, but even the parents with slow children knew that this was just a band-aide measure and was only going to gloss over the problem.
The most radical theory to date suggested that ‘slow children’ were actually the next step in man’s evolution.
To date this theory has met with derision, but as any slow child will tell you, moving slowly and being in the world while having the time to notice how wonderful it is, feels like a quantum leap forward.
This author thinks that they might have something there, but for the moment, I’m undecided.