I watched an animated movie with my 4-year-old daughter tonight and, as it started, I noticed the MPAA rating as it flashed by: RATED ‘G’ FOR MILD PERIL. For some reason the phrase MILD PERIL got stuck in a kind of processing loop in my head. Maybe because I’ve always thought of peril as a binary state: either I’m in peril or I’m, you know, okay. I never really thought of it as something that needed to be quantified.
So what does it mean to find oneself in ‘mild’ peril? As I considered this question, I realized that I would be helpless to stop myself from spending the rest of this movie devising Peril Scales. Like this:
- Mild peril: We’re out of coffee.
- Moderate peril: We’re out of water.
- Severe peril: We’re out of air.
- Mild peril: Angry badger.
- Moderate peril: Angry wolverine.
- Severe peril: Angry elephant.
- Mild peril: Sir Robin.
- Moderate peril: Sir Lancelot.
- Severe peril: The Black Knight. (Alright, we’ll call it a draw.)
You get the idea.
By the end of our movie, the main characters had been close enough to an exploding car to lose eyebrows and/or hearing, nearly run over by a delivery truck and then a train, and were nearly killed in a burning building. If the MPAA calls that ‘mild’ peril, then I’d say best not to find yourself in a bar fight with any of their voting members.
But whatever. My daughter loved the movie, and now we have something to watch that isn’t Frozen.