Breaker breaker one-nine, this is pretty awkward, over.
When Jennifer Childress, of Kent, Wash., overheard truck drivers chatting on her 9-year-old stepdaughter's Disney Princess Royal Walkie Talkies, she was more than a little concerned.
"We picked up some things that she shouldn't be hearing, or any child should be hearing,” Childress told Fox affiliate KCPQ-TV, adding that the truckers' conversation featured racial slurs and crude language.
The Disney walkie-talkies in question broadcast on only one frequency, 27.145 Mhz, which sits perilously close to the north-south freeway trucker's channel at 27.165 MHz. Given that the family lives near Interstate 5, a major north-south trucking route on the west coast, interference is a clear possibility.
In 2008, Deborah Pancaro, a mother in West Virginia, had a similar experience with a Fisher-Price walkie-talkie she'd given to her 3-year-old son. She told The Associated Press at the time she was appalled to hear truckers saying "really explicit things," including "talking about being in a strip bar" and suggesting "we ... go smoke some weed."
A Fisher-Price spokesperson told the AP that radio walkie-talkies can operate only on a limited number of frequencies and may occasionally experience interference. The company apologized for the incident, and Walmart ultimately discontinued the toy.
As for the Childress family, they say they plan to file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission.