My best friend in the whole wide Albuquerque, Mat, my best gal and I just watched a VHS “Tricky People” by a Jan Wagner. We’ve been doing the “Best of the Worst” thrift store scouring & viewing of the plague of 1990s instructional videos that anyone with a VHS point-and-shoot camera could pimp out for pennies through vanity distribution.

I want to commend and congratulate Ms. Wagner on her fine, if haunting, video with her Snoopy’s Woodstock on growth-hormone injections every hour on the hour leading the charge of “Take three steps back” brand recognition sloganizing.

I want to commend and congratulate Ms. Wagner, although this is a bait and switch impossibility because this “Tricky People” video (which serves as an approximately 40 minute infomercial for a book I now have jetting to me via eBay) is one of the most bogus, irresponsible snake oil VHS tapes (copyright 1998) in the entire history of ever. It can’t even fall back on the defense of cheap production. This VHS schlock has a script and production budget. It was planned, rehearsed, and pimped out as a way to keep our kids safe.

Who is Jan Wagner? A quick Google poke shows there are many web presences for her, from a very slick “” website to an apparently abandoned blog under the name of “Around Jan’s Kitchen Table.”

Who is her most bestest testimonial supporter “Tiki Hubbard”? Is Alabama the better for the “Tricky People” curriculum? What is PACT? I’m not saying this is contrived support, but I am strongly, explicitly surmising and implying this is contrived support. Let’s find out together (this means I’m researching the heck out of all of this).

In my five years as an active peer advocate for those with mental health issues (including myself), the horrifying regularity of peers who survived sexual abuse as a child is anecdotally and metrically disturbing, disgusting, and disheartening. Until recently, I didn’t speak of my own sexual abuse at the hands of a trusted neighbor “friend.” I’ve only recently spoken of this with my counselor of four years, within the past two months. I’ve never spoken of this before, not for four decades.

I’m speaking now. And when I start speaking, it’s a universal impossibility to stop me from making my point. Ask anyone at the mental health meetings I attend, ask anyone who sits on these executive boards with me.

Who is Jan Wagner? What is her expertise and authority? What course work led her to conjure forth Yello Dyno? She is someone who now interests me.

Her 1-888-YelloDyno phone line invites you to press “0” to talk to a representative, it has you listen to canned muzak, and it instructs you to leave a message for a callback… never once mentioning Kidz Idz, Yello Dyno, Can’t Fool Me album, Fun Way to Safe Kids activity book, Child Security I.D. Card Kit, Raising Safe Kids in an Unsafe World book (the apparent kickstart in 1994 for her numerous products)… or even the “Safety Rules!” jumbo poster. Give the number a call. It almost seems tricky.

Who is Jan Wagner? She is a new hobby for me.

I am appalled, I am intrigued, and I am invested. To me, her Yello Dyno curriculum is the epitome of pseudo-psychological “it sounds good and I sound authoritative so it must work” advisory irresponsibility, unfitting of the true horrors of sexual abuse as a child. I’m pretty bright, I’m very tenacious, and I survived. She has become a new hobby for me. Stay tuned.


“Non-fearful, musically-based products and programs build confidence and educate children on how to protect themselves from child abuse, abduction, …”

It sticks in that part of the brain for “fight or flight” … which also includes “freeze,” Ms. Wagner. I question your scientific scholarship.