Sunday, January 27, 2008

Lesson 11: Coca-Cola is not bad for your children

That's right - it doesn't rot their teeth, it doesn't contain tons of sugar, and it makes an excellent bedtime drink. How could something with such cute adverts (have you seen the one with the little people inside the Coke machine?) be bad?

Lesson 10: Playboy is just another brand

Allowing your young daughter to wear Playboy-branded clothes (a bikini, perhaps, while she's soaking up some cancer rays in Spain in September) is not encouraging the objectification of women. And what harm can a pencil-case do? It might as well be Hello Kitty.

Lesson 9: school is not as important as cheap holidays

There's nothing wrong with taking your teenagers out of school for a couple of weeks when they're studying for their GCSEs if it's cheaper than going during the school holidays. The Costa del Sol waits for no man.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Lesson 8: the Naughty Step is for fascists

It's practically corporal punishment. You wouldn't take a belt to your child, would you? So how can you sanction the isolation-torture of the Naughty Step? Just keep on blackmailing your child with promises of sweets and treats for good behaviour. He won't grow up spoilt. Or obese.

Lesson 7: your noisy children are entitled to sit in the train's designated "Quiet Coach"

Because the "Quiet Zone" is to avoid all those pesky people with obnoxious ringtones who get calls every five minutes, and people who like to turn their MP3 players up ridiculously loud, despite their tinny earphones. Or even youths who insist on playing poor-quality MP3s out loud on their phones. It doesn't mean the coach is meant to be generally quiet. Just ignore those angry-looking people who keep glaring at in your direction. Nobody expects you to keep your kids quiet - that would be completely unreasonable. If they have a problem, they can always move to another carriage.

Lesson 6: anime is just cartoons from the foreign

Anime is never aimed at grown-ups. It's a cartoon - how can it be? It's just in a foreign language. It'll probably help your little precious develop precocious language skills. And, of course, watching cartoon violence isn't damaging to your children - never mind whether it's Tom & Jerry or a samurai fight complete with blood-spattering. Therefore, it is fine to let your children watch Cartoon Network at 10pm.

Lesson 5: all musicals are suitable for children

That's right. Musicals never contain adult themes, violence, bad language or scenes of a sexual nature. Musicals are good, wholesome family fun. They are universal - suitable for all. If an usher tries to suggest otherwise - say, for example, that Cabaret isn't really suitable for under 15s, and you probably don't want to take little Tarquin to see it - he or she is WRONG.

Lesson 4: health clubs are not too exclusive for your children

Contrary to what they may believe, people do pay extortionate monthly fees for the membership of a private health club to enjoy changing rooms full of children - screaming, running around, staring at their boobs as they change into their sports bras. They neither resent you nor feel uncomfortable, and neither should you. They're definitely not thinking you ought to piss off down to the local leisure centre with your brats.