Children's Hours


by Houghton Piker

WHO DOESN'T LIKE CHILDREN? Personally, I adore them, I really do. Kids are charming, funny, amazing. Really. When they are somewhere else. I hereby advocate for children's hours in all public places — museums, restaurants, rest rooms, airplane flights, amusement parks, theaters, etc. Let them run, roam, drool, sniffle, and poo on themselves into oblivion, as long as they do it when adults are not around.

There is precedence for this kind of legislation. Many state governments have banned smoking in public places because it is seen as harmful to others, correct? Well, I say children are harmful to adults, especially to me. For example, a bar is an adults' temple, a house of joy, a church of tipsy. Some little cheeser running around on the beer-stained floor may topple already balance-challenged adults. And a drooler ogling you wide-eyed over his or her maman's shoulder does not help keep the tequila down. Honestly, what IDIOT brings their kid into a bar? Does Little Emma or Christopher really need to be exposed to the alcoholically-altered behavior of adults en masse? Let him see daddy transform from morose to really funny to overly affectionate to violent and to morose again at home! "Daddy, why is Mommy crying again?!" Then there are restaurants. How can you enjoy a meal when some tow-headed toddlers keeps crying about the mean man making mean faces at them? And it is phenomenal how many times these whiners need to be told that they do not serve Chicken McNuggets at this establishment. The repetition of these kinds of debates surely risks an epidemic of adults' sticking forks in their own eyes just to be relieved of the suffering.

These separate hours for children must be set in stone. First of all, they must convenient for non-children, since we were here first. I recommend the hours of 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. I understand the little germ carriers get up quite early anyway. That should be more than enough time for their daily requirements of yelling, fighting, and tooting. Second, children seen outside of these hours would be, of course, subject to heavy fines. The amount of money collected from such fines would do wonders for government coffers, to improve parks, upgrade infrastructure, and care for the poor. A new period of enlightenment might be reached! Third, the parents of these children must of course be present during children's hours. Not only are they the most likely individuals to actually pay the finds, but also they had the temerity:

• To copy and paste their apparently irreplaceable experiences, values, and dress codes;
• To want to add their no-doubt highly evolved genetic material to the sum of the species;
• To aspire to immortality through the spreading of their own particular brand.

For such arrogance, there should be a price. A price they all have to pay together (as well as the previously mentioned fines). You, parents, you get to attempt to appreciate the sublime beauty of Mona Lisa while your offspring or someone else's begs to be taken home to see a SpongeBob video immediately.

I would not advocate for this legislation so vehemently if American children were not so thoroughly spoiled, sticky-fingered, and smelling sourly of entitlement, hand sanitizer, and yesterday's Chucky Cheese outing.

Many adults who prefer children be elsewhere may be afraid to stand up for their rights. After all, for some reason, children enjoy special dispensations in politics in this country. Law after law is enacted for their protection. (Alas, for their education, not so much.) We must stand together. So, I say: children's hours now!

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