Another one for the shame files
CAUGHT BY MORALITY POLICE
A WHILE back I wrote about the horror of when your child blurts out a wildly inappropriate comment about someone else in public, like: “Hey mum, that lady’s got a beard!”
Well, there is a subspecies of the Junior Embarrassment Squad: the Junior Morality Police.
Informed by us parents drilling into them the evils of smoking, littering, swearing, etc, these modern-day witch-hunters scan the city for wrongdoers — preferably adults — to point out and shame.
Naturally, smokers are top of their hit list. Poor old smokers, facing not only the prospect of an early death but also the steely disgust of primary-aged finger-waggers.
“Euw — GROSS! That man’s SMOKING! Doesn’t he know he’s going to DIE?” they mutter at the sight of some pitiful puffer.
My kids were scandalised at the discovery cars still come with cigarette lighters. And they rightly reserve a special place in hell for smokers who chuck their butts out of car windows.
Next, they are eagle-eyed for litterers and will make an elaborate show of picking up after them, announcing: “I’ll just get this litter that THAT LADY OVER THERE DROPPED AND DIDN’T PUT IN THE BIN.”
At home our garbage is subject to stringent environmental scrutiny. “Just pop that in the rubbish, would you?” I ask the four-yearold. “But this goes in the RECYCLING,” he corrects.
Our local Morality Police are now targeting animal welfare, despite their complete uninterest in the care of the family goldfish.
Shortly after Christmas, my six-year-old, the greatest carnivore since T.rex, declared that “meat is murder” and she was henceforth going vegetarian — “except ham”. That lasted 24 hours.
My friend’s nine-year-old confronted her one cool day, pointing at her mother’s feet and admonishing: “Ocelots are endangered, you know.”
The mum looked down, flummoxed, at the offending items — her ugg boots. She pointed out that they were not ocelot but sheep’s wool. Her daughter, undeterred, gave her a hard stare and scolded: “When the buying stops, the killing stops.”
However, the Junior Morality Police themselves are not above corruption.
If anything screams racket, it’s the swear jar. It is a nice little earner the Curse Cops have got going: they do something that makes you cuss, then collect their dirty money when you sling another buck in the swear jar.
I demand an ICAC inquiry.
There’s no escaping from the Junior Morality Police.