Tuesday, 12 September 2006

Irresponsible Child Experts

by Charles Pooter

A bunch of busy-bodies have written to the Telegraph, bemoaning the fact that, amongst other things, kids don't play outside any more. As far as I'm concerned we should thank our lucky stars the little blighters are locked up inside playing Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

Here is incomplete list of the evil things that "people we know" got up to as children, whilst engaging in "real play" (as the letter calls it). Note that all the perps come from reasonably respectable backgrounds and none of them were regarded as "wrong-uns". If anything, they were all swots:

  1. Waterbombing hundreds of innocent bystanders.
  2. Wasting NHS resources by falling out of trees, getting run over, etc.
  3. Stealing footballs from the training ground of a professional football club.
  4. Taunting the groundsman of a professional football club until he wasted his entire day chasing us on his little tractor.
  5. House-breaking.
  6. Burning down a tree (it survived).
  7. Setting up a lethal, Heath-Robinson, booby-trap in an abandoned double-glazing workshop (no one was hurt).
  8. Advertising, far and wide, a fictional party at a boy's house on a date when his parents were away.
  9. Wasting police time (see point 8).
  10. Much mischief with fireworks.
  11. Stealing a fire extinguisher from a church.
  12. Pushing a window out of the top deck of a bus so that it smashed onto the street below.
  13. Stinkbombs (still a classic).
  14. Whole summers of hedge-hopping.
  15. Unregulated bicycle mayhem.
  16. Shoplifting.
  17. Setting fire to bins.
  18. Setting fire to so many different objects within a concrete tunnel, in a playground, that the tunnel itself eventually disintegrated.
  19. Huge, sprawling games of manhunt (like hide and seek, but with violence) that spanned whole days and neighbourhoods and included many unwilling participants.
  20. Stone fights.
  21. Tramp-baiting.
  22. "Knock-a-door-run" on an industrial scale.
  23. Ordering taxis and pizzas to unwilling customers.
  24. Ordering pizzas to ourselves and then not paying.
  25. Catapults.
  26. Ordering refuge skips to unwilling customers.
  27. Calling Canadian UFOlogist Stanton Friedman from a phone box and pretending to be an alien using a toy electronic voice changer.
  28. Stealing every single traffic sign from a small English village.
  29. Throwing tree branches onto a road until cars could no longer pass.
  30. Fun with airguns.
  31. Making a nuisance of ourselves on a municipal golf course.
  32. Knocking on the door of a local eccentric, arguing with him about politics and then laughing and running away.
  33. Knocking on the door of a local eccentric, insisting he play his guitar and sing one of his topical, satirical folk songs and then laughing and running away.
  34. Turning up to a parish council meeting and then laughing and running away.
  35. Dangerous, irresponsible conduct in a swimming pool.

Don't judge the childish perpetrators of this evil too harshly. None of them are proud of what they did. Think back carefully. If you played outside, away from your parents eyes, I'm sure you were a little bastard too. Why not add your own youthful outrages in the comments? Thank God kids are now under lock and key where they can only engage in virtual atrocities.


Anonymous said...

I am shocked AND appalled. Mrs Hoffman

Anonymous said...

Ah, the look on your face when you got home after recieving detention for throwing sticks on the road. "Don't tell mum and dad" Ahahahahahaha!!!!!

As rebellious as a CAT.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:01:

At least I never let pot dealers in the house when the parents were away.

Anonymous said...

I never. You must be thinking of someone else.