PC Gone Mad

Time for a rant…


Yes I am shouting! What sparked this outburst is news from Australia that Santas at shopping malls this Christmas have been instructed not to say “ho ho ho” as it is derogatory to women and might frighten children (see here and here). Good grief people! In that context “ho ho ho” is NOT derogatory at all and the suggested alternative “ha ha ha” is far more sinister (think about the situation for a minute…).

The saving grace for kiwi kids is that Santas here will be allowed to say “ho ho ho” (as reported here). And rightly so.

While on the subject, too many kids these days are wrapped in cotton wool. Yes I’m precious about my boy on occasion, but he’s allowed to play in the dirt, climb anything and taste everything. Society these days is robbing kids the fun of being a kid. Yes we need boundaries for children, but not at the expense of learning through trial and error and having fun.

One of the best summaries I’ve read about being a kiwi kid can be found on the Facebook group “I was a Kiwi Kid!” (quoted after the jump below). Enjoy reading it, then stop and think how much of that has been robbed from the next generation…

As for the PC thing, when Santa can’t say “ho ho ho” it’s a very sad day for our society.

From Facebook

I was a Kiwi Kid!

You know that you were a Kiwi Kid if you can remember these things…

Hide and seek/spotlight in the park, the corner dairy, hopscotch, four square, go carts, cricket in front of the garbage bin and inviting everyone on your street to join in, skipping (double dutch), gutterball, handstands, elastics, bullrush, catch and kiss, footy on the best lawn in the street, slip’n’slides, the trampoline with water on it (or a sprinkler under it), hula hoops, jumping in puddles with gumboots on, mud pies and building dams in the gutter. The smell of the sun and fresh cut grass.

‘Big bubbles no troubles’ with Hubba Bubba bubble gum. A topsy. Mr Whippy cones on a warm summer night after you’ve chased him round the block. 20 cents worth of mixed lollies lasted a week and pretending to smoke “cigarettes” (the lollies) was really cool!.. A dollars’ worth of chips from the corner take-away fed two people (AND the sauce was free!!).

Being upset when you botched putting on the temporary tattoo from the Bubblegum packet, but still wearing it proudly. Watching Saturday morning cartoons: ‘The Smurfs’, ‘AstroBoy’, ‘He-man’, ‘Captain Caveman’, ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’, ‘Jem’ (trulyoutrageous!!), ‘Super d”, and ‘Heeeey heeeeey heeeeeeey it’s faaaaaaat Albert’. Or staying up late and sneaking a look at the “AO” on the second telly, being amazed when you watched TV right up until the ‘Goodnight Kiwi!’

When After School with Jason Gunn & Thingie had a cult following and What Now was on Saturday mornings! When around the corner seemed a long way, and going into town seemed like going somewhere. Where running away meant you did laps around the block because you weren’t allowed to cross the road?? A million mozzie bites, wasp and bee stings.

Goodies & baddies, cops and robbers, cowboys and indians, riding bikes until the streetlights came on and catching tadpoles in horse troughs.

Going down to the school swimming pool when you didn’t have a key and your friends letting you in, drawing all over the road and driveway with chalk. Climbing trees and building huts out of every sheet your mum had in the cupboard (and never putting them back folded). Walking around in bare feet, no matter what the weather.

Running till you were out of breath. Laughing so hard that your stomach hurt. Pitching the tent in the back/front yard (and never being able to find all the pegs). Jumping on the bed. Singing into your hair brush in front of the mirror, making mix tapes…

Sleepovers, pillowfights, spinning round, getting dizzy and falling down was cause for the giggles. The worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team. Water balloons were the ultimate weapon. Weetbix cards pegged on the spokes transformed any bike into a motorcycle. Collecting WWF and garbage pail kids cards.

Eating raw jelly and raro, making homemade lemonade and sucking on a Rad, a traffic light popsicle, or a Paddle Pop!

You knew everyone in your street – and so did your parents! It wasn’t odd to have two or three “best friends” and you would ask them by sending a note asking them to be your best friend.

You didn’t sleep a wink on Christmas eve and tried (and failed) to wait up for the tooth fairy. When nobody owned a pure-bred dog. When 50c was decent pocket money. When you’d reach into a muddy gutter for 10c.

When nearly everyone’s mum was there when the kids got home from school. When it was considered a great privilege to be taken out to dinner at the local Chinese restaurant or Cobb’n’Co with your family. When any parent could discipline any kid, or feed her or use him to carry groceries and nobody, not even the kid, thought a thing of it. When being sent to the principal’s office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited a misbehaving student at home.

Remember when decisions were made by going “eeny-meeny-miney-mo” or dib dib’s-scissors, paper, rock. “Race issue” meant arguing about who ran the fastest. Money issues were handled by whoever was the banker in Monopoly.

Terrorism was when the older kids were at the end of your street with pea-shooters waiting to ambush you, or the neighbourhood rottie chased you up a tree!

The worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was boy/girl germs, and the worst thing in your day was having to sit next to one. Where bluelight disco’s were the equivalent to a Rave, and asking a boy out meant writing a ‘polite’ note getting them to tick ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

Having a weapon in school meant being caught with a slingshot. Your biggest danger at school was accidentally getting caught up in a game of bullrush.

Scrapes and bruises were kissed and made better. Taking drugs meant Scoffing orange-flavoured chewable vitamin C’s, or swallowing half a Panadol. Ice cream was considered a basic food group. Going to the beach and catching a wave was a dream come true. Boogie boarding in the white wash made you the next Kelly Slater. Abilities were discovered because of a “double- dare”.

Older siblings were the worst tormentors, but also the fiercest protectors.


[WebCite links for news stories: here, here and here]


About Chris
A self confessed geek, meteorologist (aka weather forecaster), father & proud kiwi mainlander living, working & playing in Wellington, New Zealand.

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