The Five Year Old Who Was Invoiced For Failing To Attend His Classmate’s Birthday Party

Enough of this, pussy footing around, I’m declaring an undeclared war on political correctness. Yeah, I know it sounds like a contradiction. But, if I’m not prepared to put up my dooks, and fight against this crass piece of insidiousness, no one else will. Not many anyway. What do I mean by political correctness? Really dumb decisions, like attempting to rewrite the well known, children’s fantasy, nursery rhyme, Baa-Baa black sheep, on the grounds that it promotes racial stereotyping. Get over it. It’s a nursery rhyme and nothing more. I ended up having a huge online dispute with a woman who, point blank refused to accept it could be nothing more than a form of entertainment for children. Baa baa humbug.

Here’s another example of PC, that’s enough to get people like me, positively raging against the dying of the light of common sense.

A five-year-old British boy was handed an invoice for a “Child’s Party No Show Fee” and threatened with court action after missing his schoolmate’s birthday party so that he could spend the day with his grandparents.

Torpoint Nursery and Infant School in southern England said that one of their teachers had been asked to pass on an envelope from the birthday boy’s mother, to youngster Alex Nash, as he returned from the Christmas break.

Inside the envelope, father Derek Nash found a demand for £15.95 ($29.40), in the form of an invoice that appeared as if it came from Plymouth Ski Slope, the venue of the “slide and ride” children’s party that included three toboggan rides, a hot meal, ice cream, jelly and balloons. In case you are interested.

“It was a proper invoice with full official details and even her bank details on it,” Nash said. But the bill has not been paid and the family is now threatened with action in the small claims court, which deals with minor civil disputes.

“The money isn’t the issue. It’s the way she went about trying to get the money from me,” Nash said.

The author of the invoice is Julie Lawrence, who is also the organiser of the birthday party on behalf of her son. Her attitude was less than sympathetic to five year old Alex Nash’s non attendance. “All details were on the party invite. They had every detail needed to contact me,” Lawrence said.

But in their defence the Nash family claimed to have lost Lawrence’s contact details.

Of course, the meat in the sandwich, in this storm in a teacup, ( how about that for a couple of mixed metaphors ) is Plymouth Ski Slope, the venue that hosted the birthday bash. The ski slope manager was at pains to point they were not in the business of issuing invoices for people who fail to show up. More importantly, they were not in the habit of issuing invoices to five-year-old children.

At this point, allow me to make some general observations. The trouble with this kind of lunacy is that it becomes a breeding ground for even more lunacy. For some reason everything seems to turn to custard when children reach school age and they start making school friends. Parents have been known to enter a competition for who can throw the most expensive and elaborate children’s birthday party. What matters most is who will come, how many attendees, and whether the birthday host child can expect invitations in return. Picture this piece of A grade lunacy in Sweden where an eight-year-old handed out birthday party invites to all but two of his classmates, which prompted the insanely PC class teacher to confiscate all of the invitations on the grounds of discrimination.

Ok. Let’s just pretend for a moment that the invoice sent to five-year-old Alex Nash, is a serious legal demand. Under the law, what chance does Julie Lawrence have of recovering the amount she claims she is owed for five-year-old Alex’s no show? I would say about a snowball’s chance in hell. Make that around the same time hell freezes over. According to my credible legal sources, any claim would be on the basis that a contract had been created, which included a clause that a “no show” fee would apply. However, in order to have a contract, there needs to be an intention to create what is called legal relations. And a children’s party invitation would not create legal relations, under the law of contract with either the child “guest” or its parents. Even if it could be argued that the contract is with the child, it is utterly inconceivable that a five-year-old, would be ruled by a court as capable of creating legal relations and entering into a contract with a “no show” penalty.

It’s hilarious to imagine what a children’s party invitation seeking to create a contract might say: “I, the ‘first party’, hereinafter referred to as the ‘birthday boy’, cordially invite you the ‘second party’, hereinafter referred to as ‘my best friend’, to the party of ‘the first party’.

Give me a break.

“She(Julie Lawrence) didn’t treat me like a human being, she treated me like a child and that I should do what she says, ” Derek Nash said, which pretty much summarises the situation.

It is pleasing to note that not everyone has lost their sense of humour. All of this nonsense prompted one British wag to write what he called, the unwritten rules of children’s parties, which I reproduce here for general amusement. Birthday boy/girl must be given preference for starting all activities. Small guests pushing past should be restrained by attending adults. Party bags or gifts are mandatory for each attending child otherwise the children who didn’t get one will never forget they missed out. If you don’t RSVP, don’t think you can just turn up. And if you do, don’t expect a party bag. Avoid any post-party talk around the parents of the uninvited. The host child MUST win at least one round of pass the parcel, and children must be given 15 minutes at the buffet before adults are allowed to hoover up the remaining cocktail sausages.

That’s not PC that’s PR as in perfectly reasonable I would have thought.

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