Five Year Old Invoiced For Failing To Attend 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.

Baa,Baa Black Sheep Banned Because It’s Racist?

Clearly there is a competition that I don’t know about. It’s called who can come up with the dumbest, most stupid idea of the week.

There must be a competition because it’s the only way I can explain the decision made by a group of so-called educators.

A number of kindergartens in Australia have banned the nursery rhyme, Baa, Baa Black sheep.

Why? Because the people running these kindergartens believe it promotes racism.

This is not a joke. Apparently it has everything to do with the word ‘black.’

Forget about black is back, or proud to be black. You can’t even acknowledge that a sheep is black. It isn’t just a color any more it’s a stereotype. And in the multi-cultural world we live in,stereotype is just another word for discrimination.

But, you might not be surprised to discover that invariably, one really, really stupid idea is usually followed very closely by another.

Kindergarten teachers, also want to change yet another line in the Baa, Baa Black Sheep nursery rhyme.

It’s the reference to the little boy who lives down the lane. That line is deemed to be sexist. So you can’t be black and you can’t be the one little boy who lives down a lane. This reference to the little boy got me really confused. Maybe someone might be kind enough to explain how this is, in any way, sexist? Since when did anyone have the option of deciding who else is going to live or not live in their street or lane? In my experience it’s the luck of the draw. I would be most grateful for an explanation because I simply do not get it.

Obviously in a gesture towards some kind of lip service to logic, a kindergarten spokesperson said children could still use the word ‘black’ in the nursery rhyme but only if they wanted to.

Interesting comment. Although I would like to know in what century, four-year- old children suddenly developed the skills to choose words to use or not use in a nursery rhyme?

This kind of insanity has precedence. In 2010 a number of very young children were told to reword a very old and very well known Australian song, all Aussie kids know off by heart, about the Kookaburra who sits in the old gum tree. One of the lines in the song refers to the Kookaburra being ‘gay.’ But the children at this particular kindergarten were told to substitute the word ‘fun’ for ‘gay.’

The problem is looney tunes thinking helps nobody. It certainly doesn’t help very young children to make their way in the world. It just leaves them understandably confused.

A large number of parents and teachers, fortunately, have slammed the move as political correctness gone mad. They point out the nursery rhyme has absolutely nothing to do with race, which it doesn’t.

One person who happens to be black, (there I said it) made a plea to leave the nursery rhyme as is. He said it was taking race, discrimination and prejudice to a place where it doesn’t belong. There are lots of different breeds of sheep. What is wrong with describing their colour ,whatever it might be ? Or are we going to ban all references to colour including the colour black?

Now I will happily let these kindergartens in on a little secret that probably hasn’t occurred to them.

Just like people, there are black sheep in this world as well as white sheep. To describe them that way is not implying anything other than the colour of the sheep.

And to suggest that it’s something else entirely is sheer, or is that shear, stupidity.

In The Midst Of Madness

Things happen that make me think we live in a very strange world.

Take this as a for instance. We’re at a local park. A mother is pushing her small daughter on a swing. A father of another child is waiting impatiently nearby for his kid to have a turn.

He asks the woman how long her daughter will be. She replies five minutes. Apparently, that was the wrong answer. The father takes matters into his own hands. He manhandles the little girl from the swing and tries to replace her with his child.

The mother of the little girl is understandably shocked and outraged by this obvious show of rudeness. But what she does next might surprise you. It certainly surprised me.

She called the cops. Now I don’t know if that is what most mothers would do but that’s what she did. Amazingly, the local police arrived very soon after in their police car probably with lights and sirens blazing.. I bet you wouldn’t get that kind of service if you were ringing to report a burglary. Never mind. It seems our police have nothing better to do than to waste their time. Ok. The man was a stranger. He was rude. He had no right to touch her child. But calling the cops? Give me a break.

The police spoke to the two respective parents. A police inspector later released the following statement

“Police attended the scene, there was a dispute over one child staying on the swing longer than reasonable. The police spoke to both parties, and no offence was detected by the police. Neither party wanted to make a further complaint. From the information police had at the scene there was no incident.”

You can say that again. Like I said. It was a complete waste of valuable police time. Of course this soap opera doesn’t end here. It was bound to be replayed on social media, which it was, as these kinds of incidents have a habit of doing. And you might be interested in knowing the response it got.

One mother was right behind the decision to call the police. After all, the father concerned was teaching his child disgusting manners and how to be impatient and rude. Well that must be a criminal offence.

Another opined that a stranger touching your child is not something you can just let go. If the mother had tried to sort it out herself there is no telling what the man might have done. Taken it out on her perhaps. The issue clearly was the fact that he got physical. I guess you would call it child rage.

Yet another said I would definitely call the police. The heart stopping feeling of some stranger picking up your child would be enough to make me smash him in the face with the swing. Of course that kind of advice would only result in the mother being arrested and charged with assault.

It must have looked like a crazy scene. The idea of armed police (they all carry guns and tasers these days) descending on a child’s playground would be disconcerting for everyone especially the children.

I just think what a waste of precious resources. Instead of doing what they should be doing and making our streets and neighbourhoods safer places to live in, the cops are responding to a call about two adults fighting over a swing.

But of course it raises some interesting questions: Should the mother have called the police? Well should she? What would you do if you found yourself in that situation?