I'm talking about children a lot lately. I'd better watch my step, those Righteous are a bit free with the 'paedo' accusations. I am, in fact, a paedophobe. I don't like them. They are fast and unpredictable and have more energy than a ton of plutonium. It's like being among rabid wolverines. They make too much noise and they ask too many questions. So, a career working with children was never going to be for me and never will. I don't want to suffer from second-hand children.
Subrosa harks back to the days of 'quiet time' in schools and how it's now coming back, relabelled as 'Yoga diversity outreach noise cessation education' or some such crap. When I was at school, quiet time cost nothing. It was the politically correct version of 'Shut up you little sods, give me ten minutes to breathe' and it required no non-jobs at vast expense, just a teacher at the end of their tether who knew how to keep a class quiet for a while without getting stabbed.
Personally I'd go for the lead pipe approach but I'm betting they don't cover that in teacher training these days. I don't think lead pipe is easy to come by any more either. I could dust off that 1.5-inch ring spanner, I suppose.
So I am not child-friendly and neither is my house (the 'no children' signs are a bit of a giveaway there) but even so, the story JuliaM reports has me going in several directions at once.
A tearoom bans little children at certain times of day. They have to go into a special room, out of the way.
Well, I don't like them running about while I'm trying to have a coffee and a smoke but I can't have that any more anyway. So I no longer visit tearooms, so the kids can have them as far as I'm concerned. As with pubs, I'm banned from every one in the country so it is hard to muster any sympathy for these parent/children noise and vomit combos when they've really only experienced in one place what smokers experience everywhere, every day.
After all, we smokers are banned from everywhere, soon to include private cars and homes, and these children are the excuse used to force that on us. Even if we don't have any and don't allow any in. So the children and their parents get banned from somewhere. Makes a nice change. Even though they aren't actually ejected from the premises as smokers are, at least they are getting a little taste of how it feels.
On the other hand, as a smoker I know how they feel. It's not nice being told that everyone else finds you offensive even when nobody's complained... well, nobody's complained ever, in your whole life, before. All of a sudden, you're vile and disgusting and decent people don't want to even see you around. Even so, it is really difficult to muster up any kind of sympathy here. These children, I say again, are the perennial reason used to hammer smokers into subhuman status. Their parents include those who say things like 'I don't want a filthy smoker anywhere near my child'. Of all the groups that could have had the experience, these are pretty high up the list.
It wasn't that big a deal for them, really. This was not a country-wide ban enforced with fines and snitchlines and NHS-approved violence against perpetrators of child-rearing. Nobody is forced to go outside to have a child, nobody has moved the maternity unit to a less-than-50%-enclosed box outside the hospital grounds. This was one single venue which restricted child access for a few hours a day, and provided another room for them. If it bothers them that much they can just go to another tea room. There are still some that allow children.
To hear them rant and wail you'd think they had been banned from every venue in the land unless they stub out that child and swear to never have another one, ever again. You'd think they had been in court accused of child-rearing in their works vehicle, on business premises or in an enclosed public place. No. All they face is a restriction in hours at one place, and just hear them howl their indignation.
These are the people who call smokers 'selfish' for wanting some places to go. They are the ones who believe that second hand smoke causes everything from acne to septicaemia and that even looking at a smoker will turn their child's skin purple and make their eyes pop out. They are the ones happy to pour guilt on smoking parents if their child dies of SIDS even though there is not one shred of evidence to link the two. Oh yes, there is no spite too low for a Righteous parent to pour on a smoker. For the cheeldren.
Restrict their choice a little bit and now see what you get. They squeal like a pig that was watching the wrong hillbilly. 'It's outrageous. How dare they? We demand all places admit us at all times. We have Rights'.
Sectioning off a particular group and making them non-persons is now standard procedure. It doesn't feel very nice when it's you, does it? Did you really think it would stop at smoking? Did you think it would stop at obesity? Drinking? Salt? Oh, then where did you think it might stop?
The answer is simple. It never stops.
Get used to it. Smokers have.