Tuesday, August 30, 2005

King for a Day 

I'm sure we remember some of the great things we would have done if we'd been made King or Queen for a day when we were kids. But now that I've been a parent for a few years, my Day of Royal Decrees would look a little different:
  1. Effective immediately, all coin-operated candy dispensers and child-jostlers would be illegal.
  2. It would be required by law that all manner of chips, candy, gum and pretzel be marketed in only one flavor, with only one size and color of packaging, so kids have nothing left to fight over -- other than who gets first.
  3. The use of popups and ads for bikini screen savers on web sites aimed at kids would become a felony.
  4. Just as we protect children from the effect of exposure to adult magazines, we would now mandate the same courtesy for their weary parents by forbidding the open display of candy at sales counters and cash registers.
  5. Fictional characters may be used commercially in no more than one of the following modes: action figure, comic book character, cartoon star or sugared cereal huckster. Superman would be required to sit through a legally mandated 6 month "cooling off" period if he wanted to switch from starring in comic books to pitching "Krispy Kokoa Kryptonite Klumps."
  6. I would introduce research grants and market subsidies to stimulate the creation of a computerized Whiny-to-English translator.
  7. New child labor laws will limit young film actors to a single take for every scene. If this prevents the child from nailing the screenwriter's cleverly snarky comeback line, thus missing the opportunity to establish the film-parents as dumber than their offspring, all the more's the pity.
  8. Following the example of the alcoholic beverage market, kid cereals and vitamins are henceforth required to clearly declare their sugar content, e.g. "New and Improved 82 Proof Fruit Loops"
  9. All advertisements for children's clothing must, from now on, pass the Britney test: if it would work in a Britney Spears video then it's not for tots.
  10. I would immediately move to declare a "National Go Back To Bed Day."
We will return to a free market, anti-regulatory viewpoint tomorrow, after the crown is removed from my head. In the meantime, quit complaining and enjoy your Go Back To Bed Day.

If you really, really liked this -- or even really, really hated it -- there's lots more: