The children of today are being encouraged to play with dog poo and bogeys.
The question is, is it any worse than the children of yesteryear who were egged on to put their hand in hippos’ mouths and buy up large swathes of property in London?
This week I’ll be discussing the repercussions of board games, in particular one which revolves around a sausage dog’s bowel movements.
Being a regular, but by no means avid, viewer of children’s TV I’m currently being bombarded with Christmas gift ideas.
Thankfully, neither Lucy nor Ben have been won over by the advertisements for a board game called Doggy Doo. Their father on the other hand is getting increasingly more wound up each time he sees images of smiling kids, gathered around a toy dog and squeezing its lead until it evacuates the contents of its stomach.
Amazingly, the winner of the game is the person who collects the most dog mess. What’s wrong with a good-fashioned game of ‘Pass The Parcel’?
Just in case you think I’m overplaying the pooping aspect of the game and underplaying the fun element, part of the rules of the game, included on the Doggy Doo website, state: “You can only pick up the dog’s mess when it has fallen on the table. If it is hanging outside the end of the dog, just tap him on the back until it drops.”
If anyone has read more graphic rules I’d love to hear them. Seriously though, drop me an email.
Another board game that gets up my nose is Gooey Louie, where the gameplay is based around a disembodied head filled with ‘snatters’.
Players take it in turns to pick bogeys from Louie’s nose until his brain explodes.
Think I’m joking? Here’s a cautionary notice from the website: “Please instruct children to keep their faces at least 12 inches away from Louie’s head to avoid being struck by the jumping brain.”
I realise I may sound like a bit of a spoilsport by giving off about what are meant to be hilarious board games, but I’m just thinking of the bigger picture.
By giving their seal of approval to these games, parents are blurring the lines between dangerous behaviour and good, clean fun.
On one hand kids are told not to lift up dog poo, not to pick their nose and not to shoot anyone. Then on Christmas morning they find Doggy Doo, Gooey Louie and Call Of Duty in their stocking.
I’m not an expert in child psychology but I assume these mixed messages aren’t helpful.
But were the kids of yesteryear any more grounded by their exposure to board games? I think not.
I was in a restaurant last week when I woman came rushing in off the street asking if there was a doctor in the building.
A man in his forties stood up and offered his assistance.
He was led outside to find a similarly aged man in a crippled heap.
The distressed lady explained that upon seeing a mule tethered to a lamppost he’d begun hanging items on its back until, completely unexpectedly, it reared up and kicked him.
Seeing the man lying in some distress, the volunteer doctor, now sporting a pair of tweezers admitted, ‘This isn’t really my specialist area. I was hoping for Butterflies In The Stomach, Water On The Knee or Charley Horse.’