Beer and liquor companies may not be allowed to advertise to children, but that doesn’t mean that children don’t drive sales. I wrote in a recent post that the main thing I learned from staying with my sister and her family is not to have kids. I also learned that, if I did have a kid, I would need alcohol—and lots of it. Not to help with the stress of raising the kid, mind you, but to help with the guilt over running away to some tropical island in the middle of the night and leaving said kid behind.
Even parents who stick around could use some alcohol, though, but there’s a problem; a catch-22 really. Now that you have more need than ever for alcohol, you have less time than ever to drink it. 23 minutes a day to be exact, judging from what I saw at my sister’s. Now she and her husband chose to use those 23 minutes to get some sleep, but they probably should have gotten drunk.
Obviously I’m exaggerating a bit and parents have nowhere near that much time to themselves. Between working to support their child and actively spending time with it, they have no free time whatsoever. There’s no need to panic, though, as I have a solution. It comes, as so many beer-related innovations do, from the Germans.
What they so cleverly deduced is this: they looked at a child’s life and determined that the playground plays a central role; and naturally the beer garden plays a central role in any adult’s life (it is Germany after all). Most people would look at those two things and think them complete opposites, but not the Germans. They saw one of the most brilliant combinations of services ever: the beer garden/playground.
Why should parents have to find a babysitter and leave their kids behind just to go out and have a beer? They shouldn’t obviously. And by putting playgrounds inside beer gardens, Germany has ensured they don’t have to. Parents can have a leisurely beer while watching their children play on the swing set or in the sandbox.
Now I realize this would never be possible in the United States and some Americans will undoubtedly have a problem with this, because they realize that, if a child sees you enjoying a beer, they will want one for themselves. Ignoring the existence of the word ‘no’ for a minute, any normal person will realize that a child watching you drive a car will want to try driving and a child watching James Bond shoot up terrorists will want to do that, but obviously, we can’t have our children drinking or driving or shooting (ok, so the last one is fine as long as they are supervised by an adult, but the other two are dangerous).
Unfortunately, the laws still have some catching up to do, but with a bit of hard work, we will one day get to the point where parents will be obligated to sit on the couch with their child and stare at a blank wall until the child’s 21st birthday. The world is too full of temptations and dangers to allow your child any other activities.
True, they won’t be able to attend school or hang out with other children, but let’s face it: unless you’re in the one percent, in which case you could safely ignore most laws in the first place, your child would be going to a public school anyway. Given the state of the US educational system, they can just spend the first few weeks of their 22nd year studying and they’ll be all caught up.
As for playing with other kids……well, let’s just think about that for a second. If your child goes to some other kid’s house to play, those parents are going to expect you to reciprocate and have their kid at your house sometime, doubling the number of children under your roof. If your child makes another friend, you have one more kid to watch. Clearly, you do not want you child having friends.
Better yet, just move to Germany. Little Johnny will no longer be able to take the family shotgun out to blow the heads off innocent squirrels and will instead have to amuse himself on a swing set, but you’ll get to sit nearby and enjoy a cold beer. Are other parents dropping their kids off at your place for playtime? Take the whole lot to the beer garden and parent while having a cold one. Best of all: that beer won’t have the word “Budweiser” printed on it and it will not taste like lightly flavored water.