Domestic chores for the 'bored' rioters of Britain
Every talking head politician, professor, policeman and community leader has been on the TV or radio pontificating about this or that reason for children as young as seven smashing up shops and nicking what they fancy (mainly clobber and lifestyle gadgets).
Poverty, lack of employment opportunities, bad parenting, lack of moral mentors, peer group pressure or sheer criminality, the list goes on. Reasons or excuses? We'll probably never get to the bottom of it.
But out of the mouths of the babes themselves came this explanation: 'We're bored.'
Never having known – and perhaps never future knowing – the true meaning of boredom that comes in the form of working 9-5 in a job you hate, or the sheer tedium of ironing sheets and school shirts that comes with the occupation I currently hold (Stay-At-Home-Dad-To-Three), these 'disaffected' young people clearly need understanding, inspiration and a compass to point them in the right direction to how to conquer the moral outrage they feel at being left to have their souls sucked out in front of their plasma tellies, Wiis and Grand Theft Autos.
But where there's a will, there's a housedad standing by to show them the way towards endless levels of excitement that most of us adults enjoy and will make their boredom seem like a bungee jump without the rope.
So don't be bored, young rioting folk of Britain, come over to my place and I'll give you a crash course in how to keep boredom at bay.
Follow this guide to what we tax-paying adults do day-in, day-out and I guarantee your unformed lives will be filled with untold thrill-a-minute experiences your peanut-sized minds never dreamed possible.
Task: CLEANING THE TOILET
A multi-tasking skill involving both prevention and cure. Prevention involves training First-Stage-Stand-Up-Wee youngsters to direct their aim inside the bowl and not all over the floor: get them to imagine they're shooting a rival gangsta in Grand Theft Auto.
Cure combines the skills of toilet brush accuracy and bleach-and-flush chemical warfare precision.
Thrill Factor: 10
Task: TAKING THE RECYCLING SLOP BUCKET OUT
You're a stretcher bearer in the middle of a battle zone. The flimsy plastic sacks that contain the fat, bones, skins and sinew of your unwanted food represent your injured friend. You have to get them out and away to the safety of the reinforced bucket on your doorstep. It's a delicate operation, and then 'Aaargh!' the bag burst, the stretcher breaks, bits and pieces of your friend are scattered all over your lovely carpet. What do you do? There's only one thing TO do: you gather the pieces of your pal together, reassemble him and lay him to rest in his final place.
Thrill Factor: 9
Imagine those dust bunnies are snipers. They lurk in cracks and crevices. One day, they will take you out, lay you low with an appalling asthma attack. It's a case of kill or be suffocated. Get the feather duster out. Imagine it's a light sabre.
Thrill Factor: 8
Task: VACCING THE CARPET
That carpet is a minefield. Underfoot lie hairgrips, drawing pins, tiny pieces of Lego. All of them could destroy your weapon. Tread carefully, my friend. For a soldier without a weapon is a housedad without a rolling pin. Both are vital for your survival once confronted by the enemy: the nagging wife.
Thrill Factor: 7
Task: CHANGING THE DUVET COVER
The cave is dark, there are perils within, but your comrades need cover. They're relying on you. Get in, get rumpled, get out.
You will have panic attacks along the way, but they will be brief, as long as you stay calm, stay focused, and realise that the way in is also the way out.
Thrill Factor: 6
Task: WAITING FOR THE BANK TO ANSWER THE PHONE
It's a war of attrition: who blinks first? This is psych-ops at its most extreme. Who of you has the will? The patience? The sheer stamina to hang on the line, listening to Vivaldi and Take That for hours on end? The equivalent of an aural stress position. You can do it. You can win this.
Just be prepared for the disarmingly polite: 'Hel-lo, sorry to keep you waiting.' They want you to snap, to show your weakness. Be strong. Just say: 'No problem. I've got nothing else to do with my time.'
Thrill factor: 5
Task: READING BEDTIME STORIES
'Why?' is one of the biggest words in the English language. 'Why do people start wars?' 'Why are we here?' 'Why is the Gruffalo scared of such a tiny mouse?' There is no point reasoning with the unreasonable.
Your only course of action is the four word-defence every parent uses at their discretion from time-to-time: 'Because I say so.'
Thrill factor: 4
Never, ever go shopping unless you REALLY have to. It's just not worth it (unless you're breaking into JD Sports or Curry's, in which case, it's a doddle). But if you do, be armed: lists, strategy, tactics.
Recce those aisles in advance. Know what's what and where's where. Get in, get out, be fast. And only ever tackle the Self-Service Checkout if you have mastered the upper echelons of Call Of Duty 4.
Thrill Factor: 9
Task: LOADING/EMPTYING THE DISHWASHER
A veritable pleasure dome of opportunities. An assault course for the body and mind. Will you drop your favourite mug? Will the baked on egg come free? Will the filter get clogged with pie crust remnants?
Think Krypton Factor meets Total Wipeout.
Thrill Factor: 8
AND FINALLY...if you are ever asked to do any work, or chores, or stuff you don't like, always, but always blame someone else. Remember your mantra for whatever frustrations you have in life: 'It ain't my fault.' Then nick whatever they have.
Do you agree with Keith's tongue in cheek view? Let us know...