The experience of life has left me with the belief that the occasional impeccably timed smack on a kid's arse after reasonable attempts at negotiation have failed, can be a useful and effective deterrent against its subsequent delinquency.
Last year when I expressed this view I was taken to task by some of my Vox neighbors. This year I have felt obliged to examine whether or not I was perpetuating antiquated barbaric behaviour, and to check whether any other cracks might have developed in my 20th century fortress of child raising certainty.
The immediate dilemma was where to find another child on which to experiment. Globet, for reasons unknown, vamoosed many years ago to live at the opposite extremity of this large continent.
And anyway if I attempted to lay a disciplinary hand on her 27 year old backside today the most favourable outcome from the menu of potential repercussions would probably be that her gymnasium toned body would simply pound my patriarchal puniness into pulp.
Society also apparently frowns upon old men randomly selecting children to smack in supermarkets, even though the temptation on occasions is almost overwhelming.
Long term readers will remember that GOF additionally has some "prior history" of questionable behaviour in shopping centres which resulted in him being banned from two of them.
My review options were becoming seriously restricted.
I thought that maybe doing a few experiments on animals might be more acceptable, but Animal Welfare caught me at it and told me it wasn't.
At least no conviction was recorded, and I am learning a lot during my community service at the local animal shelter.
The only remaining opportunity for me was to do my testing on some inanimate object, and just in the nick of time I was presented with a suitable contender.
Our 20 year old television set suddenly had the temerity to display floating rainbow colours instead of any transmitted program.
Whack!!! on the side panel.
Picture restored. (instantly, but temporarily)
I am well on the way to proving my point of view here.
However after two weeks of corrective discipline administered with increasing frequency and intensity, and just as I was about to scout around for a suitable weapon with which to administer a damn good flogging, I decided last Sunday in a moment of frustrated exhaustion to sit down in front of the television and speak quietly to it.
(I have cleaned this up a little for the benefit of your innocent eyes)
"I am dissatisfied with your recent performance.
Next Thursday I am going to take you to the dump recycle centre,
then I am going to buy a new digital TV"
We have had a perfect television picture for the last 2 days.
My belief system is now in tatters.