The “No-Bullsh*t Goody Bag” is full of… um… bullshit.

BullshitI knew from childhood that I didn’t want to have kids, and have never wavered from that. There are a few small children that I like (ones who behave in a reasonably mature way and whose parents treat them more like adults than pets), but in general, I’m not keen… (You all know this already, right? If you know me in person, you surely must; and if your only acquaintance with me is from this blog, then I discussed it here:

However, if people choose to have kids, that is entirely their own affair. I don’t condemn them for it in the slightest. We are all entitled to do what we wish with our lives and fill them with children, cats, cars, model train sets, iguanas, pot plants, potted plants, plant pots, whatever, just as we see fit.

What does, however, piss me off are parents who think that they should be given special consideration because they have children. Like this bloke, Mike Julianelle, whose teeth I would dearly love to ram down his throat:

He objects to the ‘goody bag’ issued by some parents to their fellow passengers as a pre-emptive apology for any bad behaviour their kids might have been guilty of on a long-haul flight. If you don’t know about it, there’s a link in the article cited above. So incensed is he by this rather sweet gesture, that he’s created his own ‘I’m an absolute tosser’ bag to give out, containing:

Drink Coupon: For one warm mug of SHUT THE HELL UP if you ever get the urge to b*tch about a 2-year-old.

Compact Mirror: So you can take a good look at yourself and consider what kind of person gets pissed off at parents traveling with a toddler who’s makingtheir lives much more miserable than he’s making yours.

Pill: It’s either a sleeping pill or Ecstasy. Either way, your mood will improve.

The World’s Smallest Violin (not photographed): For you to play as you’re being whisked through the air at astonishing speeds to someplace far away while watching TV and listening to music through headphones that block out any noise from the toddler a few rows back who has never intentionally annoyed anyone in his entire life (except his parents).

E.T.: Unfortunately, a DVD was too big to fit in a bag, but here’s a few bucks so you can rent the movie when you land and try to remember what it was like to be a kid, you heartless a**hole.

Heartfelt Note: In which I challenge you to a fight by the Hudson News closest to our gate.

So this arrogant idiot thinks that two-year-olds should be given carte blanche as far as behaviour goes, and the rest of us (whether parents or otherwise) should refrain from objecting? That as the toddler is making its parents’ lives a bigger misery, we should feel that our suffering is somehow deserved or at least negligible? And not that maybe, just maybe, those parents should be able to control their child a little better or not subject it to air travel (not a nice experience for toddlers — I remember how the pressure in aeroplane cabins used to hurt my ears even as a ten-year-old) and thus alleviate their own distress as well as that of other passengers and, for heaven’s sake, of the poor unhappy sprog itself.

As for the ‘pill’ — I really really hope that next time he flies, airport security take a long hard look at any potentially illegal drugs Mr Julianelle may be intending dishing out to people he travels with. Makes you wonder what kind of father he is if he thinks drugging people is an acceptable way to get them to behave to his liking. Rohypnol, anyone?

Also, when I fly, I do not want to be obliged to listen to music or watch TV in order to shut out the noise made by a screaming brat. It’s not just that having jangled nerves on my scalp from surgery there some years ago, wearing headphones is physically unpleasant for me, it’s also the principle of the thing. Some of us simply prefer to read or relax — in peace and quiet without being collateral damage in a war of attrition waged intentionally, if Mr J is to be believed, by a fractious ankle-biter on the nerves of its long-suffering but incompetent parents.

I have no idea how watching ET, a film I have never seen, would remind me of being a child. I was already an adult (I think) when that film came out and it never appealed to me. However, if he wishes to give away his cash, for whatever reason, who am I to object?

And the heartfelt note? He wants to set a good example to his child by fighting? By showing that, if you can’t get what you want, the best thing to do is to resort to violence? OK then… Or does he mean a battle of wits or of words? In which case, let us hope he is more gracious in defeat — for it clearly wouldn’t require a champion to demolish his moronic views — than he is in understanding why he’s not a Special Snowflake simply because, aww bless him, he managed to procreate.


Band-wagon mechanic needed urgently!

‘“I didn’t even think of going to the police,” she said. “I didn’t want to break up a marriage, I didn’t want to have a terrible effect on his career, and also I thought it wasn’t that serious: after all I’d managed to stop it in the nick of time.”‘

Hmm... and that bed's not big enough for her to move a safe distance away?

Hmm… and that bed’s not big enough for her to move a safe distance away?

In brief, Vanessa Feltz has decided that, now he’s fallen from grace, Rolf Harris tried to molest her live on air during an interview on a bed (yes, a bed) with his wife only feet away. Here’s a link to the story:

Good God! Is the woman so desperate to have her name/face plastered across the media, or is she skint and hoping to jump on the compensation band-wagon?

A long, long time ago, when I was 18 or 19 (so younger than Ms Feltz but certainly not an innocent child), I had a boyfriend who had a brother who had a girlfriend who owned a lingerie/fashion shop-boutique kinda place. This girlfriend, whom I shall call Angela — not to protect her identity, but because at this remove I can’t remember her name and she seems like an Angela-type in my memory — organized a fashion show at a local theatre to promote her business and managed to get a moderately famous TV and radio personality to host it. This gentleman, Mr X — whose identity I *will* protect for this is ancient history and mud-raking is not my purpose — is still to be heard regularly on Radio 4 and appears occasionally on our screens to this day.

Anyway, because of my privileged status (organizer’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend, AKA dogsbody), I had access-all-areas, as they say in those elevated rock-and-roll circles, and thus found myself backstage — and alone with Mr X. I was sitting on a sofa (drinking tea? waiting for my boyfriend? resting my feet because I was wearing silly heels and had been rushing around helping out all day?) and Mr X plonked down beside me, proffered a few fairly sleazy compliments/pick-up lines, and proceeded to try and get his hand up my skirt and his tongue down my throat.

In the words of Ms Feltz, ‘I didn’t even think of going to the police’ — because there was nothing to go to the police about and, whilst he might have been the oldest, he certainly wasn’t the first (or the last) bloke to make unwanted, but easily rebuffed, advances to me. I moved my head to one side, said ‘Eww! Gerroff! You’re older than my dad. That’s disgusting’ and firmly removed his hand from my thigh (as Ms Feltz could have done with Rolf’s from hers, digging her nails in had she felt the message needed to be reinforced and she wasn’t in a position to do so verbally). Mr X looked a little surprised and hurt, made a half-hearted suggestion that I go back to his hotel with him (to which I responded with something along the lines of ‘I really don’t think my boyfriend would like that, do you? Or is he invited as well?’), and then went back to general platitudinous chit-chat.

You’ll notice I felt no need to leave the room or run screaming to the media. The threat had been neutralized and I continued drinking my tea/waiting for my boyfriend/resting my feet quite unperturbedly. It was a non-event, in the greater scheme of things. It did not ruin my life, and, in fact, I’d largely forgotten about it until relatively recently when I heard Mr X on Radio 4 and was surprised he was still alive let alone still working. I immediately didn’t have a fit of the heebie-jeebies and totally omitted to seek either counselling or compensation. I just wondered idly if he’s still a dirty old man.

I’m not defending rapists or sex-offenders who use their greater physical strength or a weapon to molest or intimidate their victims, especially when those victims are underage. But a victim is not a victim if she (or he) simply allows the ‘abuse’ to happen without protest, and gives the ‘abuser’ no indication that she (or he) does not welcome it. Heavens, if this even happened in the way Ms Feltz describes, Rolf probably thought she was enjoying the naughtiness of the situation (and who’s to say she wasn’t?), especially as — once they were off air — she seems singularly to have failed to say ‘And what the fuck did you think you were doing just then? If I wasn’t the consummate professional I am, I would have slapped you round your ugly smirking chops and then hacked your balls off and used them as earrings, you disgusting creep!’

There is only so much weight (sorry, Vanessa, no dig intended) that this So-and-So-molested-me-30-years-ago-and-now-my-life-is-in-ruins-so-gimme-money-to-fix-it band-wagon can take before it breaks down completely… and that is going to leave any genuine victims in a very awkward position indeed.

Oh! And I’ve remembered my boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend’s name. It wasn’t Angela.