For many parents, school holidays can be trying. Keeping little minds busy and little fingers out of power points is difficult, and what should be a period of relaxation and enjoyment for both parent and child becomes a whirlwind of tantrums, broken ornaments and shattered nerves. With five whole days of the July holidays remaining, parents across Australia are doubtless running out of kid-friendly activities, and that bottle of bourbon in the cupboard will be starting to look very attractive indeed. Luckily, help is at hand with Sterne's guide to school holiday fun:
- Visit a soup kitchen. Kids and homeless people have a lot in common, including lack of possessions and, often, an overpowering stench of feces. Kids will enjoy seeing homeless people in their natural environment, while homeless people will delight in being fed soup. Again.
- Write a letter to your MP using macaroni and sparkles. Teach your kids that being politically aware doesn't mean you can't also be creative. Nothing touches the hardened hearts of politicians more than a letter objecting to asylum seeker policy or industrial reform written in gold sparkly pen, framed by a pasta rainbow.
- Shave your pet. The equation is simple: pets plus kids plus safety razors equals a damn good time! Your cat or dog will lap up the attention, and your kids will have the satisfaction of giving their pet a groovy new look. (Note: Please seek your pet's permission before you attempt to shave them. Howling, scratching, and mauling may be interpreted as a strong "maybe".)
- Contravene social conventions. An empty beer bottle can provide hours of entertainment if you simply get your three-year-old to carry it around a shopping centre for the afternoon! Likewise, a balloon placed just so underneath your pre-pubescent daughter's jumper creates an impression of impending motherhood that will have the local burghers pointing and whispering and quite possibly calling the police.
Failing all these, send your kids out into the neighbourhood with a paper bag full of dog shit and a cigarette lighter. They'll know what to do.