While watching a repeat of a repeat of the Waltons the other day, I was shocked to discover that it came with a parental guidance warning. “This program may be unsuitable for younger viewers.” How anybody could come up with the idea that this innocuous series could be dodgy is totally ridiculous. Compared to accepted viewing today, the Waltons were harmless. Even poor Tom and Jerry were more violent than these religious, family orientated characters.
Looking back to my childhood, I recalled the many nursery rhymes that I grew to love. Nearly all of these ditties had a sinister element to them. The baby on the tree top ended up on the ground. Humpty Dumpty was reduced to egg shells and the three blind mice were attacked with a carving knife.
With the advent of political correctness, it is a small miracle that these much loved tales haven’t been banned. The mere suggestion of placing a child on a tree top would result in social services being called in. Mr. Dumpty might be safe owing to the fact that it is quite acceptable to break a few eggs to make an omelette. The farmer’s wife would surely be brought to court for assaulting three visually impaired animals.
Lewis Carroll’s Queen of Hearts would rapidly find herself in a top security prison and Little Red Riding Hood would be filing charges of cannibalism against the wolf. The three little pigs having lost their homes would be obliged to claim on their insurance policies.
I see Jack and Jill attending the local accident and emergency department for scans and x-rays to ensure no lasting damage to their skulls. Little Bo Peep can now be found in the local cop shop brandishing photographs of her missing sheep, while Little Boy Blue and his horn feature on the sex offenders list.
As I write this, I believe that Hansel and Gretel reported the wicked witch to the police. She is now serving a ten year sentence for kidnap and attempted murder. The visually impaired mice have had extensive plastic surgery and are now the proud owners of three new tails. The farmer’s wife was deemed to be temporarily insane due to menopause. She was referred for counselling and ordered to complete sixty hours of community service.
Little Bo Peep is now reunited with her lambs; apparently their sat nav system led them astray. She has now upgraded to version 25.9 and all is well in her life. Little Boy Blue has managed to slip out of the country and now is enjoying the high life in Mexico. A new government directive has ordered that all parents who wish to suspend their children from tree tops must provide a safety net for them. In the event of the bough breaking, no lasting injury can be sustained.
It has also been suggested that nursery rhymes should be amended in order to prevent very young children experiencing nightmares.
The best example of these new rhymes has to be as follows:
Three visually impaired mice,
See how they run.
They all ran up to the farmer’s wife,
She fed them cheese
And wished them a long, happy life.