instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Monday, April 20, 2009

The wisdom of youth

Suppose a teenager misbehaves and is grounded for two weeks. Seeing that he is genuinely sorry, his father tells him that, if he clears his dinner plate and kisses his mother on the cheek, his grounding will be lifted.

What does the teenager do?
A. Clear his dinner plate and kiss his mother on the cheek.
B. Grouse about the artificiality of the conditions imposed by his father.
C. Wonder aloud about what sort of occult mechanism could possibly cause his grounding to be lifted by such unremarkable acts.
D. Regard his parents with disgust at their insistence he dance through hoops for a reward.
E. Observe that clearing plates and kissing mothers is something people don't do any more, largely because we now understand that only a monstrous parent would ever ground a teenager.
Teenagers, at least, understand the value of an indulgent father.