Sunday, November 16, 2008

Please clean up after your offspring

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for that very warm reception. We in the council want to thank you for your support, and assure you that we are working tirelessly to improve our city and your lifestyle.

A few years ago, we introduced the clean up after your pet program. And what a tremendous success that was when we first asked pet owners to pick up their dog's excrement when out walking and enjoying our beautiful city. This program has stopped around 4 Olympic swimming pools of dog poo entering our bay each year.

Of course, our follow up program, clean up after your cat, was not so much of a success. Following numerous complaints of cat owners trespassing in their neighbour's gardens to clean up after their cat, we had to acknowledge that the way of the cat is too inscrutable, even for council regulation.

Clean up after your horse or pony also resulted in some unintended consequences and had to be shelved after only two weeks after some unfortunate incidents involving young riders and their helmets.

But tonight, ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to announce the next stage in our clean up program, which will see a new era in grass roots level mutual obligation, in partnership with state and federal government. Clean up after your offspring will unite parents and government in their commitment to keeping our city litter free.

You see, after some extensive research, we've discovered that 4 Olympic pools of dog poo in our bay was no worse an environmental impact than the excrement of native animals that naturally flowed from our waterways into the bay before human settlement. That doesn't mean you should stop cleaning up after your dog, though, because it has saved immensely on the cleaning bill for council carpets.

It turns out that there's a much greater environmental impact from the litter that gets washed into our storm water and into the bay each year. So, in an effort to address this problem, council will introduce a program which obligates parents of all ages to ensure that the litter dropped by their offspring is deposited into dedicated litter clean up receptacles at convenient locations around the city. In return for a lifetime of cleaning up after your offspring, you'll be rewarded with preferential placement in the aged care facility of your choice!

Of course, there are some administrative limitations on ensuring that parents clean up after their offspring, so we'll be monitoring compliance by measuring the weight of trash deposited by each parent into the council's dedicated receptacles. Any trash will do; it doesn't have to be your own child's trash.

Once a parent has deposited 4 Olympic swimming pools of trash into the certified council litter clean up receptacles over their lifetime, they will be certified for entry into a nice retirement village or nursing home, thanks to the state and federal authorities.

Ladies and gentlemen, I'm sure you'll agree that this program is a winner for everyone. Kids still get to be irresponsible and totally reliant on their parents until well into adulthood; plus their parents' retirement accommodation is all organised. Parents get to be indulgent and spoil their children, whilst still getting plenty of reason to complain bitterly about their children well into old age. And the government gets the satisfaction of having once again taught you what personal responsibility used to be.

Thank you, good night, and happy pickings.