That one day of the year

When my ultimate goal of complete world domination finally comes to pass — it’s important to have a hobby — I have drawn up a list for things to do on the first day.

First, the violent suppression of all talent-search reality TV programming, with appropriate levels of public floggings and/or executions of those involved. The latter component is to act as a reminder to the rest of humanity of just what a bad idea these shows are.

Second, to declare a global day of play.

On that one glorious day each year, every child on the planet is to be shoved sharply between the shoulder blades from their place of residence and into the general direction of outside. Their parent or guardian is then to say the following: ‘I don’t want to see you again until the sun goes down.’ They are then to slam the door shut.

What happens next is up to the child and their friends. No further direct adult supervision is required.

Some of the minor issues will need to be worked out. Sure, those kids living close to the poles in summer will be having a very, very long play. Conversely, in winter they’ll never get out of bed. But these are details. I’m a big picture type of guy. I refer you to my first action point on day one of the glorious new regime. (And, in particular, to the bit about floggings and/or executions.)

Yes, there will be kids who will go through some level of withdrawal from not having a parent hovering over their shoulder with a hand wipe and a water bottle. Yes, there will be parents who go into meltdown not knowing the precise geo-location of their child to within a 20cm radius.

But there will be play. And there will be adventure.

Knees will be scraped. Skin will be barked.

Pirates will attack; aliens will be repelled.

Chess games will take place in the cool shade of a tree in a park.

Teams will be chosen. Some will win. Some will lose.

Books will be read in hammocks.

Dogs will be chased.

In the event of rain, card games will take place under the kitchen table that has been covered with a blanket.

Cardboard fortresses will keep safe the princess from the dragon.

Robbers will be shot. Many, many times.

Balls will be hoisted aloft. Kites will be flown. Bikes will be ridden downhill at ridiculous speeds.

Tea will be served in impossibly small plastic teacups. (Sandwiches will be optional.)

Mud will be gathered from the sides of creek banks and liberally distributed into little sisters’ hair.

There will be much screaming.


Tadpoles will be swept up in nets and placed into glass jars of murky water.

Lakes will be paddled into. Swimming and dive-bombing may take place.

There will be races to see who can hop backwards the fastest.

New sports will be invented. Pushbike polo with a soccer ball will be a big hit until someone runs over the ball and punctures it.

Pocket money will be spent on lollies. Lot and lots of lollies.

There will be singing. Not pre-packaged talent show singing, but honest-to-goodness straight from the heart I really don’t care what you think of it singing. Just for the fun of it.

Stories will be shared. Bad jokes will still cause laughter even though they are really, really bad.

Adults will still be in evidence. If a kid decides that throwing rocks at another kid sounds like fun, a stern word will come from a passing grown-up, along the lines of, ‘Don’t be stupid or I’ll tell your mother.’

Friendships will be forged in the fire of battle. Talents will be discovered. Skills will be honed.

Much joy will be had.

Sound ridiculous? This worldwide day of parentless play? When kids run free together, explore the boundaries of their known world and ramble home at sunset, their cheeks red, knees grubby and stomachs growling? How could it possibly work?

It used to. That was every day of my summers when I was a kid.

And I had the time of my life.

2 Responses so far

  1. 1

    KB said,

    That’s my childhood too! Awesome post, I look forward to your world domination

  2. 2

    reardonhs said,

    Yes, good luck dominating Earth! Don’t forget to ban annoying things.

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