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8/24/04

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McQuigly and Moss

   

The Daily Probe will be sending reporters McQuigly and Moss to the Republican National Convention in New York City, where they will be sending back daily reports from August 29 through September 3.


Hot Saucing Is Not Child Abuse


By Dirk McQuigly

I don't have kids of my own, so I'm not an expert on parenting or raising children. And given my social track record of scoring with the opposite sex, my chances of being able to have one anytime soon are slimmer than Luke Skywalker's chances of scoring a hit on the Death Star's weak spot with a slingshot.

But there's a new trend in disciplining children, according to a story in last week's Washington Post, called "hot saucing": Parents punish their children by dousing drops of Tabasco sauce on their tongues. It started in the South and, like the plague in 28 Days Later, has started spreading across the country. The only thing is this epidemic has more positive effects and isn't turning our population into a group of mindless zombies. After all, that's what the Fox network is for.

It's not something that's been banned by legislators, but it's a distinct possibility. State child protective service agencies in several states, including Virginia, have listed the punishment on their list of "bizarre behaviors." Hot saucing may be new, but it's not serious enough to be listed in the same breath as parents who are whipping their kids with iron cords or scalding them in hot water or removing the front part of their brains like in Planet of the Apes.

These kids today get away with too much bad behavior and grow up without any restraint because parents are afraid to restrain them. We don't give them spankings and slaps on the wrist, we give them stern lectures and time-outs. Ooooo ... a timeout? That's showing them who's the boss. Hey, here's an idea! When we catch Darth Maul in the third Star Wars prequel, let's not condemn him to death for crimes he committed against the universe. Let's just slap him gently on his spike-covered forehead, yell "Bad Jedi!" and tell him to go outside and play nice.

This, to me, is more of a personal choice. As long as you don't cross the line of child abuse, it's up to you how to discipline your kids. If it was my kid though, I wouldn't use "hot saucing" to keep him in line. I'd make him watch Shatner's Star Trek V all the way through. I'll bet the little bastard wouldn't use Gene Roddenberry's name in vain ever again





To Sauce or Not to Sauce


By Anna Moss

Up until last week, I had never heard of "hot saucing" as a punishment used, apparently, by a surprising number of parents to discipline their kids. There is a book out about it, and many Internet sites. "Hot Saucing" is when a parent puts a drop of the conflagrant liquid on the child's tongue as a punishment for things like lying, biting, hitting or other offenses.

Now I'm not trying to compare this to Worf's ritually walking through a gauntlet of Klingons using pain sticks, but this certainly seems to me a cruel and unusual punishment. VERY unusual! Some states legislate against it. Virginia's child protective services agency calls saucing as a disciplinary action a "bizarre behavior."

I've had conversations with friends at sci-fi conventions as to what would be the worst torture. The "chair" Scorpius used to extract information out of Crichton's mind about wormholes, the truth rings the Sliders had to wear around their necks. Even Kirk and crew had some kind of pain-inflicting device on them every time they disobeyed.

As you can infer, I am against almost every kind of corporal discipline for children. Certainly there must be ways to discipline kids without torture! Not that I'm planning to have kids anytime soon. I'd have to actually get a date first. Anyway, I'm off to pack. See you all from New York. I haven't been this excited since Matt Groening signed his name on my arm!



(Transcribed by Danny Gallagher and Jeff Rabinowitz)




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