TORONTO – Parents across the planet have been racking their brains for new ways to calm their distressed children after realizing that the commonly used phrase: “it’s not the end of the world” no longer applies.
Staring at news photos of the orange, smoke filled skies in California, Cheryl Mason of Pickering described her recent parenting dilemma:
“This pandemic has been really tough for people with kids. The other day, my six-year old fell down, and started wailing like the bloody world was ending. I started to tell him, ‘Timmy, it’s not the end of the worl—’ But then I just stopped and realized what I was saying.”
“Eventually I pivoted to ‘I mean, it’s definitely not the end of the universe, we know that much at least. Who knows? Maybe we can establish a new colony on Mars!’”
Joanna Hanley encountered the same problem while trying to comfort her recently dumped teenage daughter:
“Tiffany, everything will be ok…” she then closed her eyes and whispered, “…for like, 2% of the population.” She shook her head and tried again. “Listen, there’s plenty more fish in the sea…” she sighed, “well, actually, because of illegal fishing, trawling, and pollution, there’s a rapidly dwindling number of fish in the sea, most of which have ingested trillions of particles of discarded microplastics! Ok, I think we both need to take a deep breath. You’re just gonna have to suck it up. Well, not literally. You could catch COVID-19 and die!”
Michael Gravell, long-time Alberta resident, had a slightly different strategy for consoling his children during these challenging times. He swatted a lingering murder hornet and explained:
“My two fellas told me at bedtime they were worried about their schooling, being the little keeners that they are. I said to them, ‘listen kids, you think you have it tough? Well when I was your age, we didn’t even have internet!’” I suddenly caught myself. “Oh man, I guess that’s nothing compared to risking your life to get educated. Ok, just try to get some sleep; the sun will come out tomorrow…maybe. If it does it’ll give us all skin cancer and destroy the planet thanks to the damn hole in the ozone layer!’ At that point, I looked out the window and realized everything was on fire. Again.”
At press time, all three parents were glumly sharing the meaning of ‘Doomsday Clock’ with their bewildered children, while simultaneously sharing the age-old practice of drowning sorrows with a nice stiff drink.