‘Parents of course have a right to slap their children, but not everyone wants to see children being hit while they shop, so by creating slapping and non-slapping areas of the store we are meeting both needs,’ said a spokeswoman for Asda today. ‘Many of our patrons have complained that it can be difficult to land a proper blow when their child is writhing around on the floor of an aisle, so the provision of a purpose-designed smacking area will allow them to mete out a proper thrashing to their disruptive child away from disapproving eyes.’
The supermarket giant says the slapping areas will be in quieter ‘neutral’ areas of the store, rather than the traditional cereal or confectionery aisles where family conflict often flares up. A special sign featuring a raised hand and a tearful child’s face will guide parents to those areas of the store that are designated as slapping-friendly.
One parent who preferred not to be named praised the scheme. ‘My mum used to belt me really hard in the Co-Op bacon queue and it never did me no harm. How I choose to bring up my kids is my business. Troy, I told you. Stop making that bleeding noise or you know what you’ll get.’
With the idea proving a success, Tesco is now considering a similar scheme to deal with unruly small children, ‘Every Little Yelps’.
But not everyone supports the approach. ‘Of course you’d never catch me shopping in Asda,’ said one lady shopping at Waitrose today. ‘I can’t bear hearing screaming and yelling while I do our shop. That’s why I pay to send my children to boarding school so they can be abused by trained professionals away from the public gaze.’
nickb (hat-tip to Al O’Pecia)