Shopping

A public interest endeavour dedicated to the ongoing improvement of The Social Contract.

Please note the introduction of the following amendments to The Social Contract. These matters pertain specifically to Appendix F: Shopping.

Please note the following important amendments:

Bit of a revelation for the citizenry in this first update. According to Part A (1.1.2), grapes, even when stolen individually by a person or persons performing a facial expression that implies some kind of serious taste-testing exercise is underway, are still considered property. This also applies (see 1.1.2(iii)) to “all varieties” of nuts. Expect this to be vigorously challenged in the courts in coming months.

Less controversially: any corporations, entities or persons who (whether with ”ironic intention” or otherwise) play ”any form or variety” of Christmas carol in a retail environment shall be taken from this place to another place and put to death. 

In a development certain to attract the ire of the supermarket chains though, a new defence has been introduced against potential charges of damage to property where the automated repetition of the phrase “Please remove item from the bagging area” occurs in the absence of any item whatsoever being in the bagging area.

The device known colloquially as a “children’s trolley” is now classified (3.2.4) as a “dangerous weapon” and is is forthwith prohibited in the world in perpetuity no questions asked no worries thanks for playing.

Any retail professional who, in a clothing emporium, loudly asks “How was that EXTRA LARGE? Can I have a stickybeak? Oh wow! I’ve got that exact one at home but in an EXTRA SMALL!” while opening the little saloon doors and revealing a semi-nude customer with a garment part way over his or her head can now be fired on spec by any member of the public in or around the immediate vicinity (see section 8.3.1 “Citizen’s Dismissal”). This is an important exception to the hearsay rule.

Movements are underway to introduce measures that ensure chairs, couches, reading material and/or ready access to alcohol are supplied in every clothing outlet around the nation. Watch this space. Be aware there are more changes expected in this area over time, particularly in relation to the repeated, wilful and reckless squeezing of avocados and the regulation of lighting in the change-rooms in swimwear shops. Citizens are advised to keep an eye on this developing area of jurisprudence and remember: ignorance of the law is no excuse.

This important legal update first appeared in Crikey.

Parking

A public interest endeavour dedicated to the ongoing improvement of The Social Contract.

Please note the introduction of the following amendments to The Social Contract. These matters pertain specifically to Appendix E: Parking.

Please note the following important amendments:

In response to an apparent lack of clarity in this area, Appendix E now covers in exhaustive detail exactly how to park a car. For instance:

According to 1.3.1, a vehicle is not parked ”unless and until it is inside the lines“. 

In the event of there being no lines, a car is parked when it is “not hindering in any way” the egress of “any other person or persons from adjoining cars, houses, driveways, or structures of any kind”. As with many areas of law, the “reasonable person” test applies here. i.e. please try and be a reasonable person.

A car park on public land out the front of your house is not “your” car park. Indeed, according to 2.3.1, the act of bagsing, staring menacingly, and/or delivering passive/aggressive speeches to the neighbours does not make the car park out the front of your house any more your car park than it already isn’t. 

On this point, it is now clear that the leaving of notes on windscreens is an offence where the note in question touches on ”any of the following topics”:

A) Recommended driver education programs;

B) Handy parking tips;

C)  Suggested courses of action pertaining to optometry; or

D) Swear words in capital letters.

Readers familiar with this area of law will notice a broad addition in 1.1.8 pertaining to “persons assisting other persons with parking”. According to the wording here, “Any human person” who is aware of being studied while parking a car will ”without exception throughout the world in perpetuity completely fail to park that car“. In direct contravention of the Good Samaritan Law, therefore, it is the responsibility of “any or all bystanders“ in the area to “pretend not to notice a car is being parked” up to and until the sixth (6th) attempt at parking.

1.1.9 points out that the opposite also applies and that all the most breathtakingly brilliant car parks occur when nobody is around. Should any person or persons witness a car park such as this, whether from a window far above, from down the street etc, they are obliged by law to say “great park”.  A round of applause is also acceptable. 

Remember. Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

This important legal update first appeared in Crikey.

Romantic Relationships

A public interest endeavour dedicated to the ongoing improvement of The Social Contract.

Please note the introduction of the following amendments to The Social Contract. These matters pertain specifically to Appendix F: Romantic Relationships.

Importantly, the wording here specifies that the term “romantic” when appended to the word “relationships” in this context does not “in any way signify any requirement whatsoever of any romance of any kind”. In fact, the term “romantic relationships” is taken to mean “any relationship wherein the persons involved share an abode and/or finances and/or a Netflix account and/or a memory of having once kissed”.    

Alert readers will notice in section 2(b)(iii), the phrase “I thought you packed it” or “any variation thereof” is no longer considered “a defence to anything, ever, so help you God”.

The law in relation to name-remembering has been clarified in this update. It is now clear that it is an implied term of any romantic relationship that (see 7.8.1): “at any event where Partner A knows more people at a function than Partner B, AND where Partner A is deficient in the area of name-remembering”, the law states that Partner B must: 

    (A) Unilaterally introduce him or herself; AND

    (B) Ask for any names that aren’t repeated; AND

    (C) WHEREAS it is implied that Partner A ”is and will forever be“ grateful for the     performance of this duty and WHEREAS it is considered a ”significantly onerous duty as to     require some form of payback“ (see ‘Points System’, below) it is also hereby stipulated that     Partner A may, in response to said performance of duty, declare outrage at having not been     allowed to perform the introduction. (Some form of “Oh! I was just about to do     that!” seems acceptable here).

The last update is the controversial introduction of the Relationship Points System. As expected, it is complex, nuanced, fraught, and comes in at 158 pages. Without doubt, this area of law will be rigorously debated. One clear determination, though, is that where points are traded in “duties, tasks and chores”, all chores are not equal but the SAME chores ARE equal. E.g. If one person cleans the bathroom and receives no praise but the other person does so and expects a ticker-tape parade, the latter party forfeits all rights to any points for the next twenty-four (24) hours. We will watch the litigation in this area with interest, but stay tuned here for updates. Remember: ignorance of the law is no excuse.

 

This important legal update originally appeared in Crikey. 

Binge Watching Television

This is a public interest endeavour dedicated to the ongoing improvement of The Social Contract.

Please note the introduction of the following amendments to The Social Contract. These matters pertain specifically to Appendix D: Binge Watching Television.

Note that binge-watching is defined in ’Definitions’ as ‘The watching of any video or cinematic content on any device for any length of time longer than three (3) episodes or three (3) hours, whichsoever is the longest, honestly, no really, be honest, you’re only kidding yourself’. 

Due recent interventions by various mental health authorities, Kardashian hours are longer than normal hours and conversion is necessary to calculate rates of consumption. For example, one hour of Kardashian programming is worth 90 minutes of normal programming. See table 1.8. In the event of consuming more than 5 Kardashian hours, please seek medical assistance.

The introduction of Part 2(a) (”The mid-binge co-binge”) brings sweeping change to a long-under-regulated area of legal jurisprudence. 

This section stipulates that, in the event of one party entering a room mid-binge, that binge may become a co-binge under the following circumstances only:

(i) The interrupter of the binge must not distract the interruptee by undertaking any activity including but not limited to eating, moving, speaking or asking questions such as “Which one is she married to?” or “Is that the same one as before or is this red face guy?”

(ii) The interrupter must under no circumstances make a noise involving fingernails, toenails, or tongue clicking. 

(iii) Any interrupter who enters the room and criticises the act of the binge, may not partake in the binge.

(iii) Upon the arrival of the interrupter to the binge, the interruptee may take the opportunity to enhance the binge by stipulating certain acts performable by the interruptee (for a full list see “Binge enhancement” in Appendix F). These acts include the fetching of food or drink, the closing of an annoying blind, or a swift response to the phrase “would you move your head for crying out loud?” (It is not clear whether this wording is prescriptive).

Lastly, the language in this Appendix is very clear on the question of streaming services that counti down the seconds until the next episode will be automatically played. In the event of this happening, any viewer or viewers who perform to themselves a little act of hesitation before allowing the video to “accidentally” play on are “fooling themselves” and “need help”. 

Remember. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. 

This article first appeared in Crikey.

 

 

 

 

Catching Public Transport

This is a public interest endeavour dedicated to the ongoing improvement of The Social Contract.

Please note the introduction of the following amendments to The Social Contract. These matters pertain specifically to Appendix C: Catching Public Transport.

Please note the following important amendments:

Note that, for the purposes of clarifying any previous confusion in relation to this matter, an important distinction has been made in “Definitions”, namely that, in any form of public transport, seats are for the carriage of “human persons”. Note also that “human persons” is now a term that explicitly excludes “bags of any kind”.

 Section 1.1.1 (“Premature disembarkation”) dictates that any person or persons attempting board any form of transport without first waiting for the people onboard to get off shall be fined the maximum amount allowed by law and required to perform an interpretive dance on the theme of “how I went wrong in life and what I choose to do about it”.

Section 1.1.8 (“Spare Window Seat Creeps”) stipulates that any person who elects to sit on the aisle seat in the event that there is not someone in the window seat must, when another human is standing nearby, move over. If the second person does not take the aisle seat within two (2) minutes, the sitter may resume their original position. Please note that “pretending to be asleep” here is not a defence.

Section 4.2.2 (“Hot Chips”) prohibits the eating of hot chips on public transport under any circumstances so help me God.

Section 4.5.8 (“Pregnant people and old people”) stipulates that if you (a) have a seat and (b) are under the age of 65 and (c) there is a pregnant person or an old person standing up, what you must do is this: stand up, offer them your seat, disembark, and walk home in the rain having a good hard think about yourself.

Section 5.1.1 codifies what are called “Public Transport Performance Defences” and the law relating to them. The following are no longer considered defences to any breach of any section of the law in this area: performance of sleep, performance of being “so lost” in your phone that you are not responsible for your behaviour, performances of outrage, performances of important phone calls. Note though that, in the presence of a Dangerous Seeming Person, all bets are off and you can perform Verdi’s Requium if you think it helps.

 This Appendix is under constant review. Updates will be provided. Remember: ignorance of the law is no excuse.

Domestic Chores

This is a public interest endeavour dedicated to the ongoing improvement of The Social Contract.

Please note the introduction of the following amendments to The Social Contract. These matters pertain specifically to Appendix A: Domestic Chores.

Please note the following important amendments:

Clause 7.6.1 (“Provision of Services: Dishwashing”) has been redrafted to close the “leaving things to soak” loophole and to incorporate the well-established “it’s always about the dishes, but it’s never about the dishes” principal. 

It should be noted that the ancient legal maxim, ‘Thou Shalt Not Leave Teabags in the Sink’, is now a strict liability offence throughout the world in perpetuity forever and ever amen (Clause 8.1.1).

The introduction of the “on, around or adjacent to” rule now applies “to all Domestic Chores notwithstanding any other considerations, including but not limited to ill-health, death, or whether or not a party was binge-watching Game of Thrones at the time”. Pursuant to this section, persons who leave items “on, around or adjacent to” the place where those items belong are found to have demonstrated knowledge of the crime they are committing (mens rea) and are therefore in breach of this segment - a criminal offence attracting significant jail time. 

Clause 9.3.1 (“The leaving of piles”) stipulates that “the tidying of items into neat-looking piles” falls outside the definition of “cleaning up” (see also “You’re Kidding Nobody”, in Schedule B). 

A “bathmat” is defined as a “small towel that temporarily protects the bathroom floor from water”, overriding previous interpretations of bathmat as “(a) a decorative item; or (b) a wet carpet that belongs on the floor forever”.   

Pursuant to to clause 88(b) (“The Mediation Process”), for the purposes of any discussion regarding household chores, if either party makes reference to the other party’s family (or part thereof) or deploys (whether with malicious intent or not) the words ‘typical’, ‘pathetic’ or ‘calm down’, that party is considered to be in breach of this agreement and, in the latter instance, to have established bone fide grounds for a good divorcing.

In the event of one party being unable to locate an item, that party must “under no circumstances” accuse the party who just cleaned up of “tidying up” said item or being responsible for losing it (see “You’re On Your Own Here Buddy” in “10.1.2: Damages”).

The party who cleans the house after everybody else is asleep shall be fulsomely celebrated with, where possible, a ticker tape parade (see “Means of Celebration” including “The Surprise Clean” outlined in Schedule 8).

Note: the introduction of the much-awaited amendments, “Schedule 9: Gender Inequity: It’s Your Turn Now Lads”, are taking significant time to draft and will be announced at a beachside locale ASAP.

Remember: ignorance of the law is no excuse.

This article first appeared in Crikey.

 

When to Shut Your Face

Welcome to this, a regular public interest endeavour dedicated to the ongoing improvement of The Social Contract.

Please note the introduction of the following amendments to The Social Contract. These matters pertain specifically to Appendix B: When to Shut Your Face.

Please be aware of the following amendments, effective immediately:

Section 1.1.1 stipulates that “In the event of meeting a woman who may or may not be pregnant with a human child, no person, under any circumstances, may

(a) mention the possibility of a pregnancy

(b) use the words ‘your condition’

(c) offer any unsolicited advice of any kind, ever, or:

(d) launch into a birth story involving the time you exploded while giving birth/will never trust a hospital again/had an orgasmic birth in a waterfall holding hands with a butterfly.

Unless (1.1.2) you are a qualified medical practitioner with the woman’s actual medical chart in front of you and she is, in fact, crowning.

Section 1.2.1 stipulates that persons currently engaged in relationships (whether dysfunctional or not) must, in the event of meeting persons who are currently single, Shut Their Faces in relation to matters pertaining to (a) marital status, (b) sexual orientation, (c) knowing someone who is “really lovely” who would “be a great fit”, or (d) using the phrases “putting yourself out there” or “it will happen when you least expect it”. Note: breaching this section is a criminal offence that can result in jail time.

Section 3.3 proscribes any adult person approaching a male adult engaged in the care of a child and asking any of the following questions: 

(a) “Have you got the day off today?”

(b) “Aren’t the baby’s feet a bit cold?”

(c) “You’re doing a great job. How old are they? I mean, approximately…”

Section 1.3.8 stipulates that any person who is, for whatever reason and for however long, a passenger in any vehicle whatsoever, must never, under any circumstances, comment on the driving abilities, directional choices, or musical tastes of the driver, including but not limited to comments such as:

(a) “Oh. You went that way.”

(b) “It’s just sixty in this area. Says there you’re going sixty-three.”

(c) “I always have trouble with reverse parks too”

Regarding interpretation, it should be noted that these amendments set out to codify the age-old maxim: “Life will afford you many opportunities to Shut Your Face. Seize all of them”. 

Remember. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse.

This column appears in Crikey, where all the cool kids get to see it first.