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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: Calling off the search

I can’t believe I am going to say this.

But some kids today have it rougher than we baby boomers had it. At least in one respect.

Kids today contemplating searching their homes for still-to-be-wrapped Christmas presents or partially unwrapping gifts already under the tree have to weigh the possibility that their clandestine activities are being monitored by hidden cameras. So even if the parents are momentarily away from home, that motion-detecting surveillance system they installed to spy on the babysitter or grandma’s caregiver can still gather incriminating evidence.

It sees you when you’re sleeping. It knows when you’re awake.

Back in the day, all you had to do was nod to your older brother and off you went on a hard-target search of all your parents’ likely hiding places for electric trains and slot-car sets. No one worried about showing up on a tell-all video and having to answer squirm-inducing questions like, “Well, what do you have to say for yourself?”

Now, before I go any further, I should state for the record that secretly hunting for presents before Christmas is wrong. I won’t pretend that I never did it. But I have been made to see the error of my ways.

Still, even if a kid today does not abstain from peeking under beds on moral grounds, he has to know what he’s up against: Big Parents technology.

To defeat the surveillance equipment potentially arrayed against them, modern kids would need to do an electronics sweep of the room before even beginning to paw through drawers or reach into the backs of closets.

In 2016, that’s not the only consideration.

Parents and grandparents of today’s children remember when they were kids. That has led to significant improvements in hiding packages and tamper-resistant gift-wrapping.

I haven’t heard of anyone employing exploding dye packs. But those adults who long ago famously said “The cat must have ripped the wrapping paper” know better than to make opening a present too easy.

So maybe kids just need to take the pledge. You know, take the high road.

Please repeat after me.

“I will not seek to find out what I’m getting for Christmas before Dec. 25. I understand that good things come to those who wait.”

Of course, I’m not sure how many kids read the newspaper. So perhaps parents who have installed hidden cameras might want to leave them in place for another week.

Today’s Slice question: What present would you give Spokane?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. Sometimes it’s best not to assume the Christmas sweater someone is wearing is intentionally ugly.

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