Two things riled listeners on my radio show yesterday.
One, was my defence of the woman with the crying baby turfed out of the London café ... and two, my defence of MP Chris Bishop's right to Snapchat. Naïve and ill advised yes, but a creepy perv ... no.
The comments ranged from, "how dare a woman put herself before her baby"... the inference being once you procreate, you must never enter a cafe again. "Why should other customers suffer?"... absolutely, God forbid you have your latte ruined by one of the most normal sounds in the world, a baby crying.
You see, here's the thing, you don't know when your baby's going to howl, they tend not to come with set timers for their vocal performances, it's a "as and when suits" kinda thing. You know this first hand once you have a baby. And sometimes, you can't stop it.
This is a terribly frustrating thing for many parents and leaves them flummoxed and embarrassed, but it's not their fault.
I went so far as to say I had empathy for the woman's plight, that I too have had a baby fire up unexpectedly in a confined space ... a plane, and it's a horrible feeling to know your child is annoying other people, but there's often very little you can do about it.
I've also been one of those people who offers to cuddle someone else's screaming baby, but what I find in these scenarios is that a hysterical baby often only gets more hysterical when a random, well-meaning stranger attempts to cuddle it.
"Plight?" someone wrote to me, "it's not a plight! Why is she in a café?" Ummm, she wanted coffee?
Travel anywhere in Europe and at any time of the day or night, you will see babies and kids in restaurants and cafes, it's extremely common. Eating places, are family places. If you prefer your flat white without humanity in all forms around you, maybe do drive-thru next time.
Then there's the snapchatting MP. As hipster as he may think it is to Snapchat, it really only is the domain of teenagers, it's their stock trade and currency, it's how they communicate. They think nothing of it, but their parents do! And it was a parent who complained. We often complain about stuff we don't understand, that's fear for you.
"But," the commenters raged, "he's a creep! It's disgusting!" Why? Are all men perverts now are they? That reaction says more about you than him. He's a naïve politician new to the platform of social media who thought it'd be a good place to communicate. In fact it wasn't even his idea - it was his team who suggested it in a bid to "get their message out" to young people.
I believe Chris Bishop didn't even know they were 13 years old. Snapchat doesn't pop up with a notification announcing a person's age. The parents here may've been better served asking themselves why they're allowing a 13-year-old to have a public Snapchat account. Bishop fixed it as soon as he got wind of it.
So a word to the wise regarding any adult public figures on Snapchat ... unless you're snapping pic's of Kylie Jenner's new baby or a selfie with a crazy filter adjusting your face your message will be lost. Don't waste your time.