Flat-out Daddy and Flat-chat Mummy

In the US, the Maine National Guard is using a unique method to help families connect to their loved ones deployed in Iraq. They’re life-sized cardboard cutouts. If your father (or mother) is deployed in Iraq, you can get a Flat Daddy to help keep the absent parent involved in family life.

“Many military units can provide families with a life-size cardboard cutout of their overseas warrior. The family can then take that figure to parties, put it in the passenger seat of their car, take it to bed or do whatever it is that families want to with a replica of their loved one. Named after Flat Stanley, a children’s book character who was squashed flat, the cutouts have been a surprise hit since they were introduced. In Maine alone, the state’s National Guard has given out more than 200 Flat Soldiers since January. Experts believe the cutouts are a useful psychological device, especially for children, that helps cope with the stress of long absences. It allows the family to genuinely feel the missing person is still involved in day-to-day life.”- Source.

In NSW, we have just had a state election where the winning Labor party Premier Morris Iemma, amongst other things, stated that the Coalition government’s WorkChoices campaign was a factor in their loss.

I want the federal Labor party to start giving out Flat Daddies and Flat Mummies to any children that tell a caregiver, teacher, Nanna, Pop, or friends that they miss their working parent, be they in or out of the military, and they don’t get to see enough of them. I want this done to highlight just how little work/life balance WorkChoices legislation affords the working parents of Australian children.

It would also remind Australians, in an election year, that we are still in an illegal war in Iraq!


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10 Responses to “Flat-out Daddy and Flat-chat Mummy”

  1. weezil Says:

    I want a flat John Howard, suitable for lining rat cages and preventing nasty oil stains on the driveway.

  2. Suki Says:

    Would that be Uses for John HoWARd #102 and #103?

  3. Dave C Says:

    Very clever idea. Also like the uses for John Howard site.

  4. QuietStorm Says:

    Genius, Suki. We should seriously suggest this to the Federal ALP. You could be in marketing!

    Sorry, I didn’t mean that as an insult. 😉

    (And my 101 Uses For A John Howard fridge magnet is one of my most prized possessions!)

  5. Suki Says:

    I still giggle when I see Bill Leak’s 10% (in honor of the GST) more bottom lip when he draws HoWARd.

    Some days, QuietStorm, humor is all we have!

  6. joe2 Says:

    It is particularly scary to think what Mr Fish would do with Flat Daddy. I am imagining sardine cans with the returned dead, as contents, from an illegal war. A convenient and economically rational solution by Halliburton Funerals division.

    And on worse days, Suki, black humour is all we have left.

  7. weezil Says:

    Perhaps when the lives of soldiers represented by ‘flat daddies’ are needlessly snuffed out in this illegal war, GWB & JWH should be getting their very own copies to remind them of this senseless waste of life, based totally on lies.

  8. Helen Says:

    I guess I’m more pessimistic than the rest of you, I can see the Anne Mannes etc turning this into a “get a flat Mummy to replace the bad working Mum” concept.

  9. Suki Says:

    I think perhaps public policy will flatten any ‘bad working mother’ diatribe Helen. I can’t see the Anne Mannes types supporting the rights of women on welfare.

    Come July 01, single mothers with their youngest child over six years of age must be an active job seeker or studying to continue to receive their payments. Currently single parents with their youngest child over eight don’t even go on Parenting Payment Single (PPS), it’s straight to Newstart (as a fully, active jobseeker).

    Having said that, I agree that the term ‘mother’ can get very quickly diminished once you put ‘single’ in front of it.

  10. Graham Bell Says:

    Suki [on 5th April]:
    Or rephrasing it a wee bit ….. come 1st July, all those greedy undeserving layabout unmarried mothers will have the choice of starving …. or doing their bit to stimulate the inbound tourism market by getting into the sex industry. It’s entirely their choice, isn’t it? Isn’t it? Isn’t it!!

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