It's slightly more insane if you actually do have a child: When we bought our first pregnancy test, there was a discount card for an abortion clinic inside it. Half the Bible Belt would explode if they tried that kind of thing in America. When my wife actually got pregnant, we had to go to about three different government offices to get checked out, fill in a bunch of forms, and then get a little book with the number of our fetus on it. Remember when people were worried that smartphones were the mark of the beast? They're bar-coding the unborn over here like the evil robots from The Matrix, and it's just business as usual.
"I'm sorry, but according to my bar code reader, you're not due for another two months."
Those are the big issues of government control, but they're not the only issues: There's lots of small stuff they want total authority over, too -- like when you get to heat your own house. There are no private utility companies, meaning that the heat gets turned on when Beijing thinks it's sweater weather, not before. The heat season usually starts mid-November, but what if you're dealing with a particularly cold October? Tough beans, buddy. Have you tried snuggling? If not, you're in clear violation of the government-enforced spooning program.*
*Not actually a thing ... yet.
Siri Stafford/Digital Vision/Getty Images
If it's a particularly cold winter, try a threesome!
And then there was the time they forced people to smoke more cigarettes, like a stern sitcom father trying to teach a rebellious teenager the dangers of peer pressure. Officials at the Hubei province once famously ordered government employees to smoke more cigarettes to boost the local economy. Maybe it was also their way of slowly culling the number of old folks in China so they wouldn't have to force so many people to visit their elderly parents? Because that's another real law China has on the books: Official legislation forces you to visit your elderly relatives. We're basically talking government-mandated family game night here.
Not pictured: the officers holding him there at gunpoint.
Michael Pearce is a writer with a book about China that you can buy right now on Amazon. Cezary Jan Strusiewicz is a Cracked columnist and editor. Contact him at email@example.com.
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