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In All Fairness

February 1, 2023 by Tim

My boys are at an age where they’re keenly interested in things being “fair,” yet not old enough to have the perspective to see the bigger picture, and grasp that things all shake out roughly even eventually anyway.

Or they don’t, and that’s just life. We went on vacation a couple of weeks ago, and I feel like I spent the whole week keeping track of whose turn it was to press the elevator button, whose turn it was to use the room key, etc.


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Ferumbras
Ferumbras
1 year ago

Pressing “up” tells the elevator you want to go up. Whether the elevator goes up or down depends on where it currently is, who else is requesting it’s usage and who is currently in it. You gotta stay sharp with these kind of things! It’s never that simple! 😛

Richard Weatherfield
Richard Weatherfield
1 year ago
Reply to  Ferumbras

NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERD!

Olivia
Olivia
1 year ago
Reply to  Ferumbras

Yeah, technically pressing up from the outside of the elevator only calls the elevator to you. If you’re on the second story of a three story building, you could press up and then choose to go to the first floor once you get in. Which makes me wonder why there are two buttons outside…

Jeff
Jeff
1 year ago
Reply to  Olivia

Olivia, then the elevator could go up to the 3rd floor even though you pressed ‘1’. If there are lots of floors, you better make sure you are going in the right direction. In Munich, Germany, most elevators only have one button (no up or down).

Peter
Peter
1 year ago
Reply to  Olivia

There could be people inside already going to a floor above you. If you press up, the elevator will stop to pick you up and continue going up. If you press down it will skip you for a faster delivery of the people already inside.

Olivia
Olivia
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter

Oh! I hadn’t realized that logic was built into elevators, but it does make sense.

StepGamer Dad
StepGamer Dad
1 year ago

Ah, yes. The age old conflict of sibling equity vs equality.

Vangelis Bagiartakis
Vangelis Bagiartakis
1 year ago

I can relate…

(father of 5 here)

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
1 year ago

I think I’d care for two, maybe three kids.

For five kids, either I’d assert my position as Pack Leader and slap that button myself, or just let the kids and Darwin figure it out for me.

Zexius
Zexius
1 year ago

And that’s with only 2 kids…

Troy D Bird
Troy D Bird
1 year ago
Reply to  Zexius

The Fairness Grimoire gets infinitely bigger as the number of kids increase. 😀

Played2manygamez
Played2manygamez
1 year ago

So the solution to this problem is actually simple. All you have to do is find the most embarrassing instant stamp you can find and next time they get like that you tell them that you will happilly help them keep track of whose turn it is using a simple “stamp card” system but in this case the card being stamped is the forehead. You explain that if they wash off the stamps they will lose track of whose turn it is and you will have to decide randomly thus eliminating all so called fairness. I guarantee that after one… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Played2manygamez
wkz
wkz
1 year ago

I can tell you that within hours of you enacting that plan, your kids will leave you high and dry and stick to your spouse instead.

… meh. More uninterrupted gaming time for me.

(Incoming wrath of the missus in 3… 2…)

Steve
Steve
1 year ago

My father’s approach was to angrily and menacingly tell me if something was THAT important to me, then I could have it, but he’d make damn sure it was the last time I ever did.

Probably not ‘permissible’ nowadays, but it was damn effective. ?‍♂️

My approach to two ore more squabblers would be to King Solomon it. If you two/three/etc. can’t stop fighting, then I’ll claim the disputed privilege for myself and no one will get anything, until such time as you kids can act civilized about it.

Kix Acelot
Kix Acelot
1 year ago

I will say that I did have success one time with “It’s not fair…” when I told my daughter, “You’re right! It’s not fair that your older brother has to wear braces. I’ll make an appointment for you to get some too. It’s not fair that he has more chores than you just because he’s older, I’ll make sure to give you some of his chores. It’s not fair that he makes his own lunch and your mom or I make yours; you can start making yours too. You know, to be fair.” She was okay (for a time) with… Read more »

Jack0r
Jack0r
1 year ago
Reply to  Kix Acelot

My 5 year old complained that it’s not fair he has to put the dishes on the table, and I don’t help (I was cooking at that time).

So the next day I swapped roles. The next day he had to cook (he had to re-heat left-overs under supervision), and I set the table. He hasn’t complained since.

Crestlinger
Crestlinger
1 year ago

Or C ‘Ink me daddy!’ in a crowded mall. Be ready for this one it can crop up at the most unexpected of times. Also a good tell for a future tattoo lover.

Alex
Alex
1 year ago

Shouldn’t it be descension/ascension instead of decension/acension?

Casper Hansen
Casper Hansen
1 year ago

Lol. You try with three kids and determining whose turn it is to lick the jam or honey spoons after breakfast, or who gets to pick their vitamin pill first (different flavors). But this one was very relatable.

Gnarph
Gnarph
1 year ago

I wish I could tell you that within the next 10 to 15 years that problem goes away…. oh, how I wish I could say that…

Santos L Halper
Santos L Halper
1 year ago

I remember those days with my younger sister. Back when it was super important that “he/she got to do X last time, now it’s my turn!” law was followed. Even in cases where, if either of us stopped and thought about it for like a second, ‘X’ was something neither of us actually cared about. Good times ^_^

SoulinFL
SoulinFL
1 year ago

Haha, I can relate so much to this it’s not even funny 😀

Logannis
Logannis
1 year ago

I wish i could tell you it gets better as they get older (mine are teenagers) but it doesn’t….

Kix Acelot
Kix Acelot
1 year ago

Holy hell does this ever ring true. Now imagine it with five kids. It’s amazing they fight over whose turn it is to get the mail but not over whose turn it is to empty trash.

Jack0r
Jack0r
1 year ago

Easy solution: I press the button. If you quarrel, I get to do it.

Drew
Drew
1 year ago

So. Easy solution, “We’ll take the stairs until you guys work it out. Let’s go!”

Scarsdale
Scarsdale
1 year ago
Reply to  Drew

That’s the best solution, nothing stops never ending fights when you make them work harder for something, used that trick a few times myself. I was SO happy when they grew up and had to deal with it themselves. (MUAHAHAHAH HA!) My mother called it the “motherly curse” She told me: ” I hope your kids treat you the same way you do me” sigh… revenge…

Scarsdale
Scarsdale
1 year ago
Reply to  Drew

The best day in my life was when my oldest, in a few years of him having kids himself, called me to say he was sorry for everything he did as a kid XD

Eric the White
Eric the White
1 year ago

I think I mightbe a bad father, I told mine life isn’t fair and pushed it myself if they were going to argue about it.

Scarsdale
Scarsdale
1 year ago
Reply to  Eric the White

Not really, that got started with mine as well and I tried to do the same that Tim did, they both would pushed ALL the buttons, so nope never again. And I had to guard the panel because they would sneak a push.

Scarsdale
Scarsdale
1 year ago

My wife and I had only 2 kids, 2 boys rather, aged only 23 months apart. EVERYTHING they got had to be bought in two’s and identical. We were struggling a bit after the youngest was born, so the boys had to share a room. (“DAAAAD!, he broke my (insert item here)” or DAAAAD! ! he stole my (insert item here)) Wasn’t a big deal for at least the first few years, but the green monster kicked in with the oldest. Wasn’t really “fair”, my youngest was born sick and needed far more and constant attention, which of course didn’t… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Scarsdale
Casra
Casra
1 year ago

My parents solution to such was “they did it” until we learned to act like we were not 3 year olds.

RPS
RPS
1 year ago

Solution: Rock, paper, scissors.

Scarsdale
Scarsdale
1 year ago
Reply to  RPS

Until the “He cheated” gambit is used and WWIII breaks out in public. True story.

Verdiekus
Verdiekus
1 year ago

Lmao, at first I thought it was an elevator question. Guess I’m not needed this time. Comic was very funny, reminded me of my brothers.

Phaet
Phaet
1 year ago

I remember I didn’t know how elevators worked when I was a kid. I thought it was the world outside the elevator which was changing somehow. I didn’t even see the buttons, I was that short. We enter, door closes, then door opens and there’s something else behind the door. Somehow I didn’t connect the dots that I was on a ground a few minutes ago and then I was looking through a window on 9th floor.
I was a stupid kid.

DharricRolyat
DharricRolyat
1 year ago

Beyond Thunderdome rules. Toss the key; whoever is standing gets to use it.

DanVzare
DanVzare
1 year ago

When I was a kid, you didn’t get fairness by going to your parents (as a matter of fact, they’d almost always choose something unfair for both parties). You got it by actually working WITH your sibling. For example, me and my sister had limited time on the computer. That wasn’t fair to us. So what we did was swap turns every hour, that was not only fair, but it meant that our parents couldn’t keep track of how much computer time either of us had, so we both got to stay on way longer than we should have. Once… Read more »

MarthKoopa
MarthKoopa
1 year ago

Kinda spooky you post this comic today. Just last night I was reminiscing about this EXACT dilemma every time my dad would take my brother and I to visit our grandma when we were kids

anarfox
anarfox
1 year ago

When me and my siblings where small, my parents had a book where they noted who got the chicken legs last time. So we could get an equal distribution over time.

Crestlinger
Crestlinger
1 year ago

If you hold the door close button and the floor you’re going to at the same time once you are inside and don’t release either until arrived it skips all other floors and people regardless of how many are between you and your destination unless someone pushed the button before you did so. So like from floor 42 to floor 1 with nobody else on.

Bubba
Bubba
1 year ago

There is a quote from Babylon 5, can’t remember which character, that went something like this:

I, for one, take great comfort in the fact that life is not fair. I’d hate to think that all the terrible things that have happened to me were because I actually deserved them.

J.D.
J.D.
1 year ago
Reply to  Bubba

A google search said it was Marcus Cole

J.D.
J.D.
1 year ago
Reply to  Bubba

the whole quote

“You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn’t it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So, now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe”

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
1 year ago

“I go up,” said the elevator, “or down.”

“Good,” said Zaphod, “we’re going up.”

“Or down,” the elevator reminded him.

“Yeah, okay, up please.”

There was a moment of silence. “Down’s very nice,” suggested the elevator hopefully.

“Oh yeah?”

“Super.”

“Good,” said Zaphod, “now will you take us up?”

“May I ask you,” inquired the elevator in its sweetest, most reasonable voice, “if you’ve considered all the possibilities that down might offer you?”

Last edited 1 year ago by Eldest Gruff
Erik B
Erik B
1 year ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

Thanks Gruff, I’ve not thought about this scene in far too long, and it was always one of my favourites.

Jeff
Jeff
1 year ago

You are not alone. My kids (3 and 6) are the same. I just assign ‘up’ to one kid and ‘down’ to the other kid. That way, they know whose turn it is, and I don’t need to keep track.

VibrantEvolution
VibrantEvolution
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff

don’t you get them to argue who gets to press “up” cuz usually they get to go first?

LegoMySuperego
LegoMySuperego
1 year ago

When I was a teacher, I had the students roll a d20 when they asked to do things like lead the line, get a certain seat and I’d give them advantage (best of two rolls) if they could explain to me why they wanted to do said thing. I’d award the advantage as long as there was an attempt and encourage the loser to say something like “Curses! Foiled Again!” and relinquish their pointless prize.

Martin
Martin
1 year ago

One of the weirdest experiences involved in reading your comics for as long as I have, is that I have 2 children roughly the same age as yours, and I’ve been a regular reader since before all 4 of them existed, so every time you post this sort of comic, it’s extremely relatable and always has been.

Our strategy on vacation was to preemptively declare one child the “Up” button presser, and one child the “Down” button presser. Whoever didn’t press the outside button was deemed worthy to press the floor button. So mote it be.

Erik B
Erik B
1 year ago
Reply to  Tim

Easy fix. If you took the stairs down, then take the stairs back up, and you skipped both of their turns, and it’s still fair. Maybe not their preferred outcome, but fair.

John H
John H
1 year ago

Yup. My kids are at that age too. It has crept into all facets of life. This ‘family fairness doctrine’. It’s so funny because at the end of the day it’s meaningless yet they act as if it’s their only life goal is to balance this ‘fairness’ in all things.

Den
Den
1 year ago

I think I’d make it a coin toss going forward.

J.D.
J.D.
1 year ago

Just make them both press it at the same time every time.

OMG
OMG
1 year ago

True fairness is what my mom did with my sister and me: none is going to push the button as long as it makes you two argue about it.

Nick
Nick
1 year ago

We just got back from a family vacation and I thought my two daughters were the only kids who fought over who got to push the elevator buttons. So glad i’m not alone.

Frank
Frank
9 months ago

We’re on the same page Tim. I also had a mental version of “The Great Book of Fairness” thrust upon my unsuspecting person by my four daughters. Elevator buttons were only the beginning…