Back in the day, delivering the morning newspaper was an honor bestowed on one lucky neighborhood child who could earn some cash and tips of peanut-butter M&M’s in exchange for providing their neighborhood with news from the world.  Now, the local paperboy is a rare, if not extinct, breed.

In Sakai City, Osaka, one father has been arrested on suspicion of violating the Child Welfare Act after allegedly deciding to instill the values of hard work and responsibility which come with a paper route in his own children.

Osaka Prefectural Police announced on 27 Feb. that the 31-year-old part-time delivery person for a Sakai City-based Yomiuri Newspaper dealer had used two of his own children to assist him in delivering newspapers to area subscribers. The man had admitted after his arrest that he had “been doing this for about a year now.”

The man’s route consisted of around 130 households and he delegated 30 to 40 of them to his eldest son (10) and eldest daughter (9) both elementary school students. According to the police investigation, the man “had originally done it because he needed help after becoming ill, but afterwards just didn’t bother stopping.”

The Yomiuri Shinbun Osaka PR Department released a statement regarding the incident which read; “We find this to be truly regrettable, and we urge all dealers to have their delivery people work in compliance with the law.”

So I guess the days of a paperboy (or girl, of course) delivering news of imminent nuclear Armageddon with a cheery smile and ring of the bicycle bell are long gone thanks to over-regulation. It’s gone along with the days of service with a smile, fresh bottles of milk delivered to your doorstep, and Aunt Bea’s apple pie cooling on the windowsill.

It’s truly a shame.

By the way, I almost forgot. Police were tipped off to the man after receiving reports from residents regarding very young children delivering newspapers at extremely late night hours such as 2:00 a.m….

Source: Asahi Shinbun (of course)