SOUTH BEND, IN—Expressing misgivings over perpetuating a system of oppression, local toddler Aaron Merchant reportedly felt somewhat torn Monday about pretending to be a policeman in the current cultural climate. “I have a lot of fun yelling at kids and putting them into jail, but I certainly don’t want to contribute to a police state,” said Merchant, reflecting on why he derived joy from repeatedly crashing his tricycle into his siblings while making siren noises with his mouth. “I want to play, don’t get me wrong. I love pretending. But then again, I could probably better use my playtime to de-escalate situations instead of just arresting people. The last thing that I want is to normalize violence, so maybe it’s time to put away my squirt gun for good?” At press time, Merchant decided to continue playing a policeman after the rush of adrenaline he received from locking his sister in a closet.
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