Good manners are usually the result of good parenting, but, in one household last week, it was a case not of having been 'brought up', but rather 'dragged up' - and, seemingly, by the scruff of the neck.
Oscar Scrote, who is only 9, looks cute enough, but, as every parent knows, looks can be deceptive.
Oscar is a kind of pre-pubescent anti-Christ.
He indulges in all manner of annoying, disruptive, dangerous, and damaging behavior.
Around the house, he leaves his room messy, throws his worn clothes on the floor, leaves the TV and lights on when he eventually goes to bed at around 3 a.m., pisses all over the toilet seat and the carpet, and doesn't flush or wash his hands.
He's already flushed the family's pet goldfish down the toilet, and put weedkiller in the cat's bowl. He's stolen money from his mum's purse, and has swiped his dad's cigarettes from his jacket.
He 'borrowed' the car keys and had a spare set made, and intends to take his dad's car for a joyride soon.
Oscar has also attracted the attentions of the local constabulary. He's been questioned about local vandalism, threatening and frightening old ladies, and a selection of unsolved burglaries, but, to date, remains at liberty.
Last week, he stepped over the line as far as his parents were concerned. Said his dad, Chris, an unemployed Santa Claus:
"He had his feet up on the table, so I told him to get them down. There's only one place our Oscar's going to end up, and that's prison."
But Oscar rejected this prediction. He said:
"The Filth ain't got naffink on me!"