WHY DID HE DO IT?
Sundays at the Kleinschmidt Family house had a routine that was followed that was different to other days. The family, which consisted of the parents, a 13 year old daughter, 11 year old son and 9 year old daughter, would rise at 7am, have breakfast, attend their local Lutheran Church at 9:30am, return home at 11:30am. Mrs Kleinschmidt’s parents would come over for a lunch of roast beef and vegetables, and stay into the afternoon, going home at around 4pm. Tea was at 6pm, and usually consisted of toasted sandwiches and fruit cake and cream. At 6:30pm, the kids were permitted to watch Countdown, once they had cleaned up the kitchen, on the old black and white TV in the games room, while Mr and Mrs Kleinschmidt went to the lounge room to watch other programs on the colour TV.
One cool Sunday night, in 1984, as the kids were told that they could watch Countdown, once the kitchen was tidied up, Mr Kleinschmidt asked that the kids join he and his wife in the lounge room at 7:25pm.
“But, but, we-” began his older daughter.
“No buts.” replied Mr Kleinschmidt.
At 7:25pm, just as the ABC weather forecast was beginning, Mr Kleinschmidt announced, “All will be revealed in five minutes.”
At 7:30pm, Mrs Kleinschmidt changed the television over to Channel 7.
“Tonight,” began Mr Kleinschmidt, “your Mum and I would like to watch A Country Practice instead of 60 Minutes.”
The image of Shane Porteous, wearing a camel coloured jacket, pink shirt and grey tie filled the screen, as he sat behind what served as the desk in the clinic. He outlined how the show was about the actual case history of a boy who had died last year, from chroming.
Mr Kleinschmidt, after the program, said, “Tomorrow afternoon, I want you ids to come home, do your homework and for the older two, some study, then have your showers and be ready to watch TV at 7:30pm, please.”
So, why did he do it? He wanted his kids to learn about the dangers of inhaling substances.