It is the kind of case which should no longer shock an America already beaten into submission by the iron fist of political correctness. But it has - and how. The home of the Prevette family from Lexington, North Carolina, has been besieged by an army of reporters from home and overseas after a coy classroom kiss cost six-year-old Johnathan his boyhood innocence. After the bug-eyed kid pecked a female classmate on the cheek, teachers sent him home for a week, citing regulations against sexual harassment between pupils. School rules, it was said, prohibited 'unwarranted and unwelcome touching of one student by another'. While the rule could conceivably be applied to 14-year-old high school students, America is asking how a mere tot who knows nothing about the facts of life can be accused of sexual harassment. Sociologists and psychologists have united in their opinion that the incident reveals political correctness to have spun out of control and that the people who really need help are the school's authorities. The blue-collar Prevette family, of course, has not been shy in coming forward in the face of the media attention and is already considering six-figure offers for the movie rights to Johnathan's tale. And now Macauley Culkin is too old to star in Home Alone III, the blond, precocious North Carolinan might have the star quality the movie needs. However, a teacher friend of mine believes, having studied the culprit's cheeky mug on the pages of countless newspapers, that the full story has not been told. He reckons the suspension was a punishment waiting to happen after the boy annoyed his teachers with a host of other pranks. But while the school refuses to discuss the case, questions remain. And it would not be premature to point the finger at Washington for laying the groundwork for the controversy. Federal regulations require school authorities to have policies for dealing with sexual harassment, no matter what age the pupils. If anyone has the dirty mind, it would seem to be Big Brother. Now that America's baby-boomers are safely ensconced in their mid-life crises, here comes baby boom number two. This boom has nothing to do with economic prosperity, demographic shifts or sociological trends, however - just bad weather. Hospitals up and down the east coast from Boston to Washington DC are reporting an average 25 per cent increase in births. And the only reason they can find is the massive blizzard which brought life to standstill in the region in January and February. So far, the early arrivals from the snowbound couplings have had medical clinics rushed off their feet and gearing up for the full burst of births in the next two weeks. Columbia Women's Hospital in Washington has had to recruit 40 additional nurses to cope. Mothers already complain that insurance companies, wishing to keep payouts down, insist on hospitals turfing them out of their bed just 24 hours after giving birth. But the current crisis could see the conveyor belt running even faster. Snow, wind and other natural hazards have inspired other mini-baby booms in the past. Even a 1965 blackout in New York City doubled birth rates nine months later. But the interesting thing is what this phenomenon says about the sex life of the average American. Take this quote from one Jeanette Beers, who told reporters after giving birth last week: 'How many talk shows can you watch? There was nothing else to do.' Clearly, love in the 1990s is something you think about only after exhausting the other range of consumer offerings. If David Letterman and Seinfeld are showing re-runs, the video store is closed and one has had one's fill of surfing the Net, then - then and only then - will romance be in the air. From birth trends in the nation's capital, it seems apt to move on to the subject of death. Given that Washington has one of the nation's highest murder rates, it seems doubly troubling that the residents who do die - from homicide or natural causes - have no chance of doing so in dignity. So deep is the city's financial crisis that dealing with the dead has taken on a Third World appearance. Corpses lie in uncooled rooms infested with cockroaches, there are not enough body bags to go round, and relatives are having to delay funerals for up to a month until someone becomes available to do an autopsy. The city's sole morgue has only one chief examiner and one toxicologist, who have both quit in frustration at not having the resources to do the job - and not one application was received after the posts were advertised. Federal prosecutors are also being thwarted in catching killers because the city is making them wait up to a week even for high-priority autopsies, compared to a 24-hour wait in other cities. And 1,400 cases still await toxicology reports so a cause of death can be established. Undertakers are as frustrated as the families of the deceased, but have told the Washington Post are afraid to publicly criticise DC's morgue in case bureaucrats shove their corpses to the back of queue.