If you’re one of the millions of Americans who has looked on in dismay as our Federal government sinks into an abyss of partisanship and stupidity, you should remember at all times that crazy people also occupy our state and local governments.
Take, for instance, Hawai’i state representative Richard Creagan, who is a Democrat. He wants to raise the state’s legal age to buy cigarettes. To 100.
Recently, when my 91-year-old mother told me she was worried about gaining weight, I said, “Who the hell cares? You’re 91. Eat a sundae every day. Take up smoking!” So I’m on board with Creagan’s proposal. In fact, I think people who are 100 years old should be required to smoke. Because, really, they’ve lived long enough.
And, as a totally unrelated aside, when the heck did Hawai’i get an apostrophe?*
Let us now hop on a 10-hour flight to New York City, where the City Council has decided to name some streets after hip hop artists, so that there are now residents of Brooklyn and Staten Island who will suddenly find themselves living on, respectively, Notorious B.I.G. Way and Wu Tang Clan District. Just kidding . . . about Notorious B.I.G. Way. It will actually be called Christopher Wallace Way, which may be even worse, because if you live there, you’ll have to spend your life having this conversation:
- THEM: “Christopher Wallace? Wasn’t that the boy in Winnie the Pooh?”
- YOU: “No. That was Christopher Robin. Christopher Wallace was Notorious B.I.G.’s real name.”
- THEM: “Who is B.I.G. and why is he or she notorious?” (Because “THEM” is your 80-year-old white father.)
I wasn’t kidding about Wu Tang District, though. And there’s also going to be Public Enemy Turnpike on Long Island. Imagine having that on your business card!
While we’re in the Big Apple, let me quickly mention the small request the government has made of the GPS app WAZE. It would very much like WAZE to stop telling drivers that “police are reported ahead” because, they say, it encourages reckless driving. Why hasn’t it occurred to the NYPD that if it’s really concerned about safety (rather than losing the revenue from tickets), it could simply report to WAZE that police are ahead even if they’re not. Then everyone would drive more carefully and the police could be more productively deployed fighting crime in the Wu Tang Clan District.
I forgot to mention that, when flying from Hawai’i to New Yor’k, we had to change planes in Oklahom’a, where a state representative named Rick West (a Republican) has come up with a great way to stop sexual violence in the Sooner State . . . by chemically castrating first time sex offenders. I have no idea how chemical castration works, but I can’t escape the image in my head that involves dissolving things in a bubbling solution.
Victims’ advocates don’t think this will solve anything. “Sexual violence is about power and control,” said one. “Not about sexual gratification.” Nevertheless, you can understand it if R. Kelly and Harvey Weinstein don’t relocate to Oklahoma any time soon.
Up next: finger guillotines for pickpockets.
Now let’s move on to California, where chemical castration is already available as a punishment (really). There we will find the town of Dixon, which is located about 23 miles from Sacramento and, evidently, a few light years away from anything resembling political correctness. The town’s Vice Mayor, Ted Hickman, a real estate agent, has declared that, henceforth, July should be “Straight Pride American Month.” This is obviously a ludicrous notion (hey–“Ludacris–great name for a New York City street!) since, if such a thing were to exist, it would be Straight American Pride Month. Or American Straight Pride Month. Or American Overcompensation Month.
“We are different from them,” Hickman proudly wrote in the local paper, referring to the LGBTQ community. “We don’t flaunt our differences dressing up like fairies and prancing by the thousands in a parade.” Hickman, who identifies with pride as a “healthy heterosexual,” has not provided a description of what his parade would look like. I’m picturing a few people dressed as if they’re from the Eisenhower administration marching down Dixon’s main street.
Meanwhile I’m guessing Hickman’s real estate business may be experiencing a decline among a certain demographic.
Finally, we must end our American tour of pointless politics by dropping in on our nation’s non-functioning capital, where the Senate recently approved a rare piece of bi-partisan legislation, making lynching a Federal crime. I guess until now you could have been lynching people with total impunity. Hell, if you were in California, you could have caught yourself a sex offender, dissolved his genitals, and then lynched him.
But we have to take our victories where we can, and it’s good to know that our representatives on both sides of the aisle can come together on a matter so important to the lives of everyday Americans and reach an agreement on something as controversial as lynching being a bad thing.
As an aside, though, it should be noted that seven different presidents have asked Congress to ban lynchings in the past to no avail.
I guess the time had come.
See you soon.