Dan and his wife are good friends of ours. We go out to dinner with them and a few other couples quite often and drink heavily and happily, from when the appetizers come all the way through to when they take away the desert plates, and we talk about all kinds of stuff, with mainly Dan and I doing the talking because we tend to monopolize the conversation and believe that we know everything about everything. Which I do. Not sure about Dan.
As much as Dan likes professional sports, what he likes talking about most is how much the current President of the United States sucks a big donkey dick and how it’s 100 percent my fault that the country is going to hell in a handbasket because I voted for the guy. My eyes glaze over when he starts down that road, because I have heard the same complaints from him about the previous President and about our governor and about our mayor and about the people who run our country club community and about any other people who happen to be in a position of authority and whose decisions in some way, no matter how remotely, impact Dan’s life.
“But you gave up your right to complain,” I say to Dan.
“And when the hell did I do that?” Dan will ask.
“When you abdicated the responsibility for the world around you and put it into the hands of ‘them’,” say I.
“Who the fuck is ‘them’,” asks Dan.
“Other people,” say I.
“Oh, you are so full of shit,” says Dan.
I want to tell Dan that I don’t think anybody in this country, or any other country on this planet, should be able to vote until they have read a book called Ishmael and seen a movie called Wag the Dog and listened to every CD from comedian-prophet Bill Hicks.
I want to tell Dan that giving control of your life to politicians and legislators who are not as smart as you and who do not truly have your best interests at heart is only half the problem. The second half of the problem is when you let those incredibly flawed people dictate how you can live your life by allowing them to make and enforce laws.
I want to tell him, but I don’t think he’ll listen.
I want to say, “If you don’t believe me, try doing this.”
Try peeing in public.
Try smoking in a store.
Try not paying a sales tax.
Try spanking your own kids.
Try not sending your children to school.
Try taking a tiny pocket knife on a plane.
Try stopping someone from burning the flag.
Try buying a handgun for personal protection.
Try walking across a border without a passport.
Try shooting the man who raped your daughter.
Try arranging an abortion for your under-age niece.
Try telling your secretary she looks sexy in that dress.
Try catching a fish or shooting a deer without a license.
Try plucking cannabis, a common weed, and smoking it.
Try watering your lawn on a water rationing blackout day.
Try selling yummy home-made tamales without a license.
Try refusing to send your son to fight one of their wars.
Try letting the grass in your front yard grow two feet high.
Try telling coworkers a joke involving sex, race or religion.
Try killing your own dog because he keeps biting your kids.
Try not hiring someone because of their religious preference.
Try smothering your cancer-ridden grandmother with a pillow.
Try burying that same grandmother in your own back yard.
Try taking a baseball bat to the head of a KKK rally leader.
Try saying a prayer or pledging allegiance to a flag in school.
Try sunbathing totally nude on a lawn chair in your front yard.
Try buying a beer when you are seventeen and half years old.
Try adding a room on your house without a building permit.
Try driving your car barefoot and not putting on your seat belt.
Try not giving half your hard-earned money to the government.
Try promoting someone based simply on their job performance.
Try coloring outside the lines.