Monday, August 11, 2008

The Long Arm of the Law

"Minnesota's new laws take effect August 1"
By Rachel E. Stassen-Berger
Commentary by Dewey Roth

If you send or read text messages or e-mails while you are driving, stop! Such multi-tasking will now be a petty misdemeanor. This is in addition to the general assault upon the English language that is constituted by most texting. "Your" does NOT equal "you're," and don't even get me started on whatever "ur" is. Also, please note: the words are "there," "their," and "they're." It doesn't take a college degree! (Not that a college degree guarantees anything...)

If you are a teen with a new driver's license, for the first six months of driving you can have only one passenger — unless a parent or guardian is along. You can't drive between midnight and 5 a.m. unless you have a licensed passenger age 25 or older or are driving to or from a school event or work. You can't have more than three passengers younger than 20 unless you have a parent or guardian along. In months with an "R" in it, you are allowed to drink non-carbonated energy drinks while driving, unless you happen to be wearing any synthetic fabrics, in which case you must have a person with no body piercings, including earlobes, sign a form stating that cotton causes you to hallucinate a purple polar bear on roller skates with a mango.

You now can pay your landlord's delinquent utility bill in order to make sure your service isn't disconnected. Wow...what a privilege! I think we should pass a law that says the utility company can buy me dinner at the dining establishment of my choice, followed by a movie and maybe a quick kiss at the door.

If you own a single-family home, you must have a carbon monoxide detector within 10 feet of every bedroom. This makes me wonder about double-family homes and triple-family homes. Apparently, Big Brother doesn't care if LOTS of families die in their sleep, only families that have the place all to themselves.

If you go to a concert, the band must include at least one member of the original group or someone who has the rights to use its name. That means if you bought a ticket to see Sha Na Na, whose singer Bowzer lobbied for the music law, you actually will see someone who was in the original Sha Na Na or is allowed to use the name Sha Na Na. And aren't you glad that our state legislators turned aside from balancing the budget in order to take care of this plague upon society? W00t! W00t!

If you buy a concert ticket, a computer can't butt ahead of you in line. Using software to buy up tickets will be illegal. This, of course, only applies until someone devises a computer program that can do it without being detected as being a computer program. This will happen in approximately...oops, too late.

If you smoke in a hotel room designated nonsmoking, be prepared to pay big. Newly increased fines could include the cost of restoring the room to its smoke-free status, plus $600 if you don't pay within 30 days. Not to mention your hospital bills from when I personally beat you to a bloody pulp.

If you are in a car accident, doctors or other health professionals can't contact you to solicit your business unless they know you already, work in an emergency room, or operate an ambulance. Which would be the only people trying to solicit your business at such a time anyway, right?

If you call police or fire emergency lines and you know there's no emergency, you are guilty of a misdemeanor. You're also ugly, and your momma dresses you funny.

If you attend a dogfight, cockfight or animal fight of any kind, you can be charged with a gross misdemeanor. But if you get injured while watching, feel free to sue the host of the fight to within an inch of his life.

If your dog has repeatedly hurt or bitten people without provocation, it may be sterilized or killed. Or, it just may be depressed; in which case, the PETA folks can recommend a fine pet psychologist.

If you are in the military, your employer can't punish you, your spouse or your children for taking time off to attend military deployment and reintegration events. They CAN, however, call your parents names and shave your cat.

If you run for state office, you must make your radio and TV ads accessible to the hard-of-hearing. Augh! Abuse of the handicapped! What have the hard-of-hearing ever done to deserve this kind of foul treatment?

Ahhh...Minnesota...the Land Where 10,000 Things Are Not Allowed

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