The other day, I thought of a new law that ought to be enacted.
It was on a plane flight from Seattle to San Francisco. The woman in my row sitting in the window seat had pulled the shade down so she could sleep, depriving me and anyone else in our row of seeing out. Heck, there could have been all kinds of interesting things to ogle at – maybe even a monster on the wing like in that old episode of “Twilight Zone.” But I’d never know, thanks to Sleeping Beauty.
New law: “If you insist on a window seat, you must not pull the shade down without first consulting the other people sharing your row. It’s not, after all, your window – just your seat. If you want to sleep, bring some eye shades.”
There are plenty of other laws that ought to be put in place regarding air travel. Here are just two more:
• People who hog both armrests will be asked to move – or have one of their elbows removed.
• People who always keep their seats fully reclined, from take-off to landing, will be jettisoned out when the plane reaches it maximum altitude.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not a completely wild-eyed law and order type. I don’t think there should be laws prohibiting obesity, body odor, tackiness or bad breath – especially when people exhibit those things as a form of freedom of expression. Nonetheless, after consulting various other colleagues and relatives, here are some new laws to at least consider:
1. People who park at an angle so they are purposely taking up two spaces shall have their car towed and then be ordered to walk home. Barefoot.
2. The use of double negatives will bring a S200 fine. That fine is fixed and there isn’t no way to reduce it.
3. Also to be made illegal: That molded, clear-plastic packaging that everything at Costco seems to come in. You shouldn’t need a chain saw to open a two-pack of shampoo.
4. TV weather forecasters will now be required to actually look out the window at least once before going on the air. Even if someone has pulled the shade down to sleep.
5. Also against the law: The picking of noses in public – including one’s own.
6. Heavy fines will be imposed on those who take forever to order food in a restaurant. This particularly applies to people who walk into a McDonald’s with the express intention of ordering a quarter-pounder with fries, but then stand and stare at the menu board as if seeing it for the first time.
7. It shall be illegal for professional athletes to point to the sky every time they do something good, unless they also point to the ground every time they mess up. (However, TV weather forecasters can point to the sky when they get a forecast right.)
8. It shall be illegal for a newspaper columnist to make more than two rude remarks about TV weather forecasters in a single column.
9. Restaurants will be fined that display happy pigs, cows or chickens in their signage. Pigs, cows and chickens that are about to be eaten are not happy.
10. An immediate fine will be levied on anyone who says, “Can I ask you a question?” At the point that particular sentence is uttered, it is too late for the other person to say “No.”
11. Perfume or cologne that can be smelled from more than 10 feet away is too much perfume or cologne.
12. It shall be illegal to plant one’s self next to someone else on the bus when there are dozens of other seats available. The same law shall apply to men’s urinals in public restrooms.
13. Air guitar shall be illegal when performed by guys who don’t know how to play a real guitar. Air harp shall remain legal to anyone goofy enough to do it.
14. If a person breaks a jar of pickles, cooking oil, syrup or whatever in a grocery store aisle, they are required to remain at the scene of the crime, rather than sneak away. The exceptions would be pure ammonia – or really icky stuff, such as pickled pigs’ feet.
15. And finally, although it may fly in the face of freedom of speech, certain words and phrases should be banned outright. These include: “No problem.” “What’s up?” “Dude.” “Y’know.” “Like.”
All will be punishable, if not by death, then torture.
Oh, and one more thing that should be outlawed: The use of this thing at the end of e-mails or letters 🙂 Let’s get that law passed immediately.
Pat Cashman is a writer, actor and public speaker. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org