Editor's Column: Legislators consider more helpful laws

Teak surfing has been made illegal thanks to the ever-vigilant state legislature.

Teak surfing requires two things: A ski boat and a stupid person. The latter thinks it would be fun to hang on to the end of the speeding boat, mouth inhaling fumes from the motor and body within a mere few feet of the propeller. One such person died last year after ingesting enough carbon monoxide to choke a blue whale.

To the rescue came our beloved Big Mother government, whose smothering attention to its citizens would terrify George Orwell, who dreamed up governments that redefine language and rewrite history, but never imagined one would go so far as to require life jackets and ban teak boarding, for example. By comparison, Big Brother is a hands-off libertarian. The legislature decided to fine any boat driver $100 if he’s pulling a teak boarder. The teak boarder himself would not be fined, apparently on the theory that anyone so stupid wouldn’t have a hundred dollars anyway.

Unfortunately, the 2006 meeting of our state legislators was the “short session,” meaning that there was no time to adopt other badly-needed laws to protect people from themselves. So before the lengthy session of 2007 begins, the Joint Legislative Task Force on Darwin Award Laws is coming up with new ideas, based on the 2005 Darwin Award winners. As you may know, Darwin Awards “salute the improvement of the human genome by honoring those who remove themselves from it.” The deceased teak boarder, for example, will have no descendants to carry on the family tradition of stupidity, thus the genome is strengthened considerably. No doubt his name will be nominated for a 2006 Darwin Award. Meanwhile, the following laws will likely be proposed in light of the 2005 awards.

Law: $100 fine for doing gymnastics on a second story motel railing.

Explanation: A 23-year-old woman did just that in Florida, flipping onto the railing for a handstand before toppling over onto the pavement below. This law could well save the lives of a number of legislators in Olympia as they relieve stress on a Friday night.

Law: $100 fine for teasing an elephant.

Explanation: A man in Thailand tried this, pulling sugar cane away from the beast time after time. Finally the elephant gored the man and ate the sugar cane. Teasing elephants was sadly unregulated in this backward country. Perhaps there is a lesson for Democrats in this.

Law: $100 fine for dangling from overpasses.

Explanation: Two inebriated fellows in Seattle decided to see who could hang longer from a freeway overpass. The loser fell in front of a semi-truck barreling along at 60 miles per hour. As a result of this tragedy, legislators may also require airbags on the front of semis.

The Darwin Award winners’ list goes on, but you get the point. If our legislators can make a law and get some publicity showing how much they care, they’ll do it. What we need is a law against making pointless laws. Include a $100 fine and we could balance the budget without raising taxes.

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