Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Show-Me (Your Bible) State

When I was little we traveled to Missouri a few times to visit my father's family in St. Louis, where he was born and raised. I was always excited for these trips...we got to see the Cardinals play, go up in the Arch, buy soft pretzels from street vendors, and eat at White Castle. (What? I wasn't always a vegetarian, and we didn't have White Castle in Vermont.) Plus, there were strange bugs to poke at, kids to play with, and a next door neighbor who always gave us candy (back in the days when the neighbor wasn't just using the candy to lure you inside and eventually boil you in a pot on the stove.)

But today, Missouri isn't quite as alluring as it used to be. I have many kind and lovely relatives who still live there, and I don't blame them, but it seems that Missouri has taken a turn for, well, the evil.

First, there was the story this morning about a town in Missouri that may ban swearing. They also want to ban table-dancing and profane music, in order to keep the town's rowdy bar patrons under control. Right. Because it couldn't be the alcohol or anything. There are few things more sacred to me than my right to swear. It's what separates us from the animals, after all. (Yeah, and the thumb, I know.) Take away the table-dancing if you must. I'll find other ways to express my art. And if profane music includes the likes of, say "My Humps" or something, I guess I can get behind that. But no one gets between me and my colorful vocabulary. No one.

I guess I should have seen it coming. After all, it is the state that unleashed John Ashcroft on an unsuspecting public, and where a middle school attempted to prohibit an eighth-grade girl from participating in her graduation ceremony unless she wore a dress, and additionally, in which the town of Purdy continues to enforce a historical ban on high school dances, possibly inspiring the plot of "Footloose" (and perhaps Kenny Loggins' rousing anthem to "cutting loose, footloose.")
I offer this information only as a warning to anyone who occasionally employs the F-word, enjoys cutting a rug, or in the case of you women-folk, prefers pants. The only thing Missouri would like to "Show" you heathens is the border.

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