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Friday, Mar 27, 2015

Here’s what we really want from our government

BY MARK O’BRIEN, Florida Voices

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The Legislature is in session, busily carrying out the wishes of Special Interests Inc., and Gov. Rick Scott is moving toward the middle. But that’s a mere canard, as any left-winger conspiracy theorist knows.

Scott just wants to dupe the middle-of-the-road folks into re-electing him next year, at which point he will promptly revert to Oscar the Grouch mode, dispossessing orphans and widows, paving the Everglades and banning Medicaid to make Florida even more “business friendly.”

If the Legislature and Scott really wanted to help the working men and women, its members would get busy passing a bunch of laws that would improve our quality of life.

For starters, instead of giving every Kindergarten student his own Uzi, let’s authorize law-abiding motorists to fire paintballs at any vehicle that doesn’t show directional signals before making turns. Give us molten lava to dump on the geezers in Buicks going 35 mph in the left lane of Interstate highways. And flashing lights and loud horns to draw attention to anyone who throws a cigarette butt out the window of his card.

Pass a law requiring disclosure by the Tea Party, Tax Watch and other associations of grumpy old guys. All of their statements and press releases should carry a warning: “We just don’t want to share anything because we’ve already got homes, cars, educations, pensions, Medicare and insurance, and we don’t want anyone cluttering up the doctor’s waiting room when we go to get our bunions examined.”

They should pass another disclosure law and require that stores post it prominently for all the idiots to see when they line up to buy Florida Lottery tickets. The message: “Caution, you have less chance of winning the big prize than Dennis Rodman has of winning a spot in the Diplomats Hall of Fame.”

If lawmakers really were on our side, they would pass legislation to make convenience stores and coffee shops for those of us now forced to wait in line behind dipsticks who deliberate at length over whether they want some beefy jerky along with their lattes. All stores should have to post signs above each cashier line: “Decided” or “Undecided.”

Here’s a law that citizens would unanimously enact in a constitutional amendment: “No clerk shall make a customer wait to make a purchase while said clerk answers the telephone.”

Decriminalize marijuana and put the cops to work ticketing people who let their dogs poop anywhere then walk off without bagging it. Let’s have big fines for restaurant servers who look at your plate and ask, “Are you still working on it?” And they should authorize those of us who don’t text, drink or talk on a cellphone while driving to travel an extra 10 mph over the speed limit.

Pass these laws, Gov. Scott, and you will make my life so much better that I just might vote for you next year.

Formerly a columnist for the Pensacola News Journal, Mark O’Brien is a writer in Pensacola, and the author of "Pensacola On My Mind" and "Sand In My Shoes."

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