Last year, when a Montana state legislator launched a crusade to ban yoga pants in our neighboring state, those of us south of the border got a good, competitive chuckle. “Oh Montucky,” we laughed, assuring our Idahoan selves that our neighboring state had just pulled ahead in the race to the bottom.
But now I can call out CANNONBALL!! as Podunk makes a splash in the shallow end of the pool. Yoga pants, yoga schmantz, we’re trying to make kayaking a crime right here in River City.
Allow me to introduce Proposition 1, an Initiative to Criminalize and Penalize the Establishment of a Whitewater Kayak Recreational Park on City of Salmon Property.
In the words of one of my favorite literary giants, Dave Barry, I am not making this up.
And for those who think Podunk takes liberties with the truth, I’ll extract the words from the November 3 ballot verbatim, which in Latin means “to copycat.”
IT SHALL BE UNLAWFUL FOR ANY INDIVIDUAL, GROUP, OR ENTITY (PRIVATE OR GOVERNMENTAL) TO ESTABLISH A WHITEWATER KAYAK RECREATIONAL PARK OR ANY IMPROVEMENTS RELATED THERETO ON PROPERTY OWNED BY THE CITY OF SALMON. A VIOLATION OF THIS ORDINANCE SHALL BE A MISDEMEANOR PUNISHABLE AS ACCORDING TO LAW.
My personal favorite part of the voter’s pamphlet explaining Proposition 1 is the proponent’s statement. Wait for it….
“We are not against a Whitewater Kayak Park. However, we want to insure that the City of Salmon does not become involved with a Whitewater Kayak Park or any improvements related thereto on property owned by the City of Salmon.”
First of all, I make it a rule to never trust anyone trying to use the word “thereto” in a 21st Century sentence.
Second, can you really say you are not against something if you are trying to criminalize it?
Rep. David Moore told Montuckians he was not against yoga pants, they should just be illegal to wear in public, especially if they are beige, and don’t have a pocket (OK, I added the pocket part…I wish my yoga pants had a pocket).
Gentle Readers of Podunk, I challenge you: give me your best examples of things you are not against, but would like to make a crime. I need some time to think on this one.