HOW TO TALK TO BUSINESS OWNERS ABOUT THE INDIANA RFRA

There’s this new sports medicine study about sea gypsies who go barefoot all their lives. Turns out their incidence of joint replacement surgery is like the lowest on earth. It’s mind-blowing how sophisticated an understanding these guys floating around the Gulf of Thailand have of human kinetics, but it fits right in with all this research coming out how wearing sneakers deforms the bone structure of your foot.

So that no-shirt-no-shoes sign in the window is basically forcing me to see an orthopod twenty years down the road. And I’m totally, hundred-percent fine to put on shoes if you would just sign this promissory note taking responsibility for my insurance premiums from now until hereafter. Or I could go barefoot. Your choice.

HOW TO TALK TO THE JUDGE ABOUT THE INDIANA RFRA

Your Honor, I did not spit repeatedly upon the proprietor of the grocery in question, but only once, and I wouldn’t characterize it as an assault, rather an expression of outrage at the gross violation of my right to not get joint replacement surgery. If you’re going classify a grocery store as a person, the least you could do is accept my loogie as free speech.

You think you’re such big news don’t you, Your Honor, throwing around words like intimidation, destruction of private property, resisting arrest, incitement to riot and all that walla-walla, but what you’re really here to decide is the question of whose victimhood outweighs the other’s. And the answer is mine.

HOW TO TALK TO YOURSELF ABOUT THE INDIANA RFRA

Didn’t we learn in school about concentration camps and communist purges? Didn’t we learn about slaves, about American Indians, about child labor and voting rights? Didn’t we learn that one human being always has some rationale to persecute or discriminate or subjugate another? It’s just that those reasons always seem so cartoonishly self-serving when you read them in history books.

No matter what the cops say, no matter what the court pronounces, I know in my heart of hearts that the field of biomechanics will judge the no-shirt-no-shoes question in my favor. The whole thing hangs on that study of sea gypsies. When the day arrives that mainstream media can accept the causation linking sneakers to joint failure, that’s when my stand will be recognized for what it is.

Maybe I’ll be a pariah until then. But damn it, at least I’ll be a pariah with a healthy human gait, and just you try to pry that away from me.

As for my shirt, well, what is the point of a six-pack and pierced nipples if you can’t show them off?

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Deano Freeman is the alter ego of Matt P. Jager, whose nonfiction has been published in travel guides, newspapers, and magazines around the world. His fiction is published here.

Photo by Tulane Public Relations (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ATake_the_Walk_Tour_(4075547422).jpg) via Wikimedia Commons.