Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Real Pair

Sixty-five  year old South Carolina resident Virginia Tice is fighting a $445 ticket she was written on July 5th of this year while stopped at a local gas station in the city of Bonneau. The citation was issued under the state’s obscene bumper sticker law which reads as follows:

"A sticker, decal, emblem, or device is indecent when taken as a whole, it describes, in a patently offensive way, as determined by contemporary community standards, sexual acts, excretory functions, or parts of the human body."

What caught the officer’s attention was a giant set of plastic red testicles hanging from the hitch of Mrs. Tice’s pickup truck. These novelty items are generally marketed as “Truck Nutz” or “Bulls Balls” and come in a variety of colors, materials, and sizes. Prices range from $26.95 for a small set all the way to $49.95 for a set of chrome danglers which, according to the website, are “designed to swing.” 

Let freedom swing

Mrs. Trice arrived at traffic court with the intention of requesting the matter go to trial and the town’s police chief agreed. This means that sometime in the next month or so a jury of twelve citizens will decide whether or not a molded plastic scrotum constitutes an “offensive device” under the South Carolina law. This will be the first significant challenge to the law since the Calvin urination stickers became prevalent in the 1990’s.

These vehicular accoutrements made an appearance in our area years ago and no matter how many times I see them I have not yet become accustomed to a pair of brightly-colored man-berries swinging from the bumper of an F-150. In all honestly, I cannot say that the accessory offended me so much as it made me question the intelligence of someone who would shell out $50 for the privilege of displaying the most visually-unappealing of all body parts. However, I realize that a word like “offensive” is maddeningly subjective and creates an enforcement nightmare.

I suppose one could argue that it is our God-given right as American citizens to attach plastic genitals to the bumpers of our automobiles, but I am not sure that is exactly what the founding fathers had in mind when they came up with freedom of expression. On the other hand, we cannot rely on everyone’s intrinsic sense of decency or else someone is going to start selling “big Johnson” hood ornaments or Hillary Clinton 2016 bumper stickers.

I cannot envision a more entertaining legal proceeding to be a part of, regardless of the outcome. Mrs. Trice has retained the services of a private firm and is expected to argue that the state law is inapplicable in her situation. I also wonder if they will call any “expert witnesses” to testify concerning the anatomical accuracy of the item. Can you imagine keeping a straight face when her attorney faces the jury box and delivers his opening statement?

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,
                This case is about far more than one woman’s right to proudly display her nuts. It is a wake-up call to the citizenry of this great nation. No longer can we stand by and silently watch as our autonomy erodes away. Sure, today they just want to take away your bronzed scrotum but before you know it we are living in communist China and we all have to submit to a background check before selecting leather interior!

Some have pointed to the fact that pulling up behind a truck adorned with the testicles could lead to awkward conversations with children that may be in the car. I put some thought into this and decided that instead of avoiding such questions, we must be honest and upfront with our offspring. So when the time comes that little Brian Jr. spots a pair swinging from the back of a Dodge Ram and says, “Daddy, what are those?” I can look him square in the eye and say “The worst use of $50 since I bought that Derek Jeter cologne gift set.”

5 comments:

  1. Now I feel weird about liking Jeter Juice. Nice blog, you keep my cynical/sarcastic soul burning bright.

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  2. The real question is, Do Ernie and Bert have a set hanging from the back of their car?

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  3. Can a federal law be enacted - for people who buy these products ? They would be required to place a bumber sticker that states:

    I am stupid - I will buy anything !

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  4. Exceptional MediocritySeptember 9, 2011 at 12:19 PM

    @RAR, Nice!

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  5. Aww come on folks! Its just a friendly little heads up from the person IN FRONT of you!

    ReplyDelete