A general surgeon I used to work with, a real Baxter Black, cowboy-poet type, once laid this pearl on me, “Son, you’re born where you’re born, but you’ll die where your wife was born.” Unfortunately for me, the missus was born in Springfield, Missouri. Since moving here from Washington, DC over thirteen years ago, I’ve had to contend with an abundance of rednecks and a dearth of art, fundamentalist snake handlers who consider, “Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior” as an appropriate job interview question, and more Chinese buffets than you can shake your chicken-on-a-stick at. All of that pales in comparison, though, to the current brouhaha over a new restaurant owner’s attempt to bring in customers through the use of humor.
The Readers Digest version of the story is this: via ky3.com:
“SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Missouri Liquor Control has told Springfield’s newest restaurant to take down a sign advertising “Free Margaritas Manana.” That despite the owner’s contention that the sign is clearly in jest.”
Are. You. Shitting me?
So some citizen, no doubt a neo-Puritan got his or her panties in a wad because someone was offering free booze (on a future date that never arrives). What’s the best way to deal with this thing that offends my rather legalistic reading of an ancient document? he or she no doubt thought. Ah, yes, let me use the power of the state to make sure I never have to gaze upon such an impure collection of words again. Wife! Fetch the phone that I might notify the authorities! Haven’t we matured as a society to a place where we can accept that there is no inherent right not to be offended? Evidently not.