The other morning on my drive in to SCAD, I had to follow behind a GMC graced with a pair of shiny silver truck nuts aka truck balls aka trucksticles dangling from its rear bumper. I don’t get it. It’s a truck. A machine. It has no feelings. It doesn’t procreate. It’s not going to fight another truck in a parking lot over a slight at the bar. Why does it need genitals?
Despite my low opinion of both the $25.00 – $45.00 accessory and the driver who was willing to throw away that kind of money on it, I wasn’t disturbed enough to file my grievances with Johnny Law. Nevertheless, beginning in 2007 and just as recently as this year, there have been quite a few citizens who have been up in arms about these…things. Maryland Del. LeRoy E. Myers Jr. proposed prohibition. (The bill didn’t go anywhere.) So did Virginia Delegate Lionell Spruill. (Didn’t go anywhere either.) Florida will fine you for it. (It’s the law!) In South Carolina, you can get arrested for it. (Sigh.)
Anti-truck nutters say that it’s a decency issue. Pro-truck nutters say it’s a freedom of speech issue. I feel like giving both sides an open-handed slap in the mouth.
I can’t believe any time in any of these states’ legislatures was dedicated to such a trivial topic. Decency? Apparently these people haven’t seen a recent episode of Jerry Springer, which happens to come on right when the kiddies are getting home from school. With other more important issues to tackle such as the economy, the environment, education, health rights, voting rights and war in Afghanistan, I want the lawmakers and constituents responsible for being so frivolous to sit down, drink a pop and get their thoughts together.
On the other hand, free speech? What exactly is attempting to be said by hanging fake genitals on the back of a car? Just because our first amendment allows us the right to say anything doesn’t mean that we should. We don’t live in a vacuum. Our speech has consequences. Try googling Romney and 47 or Obama and cling or Youtube and Anti-Muslim or Ahmadinejad and holocaust.
I don’t know when we started ignoring the idea of mutual respect for our neighbors, nor do I know when we started making a big deal out of non issues. I just wish we would be a bit more considerate of each other, whether it’s deciding to reserve the trucksticles for only camping trip display or not being a total snitch on the idiot in the GMC. Either way, I want everyone to know that it is perfectly okay to save both our collective energy and speech for worthier causes. I can’t believe I just wrote a column on this. Believe me. The irony has not been lost.