Local Bullies Upset Over Failed Passage Of HB2099

Fake News written by Martha Throebeck on Friday, May 19, 2000

from the law-of-unintended-consequences dept.

JACKSON -- Troublemakers throughout Missouri are unhappy that House Bill 2099 didn't become law this legislative session. HB2099 would've set harsh penalities for any minor who even came close to a pack of cigarettes. Lars Enny, the de facto head of the underground BAD (Bullies And Delinquents) club at Jackson Junior High, explained, "As bullies, it's our sworn duty to get everyone else in trouble. HB2099 would've made it worthwhile for us to plant cigarettes on our enemies."

The failed bill imposed various penalties (community service, driver's license suspension, fines, writing an essay in praise of the "War On Drugs", etc.) for any minor caught in possession of tobacco. "Possession", of course, is a nebulous term, one whose meaning is determined by the mood of the prosecutor or police officer at the time -- a fact that would'be played right into the bullies' hands.

"See, there's this damn kid in my 2nd hour class who narked on me for trying to put a laxative in the teacher's drink," Lars said. I would beat 'em up, but his dad is a deputy. HB2099 would've solved that problem: I'd just plant a carton of Camels in his backpack, and then send an anonymous tip to the principal... and justice would be served. But the stupid State Assembly was so obsessed with abortion this session that they forgot to stop and Think Of The Children!"

Another bully, Jimmy "Godfather" Gordlinz added, "HB2099 would also have set stricter penalties for stores that sell cigs to minors. This just means that addicted smokers would have to go through the black market (in other words, me) to get their fix. My uncle works for a tobacco company, and I can get all the cartons I want from him, no questions asked. I could use my position to make lots of dough since I would have a monopoly on the tobacco pipeline in this school. Oh, and that's not all! The police would be so swamped going after smokers and finding community service activities for them that they would have to overlook most other crimes. Vandalism and shoplifting, here I come!"

We asked the 10 members of BAD if they thought HB2099 would've reduced teenage smoking. All broke into hysterical laughter. Said one, "That's the best one I've heard all day! The attitude around here is that if the President can bonk interns and commit various other sins, then there's nothing wrong with a little innocent smoking. Know what I mean? If the government wants us to do good, then it needs to set a better example. Besides, the whole War On Drugs is a form of reverse psychology effectively telling us to Just Say Hell Yes!"