BEARTOWN GO TO THE DOGS
It's time to find
something to ban in Vermont
Burlington Free Press Staff Writer (with
Every once and again, a guy wakes up in
Vermont with a yen to ban something.
We ban wind turbines and lead sinkers. We ban
billboards. We ban personal watercraft from some lakes and all exotic
animals from Church Street. Vermonters are, by nature, banners.
So what say we have a dumb contest to ban
something from Vermont.
Here's the premise of the Banned From Vermont
Contest: What's OK in Westchester County is not necessarily OK in
We're not 625,000 head of cattle marching in
lockstep with the rest of the planet. We don't have to allow everything
in Vermont if we don't like some if it.
So nominate something we ought to ban and be
prepared to back it up.
The only thing off limits in our contest is
people or types of people. We're inclusive equal opportunity banners.
Hilariously creative though it would have been, keep your suggestion
that we ban flatlanders to yourself. We won't ban them or Republicans or
animal rights activists or Yankee fans or anybody else.
Let this be said for Vermont: When we put our
heads together to exclude something, we include everybody.
Should we ban cell phones? Why bother? They
only work in about 8 percent of Vermont anyhow.
Banning high-speed Internet access would be
easy, too. There's hardly any of it.
Ban Aunt Jemima syrup, the faux stuff made
from corn? Get a grip. Nothing could be finer.
Tanning booths? This is Vermont, where the sun
don't shine. We're pasty from September through May, and we like it that
way. Get used to it. You want abundant sunshine, move to Utica.
I'd float a ban on soy milk as a way of paying
homage to the dairy industry, but that would annoy a great many people
here, so I withdraw the motion.
Here are two starter nominees of potential
bannees to prime the pump:
We ban gas-powered leaf blowers. If God had
intended us to gather fallen leaves with power tools, he would have made
our digestive systems capable of handling two-cycle oil and gasoline.
No, by golly, we'll not have our brown leaves gathered by a combustion
engine. We want the sound of rake tines scraping over bare dirt and
grass clods. Gas-powered leaf blowers turn leaf raking into a noisy,
solitary task that pollutes to boot. The Vermont way is quiet,
environmentally sane and sociable -- you rake, then you lean on the rake
and chat; then you rake some more and you wait for the wind to pick up
and carry your problem onto your neighbor's spread.
We ban remote car starters. How in good
conscience can we enact laws to prohibit idling, preach from every
soapbox about the perils of running an unmoving motor vehicle in this
age of post-peak-oil and petro-wars and melting ice caps and still
permit the sale of a product that has the sole purpose of starting a car
from a distance so that it can idle? Where's the justice, the logic, the
Chances are you have a better idea -- you
always do -- for something that merits banishment from Vermont.
I'm begging you to provide your real name (not
your Internet moniker) and your town, city or gore of residence with
Send along your nominations with your logic,
about this banning idea. It is only three months until the
Beartown annual town meeting. We must save our heritage and
protect our future. Hopefully this banning idea will be widely
accepted. Start brainstorming today!!!
BEARTOWN NEWS EDITOR