Monday, December 04, 2006


During the hustle and bustle of the Holiday season; the crowds, the lines, the overpriced crap, I am often filled with what can only be called a murderous rage by my fellow man. My Christmas wish is for a humane but effective "catch and release" system for dispatching with these irritants.

Here’s one idea.

Everyone would be issued a dart gun; the kind with the suction cup tips, and be allocated three darts per quarter. The darts can be used on anyone who has gotten on your last nerve. For example: The lady in front of you at Subway who’s arguing on a cell phone the culinary virtues of jalapeno vs. banana peppers as the sandwich maker stands idling awaiting the outcome of this debate.

“Pa-TING!” right in the forehead.

Once a dart has been dispatched the “darted one” must go to the DeDarting Station to have the dart removed and their crime documented. Nightly polls of the day’s offenses would be read on the evening news, much like the pollution index of old.

“85% of all ‘darted’ people were on their cell phone when they were darted, 10% received multiple darts, with one woman receiving a record 23 hits as she clumsily scanned her groceries with one hand while repeatedly saying “uh, huh” into a cell phone.”

Once you’ve been darted three times you have to attend a mandatory Public Manners Seminar.

Legislators would use darting statistics to determine public policy. For example, it would become illegal to make any retail returns during the holiday season, if you bought it, it’s yours until after the New Year. Another new law would be that cashiers would not be permitted to have fake fingernails so long that they have to use pencils to ring up sales and apply stickum to their elbows to make change. And, of course, sloppy parking would be criminalized; straddling two spaces, wedging your fat SUV up against some poor, defenseless, granola-burning Prius so close they driver has to climb in the hatch, and sitting in the fire lane, burning fossil fuel, waiting on Aunt Minnie, (who’s in no particular hurry) --all would be elevated from the merely oafish to the felonious.

For really big crimes --murder, rape, and driving like a moron because you’re on your phone-- we still need the state to bring out the hammer, but for the little every day crimes of manners (pa-TING!), vigilantism would be swell.
by Pat Hart


Joyce said...

I love this idea. And maybe we could use the darts on people who are just plain stupid, too. Or maybe that should be a crime?

Tory said...

I don't know, Pat. Imagine you're down to your last nerve, you have one last errand to make, it takes forever, and you aren't polite as you should be in line.

Getting darted by some sanctimonious idiot could make the day even worse!

Anonymous said...

Oh, Pat, you made me laugh so hard that I cried. I love it! How do we get this instituted? Can we all call our congressmen? Contact the media and get them involved in the movement?

Yesterday I saw a woman driving through a parking lot doing at least 50 MPH after running a stop sign to get into the parking lot. Definitely a multiple dartable offense.

As for Tory's point, I can see dart shoot 'em outs all over town.

I love it!

kathie said...

Funny post. I love that everyone has to have the dart removed and offense documented. I have to say, my Subway features similar takes forever in there.

pat said...

Well, Tory, if you can't do the time, don't do the crime...

Tory said...

Annette: if you have a shoot 'em out, does the quickest draw get away? If so, I'm all for it.

If not, can you imagine standing in line, waiting to get your dart removed, next to the cellphone addict who irriated you in the first place?

Nancy said...

I admit to wishing I had one of those dart guns. In my neighborhood we have a lot of cars driving erratically, slowly---creeping along sometimes---and I want to dart 'em. But then they pull over and it's often some elderly, out of town couple probably looking for UMPC, and I wonder why I'm in such a rush.

But those speeders in parking lots--! And people yakking on cell phones when they drive thru crosswalks. And guys dashing into Giant Eagle on Sunday morning parking for "just a minute" in the handicapped spot. Yeah, sign me up for a dart gun.