When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one person to dissolve the political bands which have connected him with the sole remaining superpower of the earth, jeez, what a giant fucking megillah.
Nevertheless, having suffered long enough at the hands of an illegitimate, hostile, belligerent, dishonest and foolish rule, I, Bob Woodiwiss, on this day, Jan. 1, 2006, declare myself, my house, my yard plus, for two weeks every April, a beach condo timeshare in Panama City, Fla., a free and independent nation.
As such, I am no longer subject to or bound by the constitution or statutes of any government beyond the chain link fence at the perimeter of three sides of my property and the hedge of dying bayberry bushes at the front. So saying, I set forth the following precepts by which said new nation, Bob, The Country, shall exist and function.
1. People of all nations are welcome on my shores (please, don't park blocking the driveway) though I'm not the kind of country that finds it necessary to put up some big fancy-schmancy statue and plaque bragging about it.
2. All races, creeds, colors, genders and sexual orientations shall be received gladly by my great land. Except for people I went to high school with. And no Republicans. Or professional wrestlers. Or Vincent D'Onofrio. He knows why.
3. No shirt, no shoes, no citizenship.
4. Equal rights are guaranteed for all. Prolonged exposure to equal rights, however, is not recommended for everyone. Anyone currently living in a red state or who has a history of listening to talk radio or regularly indulges a Fox News habit may increase their risk of thinking, tolerance, compassion, selflessness, generosity, grace and other rare but serious side effects. Ask your immigration lawyer if Bob, The Country is right for you.
5. Every citizen shall enjoy Freedom of Religion so long as s/he keeps her/his yap shut about it and leaves everybody else the hell alone. No carved tablets or portentous, condemning placards or bombings either. Fire walking, speaking in tongues, incense, et cetera -- we'll talk. Turbans are fine.
6. Freedom of Speech, after 10 a.m. daily. Let's all just wake up before we start blathering at each other, shall we?
7. Bob, The Country's government is bipartite, consisting of my brain's left hemisphere and right hemisphere. This duality of the rational and the intuitive is vital to maintaining a system of checks and balances. Under said system, the left brain shall propose, debate, draft, pass, interpret, apply and enforce legislation, whilst the right brain enjoys blow jobs at his big, fancy executive wood desk. To safeguard the democratic process among all my brain lobes and regions, intracranial activity shall be monitored by psychic observers from the Carter Center.
8. The right to bear arms? Don't think so. The right to bare arms? Sure, that's funny, whatever.
9. Bob, The Country shall not establish a militia and moreover is resolutely committed to unconditional neutrality in all international affairs. In keeping with this policy, the Bob Olympic Team shall compete to tie only. Also, in the interest of facilitating cooperation in international law, security, economic development and social equity, we pledge our cooperation to the United Neighborhood, an association of foreign governments that includes Larry&Gwendolynvakia, The Holy Mendelson Empire and The Republic of Chad (Schmidt).
10. Persons accused of a crime have the right to a speedy trial and, to see if justice was done, a super-slow motion instant replay.
11. The official unit of currency of Bob, The Country is the Baseball Card, backed by the full faith and credit of the Federal Beanie Babies Reserve.
12. Official languages are Jargon, Mumbo Jumbo, Inside Joke and Baby Talk.
13. Coke is the Official Soft Drink of Bob, The Country. Coke. It's the real thing.
14. Domestic energy policy is as follows: Keep your goddamn hands off the thermostat.
15. In this fair land of opportunity, let no child ever dream of growing up to be president. And let this be so because no child is so psychologically damaged and emotionally bereft that s/he must desperately and pathetically seek the (illusion of) acceptance and self-validation offered by elective office.
16. Finally: Bob, The Country's flag is a symbol of my many sacrifices, a manifestation in yard goods of the blood spilled and blisters raised to keep this majestic lot, this sovereign soil, free of invading weeds, litter and Jehovah's Witnesses. It signifies the three beloved dogs who lay now buried back by the composter; dogs who bravely, selflessly dedicated their lives to protecting this glorious land from marauding squirrels and invading pigeons. But don't take all that the wrong way. Do what you want with my flag. Drag it on the ground, fly it after dark, burn it, parboil it, microwave it, blow your nose on it, wipe your ass with it. Go nuts. It's a flag, mi amigos, not the heart transplant my Mom's been waiting for. Jeez.
Oh, and tourists? Call before you come.
CONTACT BOB WOODIWISS: bwoodiwiss(at)citybeat.com. His column appears here the last issue of each month. His book, Keys to Uncomfortable Living, a collection of humorous and satirical essays, is in bookstores now.