Friday, May 28, 2010

Columbus Community Standards

Many years ago, in the early seventies, I believe, the State Highway Patrol stopped a driver whose car displayed a bumper sticker that read (and I’ll spell this out using NATO phonetics), “Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo Michigan.” The motorist had a date in municipal court for displaying an obscene bumper sticker.

The magistrate heard the evidence and rendered a decision as follows: the verb in question can mean a sexual act, or it can mean a term of derision and disdain. Quite obviously, the magistrate continued, it is impossible to engage in sexual relations with the entire state of Michigan. It is, however, quite commonly accepted in Ohio to express all sorts of derision and disdain toward that state, and particularly the University of Michigan’s football team. Therefore, the magistrate dismissed the charge.

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