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In the fight for rights, don’t forget your oven mitts

February 3, 2019

It’s not often that I write about politics. I find it odd, though, that once I express those political comments, the majority of people slowly, slowly back out of the room, never taking their eyes off me or turning their back until they bolt out to their car.

And it’s not that I mind my mailbox being blown up, or my fingernails being shredded because the glue on that hate mail is really tough; it’s just that everyone is so passionate about their political views.

These views almost always are highly and intelligently concluded from reading the backs of cereal boxes and bumper stickers or well-researched accounts on the front page of the tabloids at the supermarket checkout line.

In order to keep my readers, all two of them, informed, I can tell you the latest trend in politics is the right to have rights. Everyone is up in arms, and you have that right too. Even the most minuscule infraction must be covered somewhere in the U.S. Constitution.

In major cities, the streets are clogged with ACLU attorneys flagging down taxis and Uber drivers so they can just circle and circle until they spot their prey, someone with a protest sign that unfortunately turns out to be a piece of cardboard that flew out of a dumpster and just landed on the head of an elderly person trying to cross the street. Pretty soon, crowds begin to form, and before you know it, a march is in full progress.

Protesting for your rights has some new elements today. Personally, I believe at the forefront, most Americans want the right to take a number.

They want to be waited on in a line that is first-come, first-served. It’s like that television commercial with the former NFL player finally getting his number called at the deli counter. He goes into a dance screaming, “Number 44, that’s me, gonna get some cold cuts today, whoohoo!”

We demand numbers at the supermarket, the DMV, parking spaces, telemarketer’s lists, in fact anyplace where there is the possibility of a line to be formed. It is our right. It has even invaded our healthcare system.

The other day, I went to a healthcare facility to have some lab work done. It was late in the day, so I took a seat in an empty waiting room. It was actually quite nice, and I would recommend it for anyone looking for a quiet place to read a book. But obviously this was a cutting-edge facility, shuttling patients in and out in a timely manner.

A clerk took one look at the empty waiting room but still called out a number. You have to respect that. She could have easily just asked me to come on back. Of course, the number called wasn’t my number, so I continued to sit. I know my rights, too.

Along with these rights comes the right to protect yourself against harm from others. And with all these people gathering to have their voices heard, there is always the possibility of bodily harm. There is a lot of intermingling, sneezing, coughing, and shrieking by celebrities, which may cause your pants to catch on fire.

This is why I reserve the right to wear oven mitts. This is a basic right granted by the constitution to protect anyone from germs. At least according to a saying on a T-shirt someone was wearing in Times Square.

There is nothing like lobster mitts on a person to clear a path. Others almost always automatically let me go to the head of any line. It is odd, though, that they still back slowly out of the room, making sure to keep their eyes on my mitts. So it goes.

  • Nancy Katz has a degree in creative writing and is the author of the book, "Notes from the Beach." She has written the column Around Town for the Cape Gazette for twenty years. Her style is satirical and deals with all aspects of living in a resort area on Delmarva.