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Get in line if you want to add to the Constitution

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By JAN GLIDEWELL, Times Columnist

© St. Petersburg Times
published January 22, 2002


The Florida Supreme Court has, yet again, failed to see the wisdom of my counsel and gone ahead and okayed the pregnant pigs constitutional amendment for the November ballot.

Needless to say, I am used by now to being ignored by all three branches of state and federal government, as well as by local governments and, basically, anyone anywhere who gets together to decide what the rest of us should do.

As stated previously in this space, I am not in favor of abusing pregnant pigs, have never personally abused one and, as far as I know, have never met any.

But we will be asked in November, to alter this semihallowed document, making it illegal to keep pregnant pigs in enclosures that do not enable them to turn around.

I understand the humane motivation behind this and salute those who take such concerns to heart, but I still find using the Constitution to do something the Legislature is too lazy, stupid or bought and paid for to do is a bad idea.

But if that's the way we do it, then I have a few amendments of my own to offer:

AMENDMENT NO. 350

An act providing for laws governing the wearing of headgear in and out of doors.

This amendment, in short, will make it illegal for any male under 25 to wear a baseball hat backwards or sideways and provides for an added minimum mandatory prison sentence of 15 years if he does it indoors, 25 if it is in a restaurant.

AMENDMENT NO. 351

An act regulating the use of bumper stickers.

Upon voter approval of this amendment, it will be illegal for any Floridian to drive any vehicle on state highways bearing any sticker or decal pointing out that the driver's offspring is any kind of honor student in any outlet of an educational system rated nationally as being slightly better than that provided by colleges that advertise on matchbook covers. It shall additionally be illegal for any vehicle on said highways to bear any sticker with statements regarding the prying of any objects from the cold, dead digital appendages of the driver. Penalties to be set at the discretion of local law enforcement, although offenders must appear in court wearing a "Bad cop, no donut," bumper sticker on their foreheads.

AMENDMENT NO. 352

If Florida fails to act on one of its more recent constitutional amendments -- calling for beginning construction of a high speed rail system linking major urban areas by November of 2005 -- all of those responsible for the bright ideas will be given a choice of sitting on Interstate 275 southbound, at 6 a.m. with an eighth of a tank of gas and a full bladder -- or sitting in one of those pig cages you can't turn around in.

AMENDMENT NO. 353

It will be illegal for any person in or near the state of Florida to pretend that any actions taken by the ownership of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has even the tiniest scintilla of significance to anyone of normal intelligence, or to pretend that there is any action, short of that which might be taken by an omnipotent deity with too much time on his or her hands, an interest in mediocre football and a finely developed sense of irony, that will ever gain any Buccaneer without a ticket entrance to any venue where a Super Bowl is being played.

AMENDMENT NO. 354

The official rankings of government concerns are herein officially established, to wit:

1. Welfare of children and the elderly.

2. Access to adequate medical care for all residents of the state.

3. Better quality education.

4. Real and meaningful growth control until state resources and infrastructure catch up with population demands.

5. Finishing the &%$#%& road system and eliminating Bob's Barricades from the landscape.

Any government official who, until those concerns are satisfied, mentions lap dancing, pig pregnancy or banning Satan from any municipality will be forced to watch CNN at 3 a.m. when third undersecretaries of minor state agencies nobody ever heard of and prematurely retired lieutenant colonels who ran mess-kit repair battalions in the Aleutians are giving us the benefit of their wisdom and experience on the conduct of the war against terrorism.

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