March of the Puritans


illustration/Martin Shields
illustration/Martin Shields

March of the Puritans: Chapter One
By J.T. Nichols

Now that we have infiltrated the Legislature (20%), and Baldacci’s Vichy government has assumed the position (faces down, rumps up), we are on our way to returning to dominance — that is, getting rid of the so-called Maine philosophy, “Live and Let Live,” and showing the natives the proper way to exist. Ever since we were kicked out in 1820, these troglodytes have gone their own way, answering to no one, smoking, drinking, eating lobster as if they deserved it — in short, living without a proper authority! Why these primitives can’t see the value of enforced limits is beyond me. However, we believe that with a few years of good, regimented, enforced lifestyles, they will come around and, like willful puppies put to the stick, grow to love the leashes we so lovingly apply.

Our first test case has gone swimmingly! When we applied NO SMOKING rules for health reasons in stores, planes, trains and business venues, no one could really argue. The next phase was trickier. Outlawing smoking in bars and restaurants when only 10% allowed it anyway – well, that took a bit of chicanery. We said it was for the employees. Somehow the fact they weren’t actually forced to work in these smoke-pits got by the stupid populace (showing exactly why they need our guidance!) and we got it passed.

Recently, we have achieved what would have been impossible only five years ago: our brave comrades in Westbrook have outlawed smoking outside, in the parks! This shows that, beyond health reasons, we are now able to foster the fear of smoking for aesthetic reasons. Wow! I mean, how many times will they fall in line?!

The next step, we believe, is to apply this wispy reasoning to other areas. I propose that now that the putrescent smokers are thoroughly underfoot, we go after another problem: the obese. Aesthetically disgusting, these entities who refuse to help themselves achieve a more pleasing appearance must be forced to follow the same path as the smokers.

I’m talking about second-hand fat. 

How many times have you looked upon some beautiful vista – a sunset over the harbor; a mountain rising above the trees; a cruise ship dwarfing the pathetic, smelly fishing boats – when suddenly the ground shakes, your reverie is smashed as some horrible family of hippo-like waddlers takes over the landscape? 

Well, I propose that these fatties be forced to gather in secret, segregated areas (just like smokers), kept from the eyes of the elite souls that are, after all, deserving of some reward for the hard work they endure to perfect this potentially beautiful place. Put ’em in a cage, with a promise to be let out as soon as they give up their Big Macs and Diet Cokes and lose a couple hundred pounds. After all, why should my eyes suffer, not to mention my nose (ever shared a taxi with one of these sweating behemoths?)?

The next campaign, which we can obviously put over on the locals (tee-hee), is the march against second-hand fat! 

Thank you, my comrades. WE WILL OVERTAKE!

J.T. Nichols is a playwright in Portland.

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