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The World Needs Rebels

By Jeff Gross, contributing writer

2 years ago someone I highly admire made the comment to me, “The world needs rebels”.  I annoyed her with a question while trying to look out for her best interest and hence her rebel reply. She is capable of handling her own affairs and did not need me being a nanny. I thought about the “world needs rebels” comment for 2 years and it came to a head tonight. “You’re right, HK the world does indeed need rebels. You’re absolutely right.” 

This country was born in a rebellion. Today those same redcoats are now our government and corporations here in Southern New England. In this day of automation we are not only expected to pay for our own goods, but cash them out as well. 

Tonight on the way back from Connecticut I made the mistake of stopping in BJ’s in Johnston. Before automation took over a cashier would check you out in under 2 minutes. Tonight there was one cashier with a line six families deep and 8 automatic cashiers. I was in a rush so off to the auto cashier I went. Big mistake. I stood in front of three of them hoping one would open quickly and I could check out.  One guy had an expired card and the computer voice barked that if he attempted to use the card again he would pay a monetary penalty. The man was perplexed; dumbfounded, actually. Kiss that machine goodbye. 

The Autobot #1 in front shut down right out of the starting gate for some unknown reason and its flashing emergency beacon was in sync with the perplexed guy’s beacon. At that point I commented to two ladies also waiting “this is why we need real cashiers”  Autobot #3 lit up its beacon as a woman had confused it with some sort of payment. One of the patient ladies then commented on how she waited in line to find out Autobot #4 did not accept cash. What the hell! 

Autobots 5 through 8 had heavy lines. After 10 minutes in line I was not compensated with any kind of discount, when I finally checked out, for all my lost time nor the aggravation. Off to my truck I’m headed. So I thought, anyway. At the exit to the store was a line of people waiting to be allowed to leave with their purchases. The woman who signs your receipt was taking her time. She pulled one family out of line and started to inventory 50+ items in their shopping cart. 

“F” this, I have had enough. Skywalker unleashed. Without hesitation I bypassed the line and headed for the door. The slow motion employee kicked in the afterburners in pursuit. “Sir, you must wait in line to have your receipt signed”.  “Sir, you must stay in line”.  “Sir, Stop.”  “Sir, you signed a contract stating you will have your receipt signed when you leave the store.” As she ran after me like a marathon runner, I turned my head and replied “sign this!” coupled with a hand gesture. I can only imagine the uprising that occurred by this rogue element. As I drove away in my truck, visions of “1984” and Pink Floyds “The Wall” video appeared. I will have my pudding when I want.

Southern New Englanders do not realize how intrusive the government and corporations have become. As I signed into my email to write this my email provider DEMANDED I provide my cell phone number for security purposes. Whose security? For what purpose? So not happening!  

In the Rhode Island State House, lawmakers have again for the nth time in as many years broke probably the 1,000 mark of new laws being submitted. That is an estimate. I don’t have the time nor the interest in counting the exact number of bills (as there are many). More new laws. More over regulation. 

Even our children are not immune. The Rhode Island DEM in its infinite wisdom made it a crime to possess any type of reptile or amphibian in 2015. This law never was supported by this writer and upon inquiry the DEM could not produce a valid reason for the law other than, “we need the law”.  Really? That means your children and your grandchildren are instant criminals when they catch and hold that frog at the pond or streams edge. Frog possessing rebel scum. 

In the great state of Maine, the town of Belgrade holds a Frog Jumping Contest on the 4th of July. The imperial PETA tried to stop this but the freedom loving towns folk said “not on my watch”, and the Frog Jumping Contest continues to the delight of young and old. Rhode Island also made it illegal to have your hunting dog out in the winter time for more than 15 minutes. Well, for the record, my Golden Retriever is out for hours on the “Hoth” frozen plains. 

In another life, in the state of Massachusetts, six of us would head out for bike rides. I did not wear a helmet nor did my two children. My lady friend had a major issue with that as she made her two children wear a helmet as “it is the law”. Her youngsters griped because my two did not wear helmets. My friend asked can you MAKE them wear a helmet? I answered that it was their choice and they chose not to. They are welcome to wear one but I will not force them to. So I asked “why are you not wearing one, dear?” Silence is a lovely thing.

Recently, I had the secretary of an organization contact me DEMANDING I explain myself regarding a problem that didn’t concern him. I stated I don’t answer to a dictating secretary (especially guys that wear skinny jeans). Infuriated, off to the Imperial Senate he ran to complain. It is amazing how many think the world answers to them.

Rhode Island is experiencing an exoduses of those who are aware of the Nanny State here in Rhode Island and Southern New England.  I guess the bill to ban plastic straws was the line in the sand.  Two good friends of mine headed to the Mid-West. This writer, had he not been looking after his elderly mom in Rhode Island, would be in New Hampshire or Maine by now. 

I hear all kinds of grumbling in the various systems in our little state. Will they unite as one voice and say “ENOUGH”!  If those Rhode Island lawmakers have their way, violating the First Amendment, you folks won’t be reading this article. Senator Sandra Cano will have this writer exiled to the spice mines of Kessel.

Yes, HK, the world does indeed need rebels no matter what century: a long, long time ago, 1776, or now. Come the spring I’ll even drive barefoot.

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