It has been a long journey, but at 3:30 p.m. this past Tuesday, the most influential bill in Tennessee history was finally “taken seriously by those assholes in the Transportation Committee,” activist Kelley Kinson said.
The bill in question is the hotly debated HB 0212 bill, which states that all pets driving in a car with their drivers must wear a seatbelt or harness while the car is in motion.
“It’s about damn time,” continued Kinson in an interview at the Tennessee State Capital building. “Ever since the 1984 Supreme Court case Scruffy v. The State of Tennessee mandated that dogs are to be considered official members of the family, we have been advocating for equal rights.” Although the bill is growing ever closer to passing, some protestors remain strongly against it.
“It’s ridiculous,” stated UR president and Tennessee legislature enthusiast Joel Seligman. “Everyone knows that dogs are brought into cars for one reason and one reason only, to go run for help after you get into a brutal accident. Do you think Lassie could have warned Timmy about the boy in the well if he was locked in the cab of a Ford F-150?”
There are others still that think that the bill doesn’t go far enough. “Sure, our pets are now going to be safe in the car, but think about all of the dangers that lie outside of moving vehicles!” pet safety activist Natalie Gerrity screamed. “Fighting the neighbors dog, slipping on wooden floors or accidentally eating chocolate. The list goes on and on. If we truly love our pets, we will do the only thing that we can do to make sure they’re safe — lock them in their cages forever.”
Fed up with the unrelenting national coverage of Wisconsin budget cuts, Tennessee residents are relieved to hear that “the government is finally making legislative decisions that actually affect the American people,” Tennessee middle school teacher Wilma Devon said. “I mean, these are our pets that we’re talking about, people! Our pets!”
Radical conspiracy theorists are claiming that this bill has motives aside from pet safety. “It’s all the fat-cat businessmen at Pet Smart that are really behind this bill,” stated paranoid hippie and former Pet Smart employee Brian Schaphear. “Think about it, man. The bill passes, and then everyone is forced to go out and buy harnesses for their pets and stuff, right? Well, where are they gonna buy all of these state mandated doggy seatbelts? Pet Smart, that’s where! Just another classic example of big business sticking its money-grubbin’ hand into the pocket of government corruption with stocks and bonds and stuff. Not so smart now, are you, ‘Pet Smart.’ Ha!”
Feeling cheated and enslaved, pets throughout the state of Tennessee have begun quiet protests of their own against this radical bill. Following the lead of protesters in Egypt, dogs and cats alike have turned to the power of social networking in their fight against bill HB 0212. Groups such as “You’re barking up the wrong tree!” “Paws off our rights!” and “Tell me to sit one more time…” have been popping up all over Facebook and Twitter, combating this restrictive bill.
One chilling Twitter post from AintSoFluffyNow217 threatened, “Meow, meow, rrrrrrrr-meow, chhhhhhhhhh! Raaaawr! CHHHHH!”
Officials from the Tennessee Transportation Committee urge the community to stay calm and treat pets with respect in order to avoid a full-fledged animal revolt.
Rubenstein is a member of
the class of 2011.