We had barely shook off the shivers after dodging the whizzing bullets bouncing off our (not-so-heavily-armored) Swedish rambler, curled up on our futon and downed a bottle of Boone’s Farm to ease the nerves when we were knocked flat on the slats by news from Nashville that our bonehead representatives in the capitol are once again charting new frontiers in asshattery. Was that the longest sentence in the world? We think not, but no matter.
What does matter is the asshattery, perpetrated in this case by State Rep. Richard Floyd and his buddy, State Sen. Bo Watson, both Chattanooga Republicans, who wasted no time in wasting time as the 107th Tennessee General Assembly got under way this month by introducing the Bathroom Harassment Act.
At first we figured this was another joke, more legislative spam forwarded to us by our tormentors (of which there are, rest assured, many). Or perhaps we had just misread the whole thing, given DizzyTown’s often confused state and misinterpretation of things in general.
But no! It was real. These two champions of the American Way actually introduced this bill, which sought to, no joke, “restrict access to public restrooms and public dressing rooms designated by sex to members of that particular sex.”
Imagine how much time and effort went into crafting that legalese! And, damn, just when we were concocting a devious, ill-advised, but fun plot to dress up as Lady J and infiltrate the men’s room at Chuck Fleischmann’s campaign headquarters. My, we are confused!
Fortunately, clearer heads prevailed (Not ours, mind you—we’re still dressing up. But thank Goodness for Clearer Heads. We’ve been subjected to enough Bathroom Harassment over the years, especially that dreadful night at the Governor’s Lounge years ago. But that’s another story.) and said bill has been withdrawn, but not without a shitstorm of unwanted and negative publicity raining down on Tennessee.
This curly turd masquerading as legislation and largely unloaded upon our fine state by Floyd and supported (initially) by Watson (who quickly withdrew his support) was introduced in response to Floyd’s weird, transphobic fear that some transgender person might pop into the dressing room at the local Belk’s and molest him and his young daughter.
Here’s what Floyd said in a TV interview (really): “I believe if I was standing at a dressing room and my wife or one of my daughters was in the dressing room and a man tried to go in there—I don’t care if he thinks he’s a woman and tries on clothes with them in there—I’d just try to stomp a mudhole in him and then stomp him dry.”
Who said the revolution will not be televised?
The bill would have imposed a $50 fine upon a transgender person who entered a bathroom of a sex other than one listed on their birth certificates, but, as we mentioned, has since been withdrawn. Not because Floyd doesn’t still see the error of his misguided effort and odd phobia, or even the backlash. He’s still looking to stomp mudholes in the pervs who seek to violate his manly manspace (despite the fact that its legally impossible for transgenders to change their sex on their birth certificates in Tennessee). No, he, just as oddly reiterated that it was time to focus on fixing things. Yes, please do that, Legislators. We’ll look for that.
This was just the latest in a stream of embarrassing, if hilarious, attempts at government by our folks in Nashville. Or, as one Pulse commenter put it on our Facebook page, “THIS, on the heels of legislation to create a loophole for bullying based on religious beliefs, AND passing legislation dis-allowing the use of the word ‘gay’ by teachers and students in schools (pretty sure that’s what I read recently). Seriously......do they all just sit around and try to come up with every and any way to take us back to the dark ages?”
Yes—that’s exactly what happens in the capitol. It’s all Dark Ages Medieval shit. Really!
Makes for great copy, though. Even while it does take us away from Roy Exum and The Big Picture on The Chattanoogan.com. We almost lost our place. Thankfully, that took, what? Fifteen minutes? Roy’s already got another column up.
Tune in next week!
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