Mayor Bloomberg is a diminutive egomaniac who wants to foist his superiority complex on us through legislation. He makes our lunches, forbids us from eating salt, and uses our money to discourage us from drinking soda pop. He may have made billions in the free market but as Lord Acton predicted, Bloomberg’s absolute power has corrupted him to the point of totalitarianism. If you insist on being a dictator, get over your foodie obsession and start dictating some laws that make sense.
Here are ten rules I would enforce if Bloomberg ever absconds the throne and lets me benevolently dictate how New Yorkers should live their lives.
1. THE WORDS “LIKE” AND “LITERALLY” WILL BE BANNED
Unless poo came out of your bum and nestles gently in your undergarments, you did not “literally shit your pants.” The word “literally” means “real” rather than “symbolic.” If you find yourself having to use this word more than once a week, you are either addicted to figurative language or you’re misusing the word. When New Yorkers combine “literally” with their other favorite word, “like,” my ears start to bleed. “Like literally” is a contradiction. I don’t know when the whole city decided to start talking like a drunk babysitter, but it has to stop. I used to think that making everyone wear a collar that delivers a short, sharp shock every time “like” or “literally” were misused was a little harsh. Not anymore.
2. POOPER-SCOOPER CITATIONS ARE TO BE REPLACED WITH MANDATORY DOG-SHIT-EATING
We tried putting up signs. We even had cameras installed. But you keep letting your dog defecate all over the street like we all live in the middle of an abandoned forest. When the snow melts in the spring, we learn you’ve been doing this even more than we initially thought. It makes me sick to have to do this (like, literally) but from now on, anyone caught leaving dog shit on the street will be forced to eat it. I realize E. coli makes this a death sentence of sorts. So eat shit and die.
3. TEENAGERS MAY NO LONGER RIDE THE SUBWAY
Sorry, kids. I know it seems mean-spirited, but a generation ago the entire Midwest walked several miles to school. The exercise will do you good. What’s that? You don’t understand why you’ve been banned? Would you be surprised if you were asked to leave a restaurant after screaming, fighting, and calling each other “nigger” 300 times?
4. PUBLIC FLATULENCE WILL BE CRIMINALIZED
Why do we levy fines for public urination but allow strangers to blast poo particles into other people’s faces? Starting today, all New Yorkers will be given special fart-sensing probes that can be applied to a suspect’s derriere every time someone smells something unusual. If the suspect is guilty, an insanely loud alarm goes off until the person is arrested. He will have to spend the night in jail where he will learn the real cost of contaminating a stranger’s personal space.
5. NO MORE FANCY DRINKS
If you’re in a busy Manhattan bar and you think it would be cute to order a Manhattan, you are sorely mistaken. The only time you can order any kind of elaborate drink is in an empty bar on a sunny afternoon when your bartender is bored out of their mind. Outside of that, order a bottle of Bud or something on the rocks and move aside so the rest of us can poison ourselves in peace. For moderately busy bars I am willing to institute a two-line system where normal drinkers can be served by a normal bartender and all these assholes craving an Absolut-Citron-with-a-twist-of-Mojito-Cinnamon-Swirl have their own line and their own bartender. A three-dollar tip will be mandatory for this poor bastard.
6. NO MORE RATS
Can you believe we still have rats everywhere? What is this, 1340? Starting yesterday, all outside trash in all five boroughs has to be encased in seamless steel with a gigantic lid only a human can lift. The undulating plastic bags currently sitting on the street now are not cutting it.
7. MEN CANNOT DISPLAY THEIR FEET IN PUBLIC
New York city is littered with a lot more than dog shit and rats. It’s also covered in syringes. Why are you dipping your toes in that? And why are you forcing me to watch you dip your filthy toes in that? Women are notoriously neat, so we can allow them to wear their strappy sandals and peep-toe shoes, but there is no way on Earth we’ll permit flip-flops in my better, newer New York. The fact that men will not only shamelessly brandish their toes but will actually remove the flop and hang onto the edge of a low bar table with their toes like a monkey (I have seen this) shows the pendulum has swung so far to the casual side, it’s broken off and gone flying into the East River.
8. NO TIPPING IF THE CAB REEKS
Do cabdrivers have nostrils? Don’t they know that their body odor has frightened all the clean air out of the car? I know how it happens. They do a 12-hour shift and chug coffee to stay awake. Caffeine makes them generate a noxious cloud of Old World Sweat. Got it. The part I don’t get is why you can’t prevent the customer from being an intimate part of this process. Effective immediately, if a driver can’t spend $1.99 on some anti-perspirant, we are no longer tipping $1 to inhale his armpits.
9. BAN MOTORBIKES WITHOUT MUFFLERS
I’m not sure what joy you get waking up hundreds of people by setting off car alarms, but such joys must cease. When you hear these deafening assholes, know that the bike didn’t come like that. This prick has gone to a shop and had a mechanic remove decades of engineering to go back to a time when cavemen liked to wake up our kids. As mayor, I’d force anyone caught doing this to ride a girl’s tricycle for three months.
10. THE FIRE DEPARTMENT HAS TO BUY A MINIVAN
Ask a New Yorker how many fires he’s seen in the past ten years and he’ll usually say two. Ask him how many sirens he’s heard and it’s going to be at least one a day. This incongruity is due to an annoying rule called “First Response.” This means any emergency whatsoever has to be answered by whoever is qualified to answer it. The FDNY loves this rule because they get to pile twenty guys into two gigantic trucks and sound multiple alarms that say, “We’re here! We matter! We’re here! We matter!” for even the tiniest fuss. Buy yourselves a minivan and stick a ladder on the top. If someone is choking on a chicken bone or a cat is stuck in a tree, one or two guys can quietly speed over and take care of it. We don’t need to go deaf or broke justifying your circus sideshow.
If New York is going to remain heavily taxed, we want our money to go to something that improves our quality of life. We want a city that isn’t a relentless assault on our eyes and ears. Is that too much to ask?
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