Ever since permitless carry passed the mush-for-brains Florida Legislature I’ve been wary of answering the doorbell. Or having the blinds up. Or, well, you get it. BUT! I threw caution to the winds and pushed the up button on the electric blinds when the doorbell chimed last night. Obviously, an error in judgement.
It was a dark and stormy night! Unfortunately, that didn’t stop a throng of people from assembling in my driveway with flaming torches, pitchforks and signs that trumpeted “Moms for Liberty.” Oh boy.
“Is the power out somewhere?” I asked.
At the front of the mob, a small blonde woman with mouse ears and an “Ashley” necklace yelled “we’re here for the books!”
I pointed out that the library was a mile north, and probably closed now.
“We’re headed there next. Right now, we want all the bad books you’ve got,” she screeched, stamping her feet for emphasis.
“Well, I’ve got a James Patterson someone left on a nightstand. Will that do?” I asked
“Does it have sex, gay people, trans people, weird pronouns or different types of people getting along together in an open and sharing way?” she asked.
“Well, it’s James Patterson,” I replied. “There’s lots of gratuitous violence and an incomprehensible story line. Is that what you’re looking for?”
“No,” she replied. “We don’t care about violence at all. It’s our God-given right.”
“Wait a minute,” I said. “I thought you Moms were only trying to purge the school libraries. Why are you here on this street?”
“We’re the neighborhood watch Moms for Liberty. We’re stamping out offensive material wherever we find it. We’ve heard you read books, your neighbors reported you. That’s a red flag to us!”
“Uh, do you have guns in those bags?” I asked as I inched nearer the cement wall.
“Just handguns. I’ve got a pink one. Wanna see?”
“Er, no thanks,” I said.
“Look, I don’t have any Jodi Picoult or Erica Jong but I do have an old biography of Walt Disney that you can have. It talks a lot about different people living in harmony in a Small World.”
“Yeah, we hate Disney! Ron hates Disney and so do we!”
“Right,” I said. “Then maybe take off the mouse ears?”
“I really can’t help you with the books you’re looking for. All we’ve got here is non-fiction and some older classics by authors like Roald Dahl, Mark Twain and Ian Fleming.”
“Dahl and Fleming? Hold on!” she said as she pounded a speed dial button on her phone.
“Imogene! Head on over here, we’ve got a live one for you. Dahl and Fleming. Oh wait, I’ll put her on speaker.”
“Are they Kindle or real books?” a voice asked through the speaker.
“Well, real books, first editions. Why,” I asked, “does it matter?”
“If they’re e-books, the bad words have already been removed and replaced with politically correct euphemisms or complete story line changes. You only license the books you “buy” on Kindle, you don’t own them, so when we convince the publishers to change the words, they just do it. The next time you sync your reader, poof, the bad words are gone,” Imogene explained.
“Bad words,” I said. “Do you mean sex and violence?”
“No, the “n” word, racial slurs, offensive body images, inappropriate ethnic references and definitive personal pronouns. You get the picture. We’re saving the world from words and opinions not 100% compatible with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as defined by Stanford Law School. I mean, can you believe the blatant sexism in Fleming’s Dr. No? We have to stamp that out.”
“Ashley, we’re running right over,” a breathless Imogene huffed through the phone. “Can you leave the bonfire burning for us?”
“Wait, Ashley, right?” I asked. “You’re part of the far right Moms for Liberty working with the woke left on this book burning?”
“Sure, between us and the Stanford law students we’ve decided that it’s too dangerous for people to have any books at all. What we’re really after are the alphabet books and dictionaries. People could use those to form their own words and sentences and even ideas. Think how dangerous that could be.”