Q. Just who do you think you are?
A. I am a United States citizen who knows his rights.
Q. Whose rights?
A. Well, his rights. Look, I was speaking in the third person, even though there are just the two of us here. By his rights I actually meant my rights. Because those are the rights he and I know the best. Memorized, you know, and all that.
Q. All that what?
A. Well, uh, heh heh, all that jazz, I suppose. Hundreds of other possibilities. Haven’t memorized all of them because, well, coincidentally, I have a right to remain silent.
Q. What do you like best about your rights?
A. That’s easy. They’re inalienable.
Q. Could you define inalienable?
A. Uh, let’s see. Did you ever see the movie Aliens?
A. It’s one of my favorite rights movies. There are these really ugly aliens, you know, from a different country or streaming service, and they start taking people’s rights away from them.
Q. Like what? Preventing them from voting?
A. Worse than that. First they start drooling on people. Really slimey drools. The kind of drool that our four fathers hated because their four wives would give them hell. “I told you not to wear your new puffy shirt around those slobbering aliens.”
Q. What does that have to do with his inalienable rights?
A. Have you ever tried to get inalienable drool out of your pants?
Q. Hoo boy. Let me ask this. What is your most important right?
A. You mean inalienable or alienable?
Q. Either one.
A. Depends. Have you ever been sitting in the living room, watching a movie, and you get up to get some nachos? You come back and someone is in your seat. You complain but you are told, rudely, “Move your meat, lose your seat.”
Q. But what if you’d called that chair?
A. Called it what?
Q. A chair. You know, you get up and you say out loud “I call that chair.” It means you’ve established your alienable right to sit in the chair when you come back.
A. What if I just had to go to the bathroom?
Q. Doesn’t matter. You have the Constitution on your side. Unless, of course, someone shouts “Hey Frankie. Don’t listen to him. He’s using a crappy alienable right. They’re useless, according to my uncle Milo, who is a Constitutional lawyer.”
A. What if his name isn’t Frankie?
Q. In that case, your nachos just got cold.
A. And with an inalienable right?
Q. An inalienable right means it cannot be taken away.
A. Even if Frankie has a submachine gun?
Q. That’s hard to say, because the founding fathers didn’t have submachine guns in 1776.
A. So what good is calling that chair, if you don’t have an automatic weapon?
Q. That argument is exactly what led to the founding of the National Burp Gun Association.
A. I’ve always wanted a Burp Gun. When you just burp, people get upset and you have to beg their pardon. Not a problem when you’re holding a burp gun. Can get confusing, I guess, when you’re trying to burp the baby.
Q. An alternative is to have a notarized form ready, saying it’s your inalienable right to get your seat back.
A. So let me get this straight. I present Frankie, sitting in my chair, a copy of this notarized inalienable right to reclaim my seat. And what if he pulls out a burp gun?
Q. He’s screwed. Don’t worry about it. Take your seat.
A. And the Constitution is on my side?
Q. One hundred percent. Unless…
A. Unless what?
Q. Well, for example, would Frankie be the kind of guy who uses real bullets?
©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2020, all rights reserved.