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The Empire State

March 13, 2010
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Would you go out to eat if there was no salt allowed in restaurants? State Assemblyman Felix Ortiz wants to find out.

You know, it used to be great being a New Yorker, for any number of reasons.  One of them was that we could complain about all the other states, act superior to them and, in most cases, feel like we were smarter than them (as much as you can generalize about whole states, anyway).  It’s one of the reasons I presume that non-New Yorkers hate us, we have a self-image that’s an insufferable combination of scrappy underdog and superior know-it-all.

Anyway, this is just a long-winded way of saying that we can no longer say that we, as a state, are smarter than anyone.  We are a banana republic that is run by a bunch of morons that seem to be having a competition among themselves to see just how low they can sink in the morass of idiocy.

Now, the competition has a long way to go, so I don’t want to jump the gun and declare a winner. However, there is a new leader in the race. The Honorable Felix Ortiz, Assemblyman from Brooklyn has introduced a bill that would — get this — ban the use of salt in cooking in restaurants. Seriously, that’s the bill:

S 399-BBB. PROHIBITION ON SALT; RESTAURANTS. 1. NO OWNER OR OPERATOR OF A RESTAURANT IN THIS STATE SHALL USE SALT IN ANY FORM IN THE PREPARATION OF ANY FOOD FOR CONSUMPTION BY CUSTOMERS OF SUCH RESTAURANT, INCLUDING FOOD PREPARED TO BE CONSUMED ON THE PREMISES OF SUCH RESTAURANT OR OFF OF SUCH PREMISES.

So food as we’ve known it, well, basically forever, is to be banned by order of the government of our great state. What happens if in some bold act of civil disobedience, a restaurateur decides to fight the power and sprinkle a few grains of fleur de sel on a plate of fries?

WHENEVER THE COURT SHALL DETERMINE THAT A VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION HAS OCCURRED, THE COURT MAY IMPOSE A CIVIL PENALTY OF NOT MORE THAN ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR EACH VIOLATION. EACH USE OF SALT IN VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION SHALL CONSTITUTE A SEPARATE VIOLATION.

That’s right, a grand for each plate of fries. The utter stupidity of this bill seems to me to be so self-evident that it requires no further elaboration. If you’re not sure why it’s so stupid, I suggest you consider a run for the local Assembly seat.

Oh, one last thing. Assemblyman Ortiz is obviously a big dummy for coming up with this nonsense, but how dumb do you have to be to jump on to this bill as a co-sponsor? Well, ladies and gentlemen, I present Assemblyman N. Nick Perry and Assemblywoman Margaret M. Markey for your consideration.

So there you have it. We as a state are now at least as dumb as South Carolina or Nebraska or Montana or whatever bumfuck state we used to make fun of. Anyone know a place that sells travel salt shakers?

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