It is with great trepidation that I report this most shocking news from Hillmomba. A ne'er-do-well not-so-secret society is attempting to entrench itself in the underbelly of our polite society. As Emperor of Hillmomba (please remember how I detest the weak-kneed empress moniker), I am hard-pressed to find a legal remedy to the situation.
I dropped off The Pony at his bowling league this afternoon. My mom met us on the parking lot, so I could give her some leftover chicken-and-noodles, sweet-and-sour chicken, tabloids, one brown banana, and a just-purchased 44 oz. Cherry Diet Coke with no cherry. I KNOW! She took it better than I expected. Apparently, cherry flavoring is the new shortage in Hillmomba.
Standing car-side, Mom casually said, "You'll never guess who's handing out fliers at the four-way stop by the post office." Let the record show that this is not the dead-mouse-smelling post office in my town, but the one five miles away, in the town that divides us from Mom's town. I don't know the olfactory ambiance of that one, having never set foot inside.
"I don't know...the fire department?" They are always causing a traffic hazard, standing on the yellow line at each of the four directions, holding out their boots.
"No. The Clue Clucks Clan." That's how Mom pronounced it.
"You've gotta be kidding me! Were they in the road?"
"No. They were off to the side. I guess they were giving people a chance to reach out and get a flier."
"How did you know it was the CCC?"
"Well, they were wearing their robes. And those tall hats."
"Are you kidding me? The white robes? Could you see their faces?"
"I think so. I was trying to look, but two cars almost collided, so I had to pay attention. A couple of them had on blue robes that were really pretty."
Mom decided to take a detour on the way home, a couple blocks down, to avoid them. I called her later to make sure she made it home, and see how she liked our leftovers. She had said how she was so scatterbrained, she might forget to turn and end up right back at the intersection.
"Hey, how did you like the chicken-and-noodles?"
"Oh, they're great. I'm stuffed."
"So you made it home okay?"
"You're not going to believe this. I started to go around, and then I thought, I wonder if they're still there? So I kept going, and they were! One guy started walking towards my car, holding out a flier. But I just shook my head and waved him away. I didn't feel threatened. I had my door locked. There were about five of them, and then on the other corner, some wearing black pants and black hooded sweatshirts. Then there were some people in normal clothes walking around, but they might have just been going over to talk."
"What is their agenda, anyway? Were they trying to collect money? Or get new recruits? Why would they come out in the open like that?"
"I don't know. Do you want me to get a flier next time?"
"NO! I bet they're just wanting publicity. I hope the news stations don't come down here and film it. Just ignore them. Don't give them what they want. They're like that church hate group, stirring things up at funerals to get noticed."
"There will probably be an article about them in the paper on Monday."
"What if somebody got a picture when you were waving that guy away from your car? You might end up on the front page of the New York Times, with people thinking you were friendly-waving to them. And all you will say is, "Oh, my hair was such a mess."
"It IS a mess. They might have got a picture when I threw up both hands when those cars were about to hit."
"Yeah, And it will look like you were offering a warm embrace. I wonder, when they're out in public, in their street clothes, without their group, do they start stuff? Like, do they get all mouthy and spout their philosophy?"
"Oh, I doubt it. I'm sure they're on their best behavior, so it won't look bad for the group."
"What do you think they are, some kind of knitting group? Since when does the CCC have rules and want to be seen as polite?"
"Well, I don't know. I just don't think they would want to be seen in a bad light."
"Um. We're talking about the CCC! Right out in public, where everybody knows what they stand for. What if they're like those Mormon missionaries that Sis's husband told he admired their conviction for going out to spread their word, and then they mailed him an invitation to the grand opening of that temple? They will think that by being polite to them, you want to join them. If the CCC comes to your house in their robes, and knocks on the door, it would probably be best not to let them in."
"Oh, those blue robes were so pretty! They really fit well, And the color--it was like a dark medium blue. It looked so much better than those see-through white ones."
"Give me a break. What were they, satin?"
"I don't know the fabric, but they were really nice."
"You know they asked to use our school buses to deliver their fliers. And were not happy when they were turned down."
"Yes. You told me about that."
"We're not so sure they aren't behind that vandalism last month when all the stems were pulled out of the tires, making some buses twenty minutes late for school."
"Oh, I don't think they would be involved in anything like that. It would make them look bad."
"Do you hear what you're saying? They burn crosses in yards!"
"Not these days. I don't think they want that negative reputation."
"Okay. I'm done now. You crack me up sometimes. You can't see the good in EVERYBODY!"
That's my mom. Always the optimist. Not really a funny subject, but one that begs for a solution. I think the CCC started a lawsuit against the town over not being allowed to hand out their fliers at the four-way-stop. They were told they could go door-to-door, but they couldn't obstruct traffic. Like the firemen. Good call they made in not going door-to-door. Some calamity might have befallen them. So I guess they adjusted their strategy, and kept out of the road at the four-way-stop to obey the letter of the law.
That's the thing. Free speech means for EVERYBODY. The CCC is playing the discrimination manipulation game.
I don't have the answer.