Think Anew, Act Anew

observations and opinion

Ten Pounds of Joy

It is very hard to keep up with everything the Republicans have planned.  Take this, for example.


In the flood of news and policies pouring out of Trump’s Washington DC, it has been easy to miss a proposal with alarming implications for civil rights. Specifically, the Bowling Ball Law.

The Bowling Ball Law, if passed, would have surprising implications. It works like this:

  1. Millions of people would be required, every year, to have bowling balls surgically implanted in their abdomens.
  2. The bowling balls would have to stay there for about nine months. No publicly funded medical care would be offered, except in emergencies.
  3. The bowling balls would then be removed – rather forcibly – through a small slit in the person’s abdomen. This part really smarts, apparently.
  4. The bowling ball is then attached by iron chain to the person’s ankle.
  5. On removal, if the bowling ball shows any scratches or signs of damage, its warranty would be invalidated.
  6. The bowling ball would stay chained to the ankle for life. If any harm comes to the bowling ball in the first 18 years, the wearer could be subject to legal sanctions.
  7. Every few months, another iron link would be added to the chain, allowing the person slightly more mobility. Lighter and longer chain may be substituted after 20 years or so.

The proposal has alarmed many, in particular those who do not wish to have a bowling ball inserted in their gut, or have it pulled out through a slit, or carry a bowling ball around with them for years to come. They also don’t like having to wear those slimy bowling shoes.

But those who favour the new law (“Pro-Ballers” as they call themselves) say that opponents simply don’t know what they are missing out on. “Sure, carrying the ball inside your body is awkward and uncomfortable. And removal, ouch. But once you hold that little sphere in your arms, you never want to give it up.”

Those opposed take a different view, decrying the Bowling Ball Law as “cruel and inhuman punishment.” To that, pro-Ball lawyers point out a key technical point in the law: it is not, legally, a punishment.  Ball-bearers would be selected at random for the procedure. It could happen at home, in the back seat of a car, or a nightclub bathroom. Drunk people would be particularly vulnerable.

“This has nothing to do with punishing anyone” say proponents, who explain that there would be no legal charges, no trial, no jury and no judge.  Just random selection, surgery and a lifetime obligation. To complaints that is somewhat unfair, proponents note that “millions happily do it.”  Besides, “if it is God’s will that someone becomes a ball-bearer, who are we to argue with God?”

Although many are opposed to the law, few want publicly to be seen as disliking bowling balls. “Bowling balls are cute, and I really respect the views of people who are Pro-Ball, even though they would gladly enslave me to a life that I do not want because they have this tiny little idea in their heads.”

Pro-Ball advocates say that critics are simply being selfish, Noting that “no-one has to keep the ball – there are plenty of people who would like to get a free bowling ball.” They say having to haul a ten pound bowling ball around in your gut for 9 months and then having it pried loose with salad tongs, is a small price to pay to satisfy some stranger’s beliefs.

There remain questions about the legality of a rule that would require people to undergo all this, in particular because the law would apply to only to men. Women might be required to offer financial assistance to ball-bearers, but would face none of the direct effects of the law. Only men would have to be ball-bearers.

Mens’ advocates call this sexist, but again, Pro-Ballers disagree with them: “This isn’t about the rights of the man” says one, “it is about the rights of the bowling ball.”

This is already law in Texas.


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This entry was posted on May 28, 2017 by in Abortion and Choice, The Rights of Women.
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