New laws for a better world

I know most Americans think that we have enough laws in this land. We have more laws, regulations, statutes and mandates that we can even comprehend.

And so a common refrain is that we have too many laws, a cumbersome, layered system in which the last thing we need are NEW laws. And to that I say, we may have too many laws. But we do not enough of the CORRECT laws. As we continue to add law after law after law, we have failed to pinpoint a few key areas in which we, as a nation, must ask — nay, demand — that our lawmakers put aside their petty differences and step up for the greater good immediately. Below are some instant changes that will make my…er… our world a better place, and I know that there is not a decent American among us who would disagree.

  • Chairs should be required to have legs with enough space between them that the standard vacuum can fit between them. Any chair company violating this law will be forced to send their CEO to my … er.. whoever’s house to move the chair out of the way during vacuuming.
  • If football referees are discussing which team a penalty is on, any player who plays spoiler and ends the dramatic buildup by signaling which team the penalty is on before the ref announces it will be kicked out of the game and will be unable to play until the next game, and after he writes an essay entitled, “Why I chose to ruin the excitement of a crucial penalty call, all the while stealing thunder from a ref who had his brief moment to shine and make his mother proud.”
  • If you are grocery shopping and midway through said visit you decide you do not want a product in your cart, you must either return it to the proper shelf or a grocery employee. Placing, say, a box of Life cereal on an open shelf spot on the toilet paper aisle will result in the offending party having to serve five hours of community service fronting the shelves, which for those of you who have never worked retail is the busy work you least like to do during down times. The penalty will be 10 hours if you do this with a frozen food item.
  • Removing a TV remote control from the room in which its corresponding TV lives will be subject to a 20 year prison term, since apparently the threat of grounding, removal of all TVs, attaching the remote to the table hotel-style, etc. isn’t getting any traction in one particular house, and has even failed to get the bipartisan parental support so desperately needed in a democratically elected household.
  • While I am sure there is some reason for why they are currently made this way, the bulk of our federal research dollars must immediately be put toward figuring out a way to make both prongs of a plug the same stinking size. Oh, what’s that you say — just look and see which one is bigger? Yeah, that helps when trying to plug in a lamp in a dark room.
  • Every automated door on the planet will be required to open within a split second of an individual waving his hand as if he is using The Force. Slow-opening doors, which on occasion cause certain pretend-Jedis to have to throw on the brakes so as not to faceplant into the glass are a menace to society and Jedi pride. Those establishments that cannot abide by this will be shut down until they can get up to speed and make my…er…anyone’s Jedi moves seem more seamless.
  • Anyone caught with a grammatical or spelling error in a protest sign will be forced to spend two hours volunteering their time in support of the thing they are protesting. While this may compromise your principles, you have already compromised your principals. (A note from Mike: I worked really hard on that one, so stop the groaning. You should see the ones that DIDN’T make the cut.)


Yes, we have important issues facing our nation, and I would never suggest that these seemingly minor issues trump those. Which is why I suggest Congress take the exceptional step of presenting this column as law, passing it on to the president for signing, and be done with it. We need these changes soon. For one thing, I have to vacuum.

Mike Gibbons was born and raised in Aiken, S.C., and now lives in Charleston. A graduate of the University of Alabama, you can e-mail him at or follow him on Twitter @StandardMike.

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