I Don’t Have A CLU

And while we’re on the subject of PETA and other organizations that battle against common sense, let us discuss the king of them all: the ACLU.

ACLU stands for American Civil Liberties Whining Poopy-Pants Babies. The group’s goal is to make sure no one is ever slightly inconvenienced, somewhat bothered, or mildly put-out. If you have even the tiniest grievance that might conceivably be blamed on an organization larger than yourself, you can either go cry to your mommy, or you can contact the ACLU, and it will fight your whining poopy-pants baby battle for you.

Utahns heard from the ACLU a few weeks ago when an Orem baby with poopy pants whined about not receiving a missionary discount at Rodizio Grill. The restaurant pointed out quite truthfully that she was not a missionary, but her mind and diaper remained unchanged.

The ACLU sent a letter to Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, expressing concern that many restaurants in Utah County offer such discounts. The letter is posted on the ACLU’s Web site (www.aclu.org) and reads, in part:

“We are writing to apprise you of several complaints [and by ‘several’ we mean ‘one’] we have received regarding what appears to be a common practice … in violation of Utah’s non-discrimination laws. [Utah has non-discrimination laws?] … Certain restaurants … offer a ‘missionary’ or ‘LDS’ discount on certain days. Customers who are not LDS are not given the same discount. [Heck, customers who are LDS but who aren’t missionaries aren’t even given the same discount. Why aren’t the thousands of non-missionary Mormons in Utah County complaining?] … The practice is hurtful [it punches people in the face] to those who are not members of the majority faith in Utah and only compounds the unfortunate impression that non-adherents are disfavored and disadvantaged.”

Strong words indeed. Here are some other letters the ACLU has sent out recently.

Dear T.G.I. Friday’s Restaurant:

We are writing to apprise you of “several” (snicker, snicker) complaints we have received regarding the behavior of your servers. When customers receive poor service, such as undercooked food or wrong orders, servers have been known to make amends by not charging them for their drinks, or by offering some other discount, in an attempt to keep the restaurant in the customers’ good graces.

This practice is hurtful to those customers who do not receive poor service. Through no fault of their own, some customers are enjoying speedy and accurate service, and are thus not entitled to apology discounts.

Either stop offering the discount or start providing equally bad service to all customers. Otherwise, we will hold our breath until we turn blue.

Dear Sizzler Restaurant:

We are writing to apprise you of MILLIONS of complaints we have received regarding your practice of printing coupons in local newspapers. These coupons allow patrons to receive food at discounted prices, thus putting them at an advantage over those who do not have the coupons. This would include people who do not subscribe to a newspaper and/or who cannot read. It also punishes those who do not patronize your restaurant at all.

Please rectify this situation by offering the same prices to all customers, regardless of literacy levels or subscription habits. Also, please distribute free money to every person in the county, so that all people receive the same advantage without having to eat at Sizzler.

Dear God:

We don’t actually believe in You, but we are writing anyway to apprise You of “literally” thousands of complaints we have received regarding Your practice of blessing those who follow Your commandments while punishing those who do not.

This practice is hurtful to those who behave wickedly and only compounds the unfortunate impression that the “righteous” are better off than the “unrighteous.” Please discontinue this practice or we will start offering sacrifices to Baal again.

After raging against PETA (a column virtually no one disagreed with), hitting the ACLU seemed obvious, especially in Utah, where everyone hates them. These were difficult times. It seemed wise to stick with things that wouldn't upset the readers too much.

The column begins almost as a continuation of the PETA column, in fact, like I'm still ranting and raving and merely changing topics slightly. Between PETA and this column, though, there was another column -- the one in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. I kept the intro to this one the same, though, as I felt it now had a different (but just as effective) connotation: "As I was saying, before we were interrupted...."

I enjoyed practicing the time-honored tradition of heckling angry letters with italicized snide comments. I would have printed the entire ACLU letter and mocked it throughout, but it was too long.

I chose Friday's because I almost always get bad service there, and Sizzler because that is the restaurant with the most skewed ratio of how many coupons I see (a million) vs. how often I go there (never).