The first God-given right I remember losing to big government was the right to sleep whenever I felt tired.
Yeah, kindergarten sucked. Of course, I didn't go to a public grade school. I went to a Catholic grade school, but I assume it was licensed by some arm of the government.
Before kindergarten, when I was a very little boy, if I felt tired, I dropped to the floor wherever I was, like a cat, and slept for as long as I wanted.
After kindergarten, big government had me in its clutches. Show up on time. Eat when you're told. Nap when you're told. Wear pants. Don't go home until you're told.
So, I understand why so many adult-sized Americans are refusing to wear masks in public. I was a child once, too.
And, if you think about it, big government already makes so many rules about what you can or can't do in Target. Our freedoms are bleeding away like blood out of a cut.
You have to wear a shirt and shoes in Target. You cannot be visibly, stumbling, mumbling drunk. You cannot leap wildly through the store making chicken noises. You absolutely cannot have sexual relations inside the store. The parking lot is a different matter, but even then, you should wait until after dark, and the two of you should park in a secluded area of the parking lot.
There are a lot of other store rules, too. The average retail establishment is a veritable socialist paradise of oppression, where the only capitalist thing allowed is your money.
Some retail rules are made up on the spot by our oppressors.
I remember standing in a little corner store in my old neighborhood when a fellow walked in with a big snake coiled around his shoulders.
"What the hell?!" yelled the Portuguese immigrant owner. "Get that (expletive) thing out of my (expletive) store. No snakes in here!"
The snake owner fled in disarray.
"Don't like snakes?" I said to the owner as I paid for my Popsicle.
"I was in Angola for two years," the owner said. "Portuguese Army. I saw enough snakes for the rest of my life. Nobody's bringing one in here."
The store was only a block from my house, and I like Popsicles, so I agreed with the guy, thereby becoming a partner in my own oppression.
Which is how they get you. If you want to go to kindergarten, then you've got to stop sleeping all the time. If you don't want to get shut off from your grape Popsicle supply, then you have to agree with the false narrative imposed by the socialist snake-hating owner.
Which is why I like Amazon.com. I can buy anything I want. Online. Naked. Drunk. With a gun in my hand. With a big snake around my neck.
And isn't that what freedom really means? Isn't freedom really all about being naked, drunk, armed and covered in snakes?
Any gross, vile, disgusting, annoying or potentially deadly thing you do in public is the greatest single exercise of your freedom as an American. A real American should smoke in the hospital, show up at church naked and perform any necessary bodily functions in the produce section of his local grocery — if possible, on the carrots. If you wave a Confederate flag while violating the carrots, you get extra freedom points.
"Don't Tread on Me," the yellow flag says. You know, unless you want to tread on me. It's your God-given right.
To find out more about Marc Munroe Dion and read features and columns by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com. Dion's latest book, a snake-handling ode to freedom, is called "Devil's Elbow: Dancing in The Ashes of America." It is available in paperback from Amazon.com, and for Nook, Kindle, GooglePlay and iBooks.
Image courtesy of Lorie Shaull