by Sam Pierce
The tall woman with long brown hair walks up the front steps to her best friend's house and rings the bell. Her friend opens the door and the tall woman gives her a little hug before entering the premises. Out by the hedge something moves. The door closes and from behind the hedge crawls a slight man with a a badge and a stainless steel comb. The little man crawls with cat-like stealth around the side of the house and perches himself where he can see through the kitchen window. "Aha!" he softly proclaims. He touches the button on his headset and whispers, "The hen is in the fox-house. Repeat, the hen is in the fox-house!" In his headset, he hears a female voice, "maintain your position until backup arrives." "Roger!" is all the little man replies. The voice on the other end responds, "I know your name, just wait where you are!"
In the kitchen, the two friends have no idea that they are about to have their lives turned upside down. The tall woman sits and sips her General Foods International Coffee while her friend appears to be braiding her hair. The innocuous chatting does not sound like an exchange between two hardened criminals, but one can never really tell. The tall woman moves her hand to her purse and pulls it toward her. She reaches in and extracts a wrinkled ten dollar bill.
Outside the little man whispers, "bingo!" He shifts his glance to either side for confirmation that his backup has arrived and is positioned at both entrances. He pushes the button once more and quietly exclaims, "fire in the hole!"
With synchronized precision both front and back door are kicked in by the heavily armed men in light purple uniforms. The women at the table scream as they find themselves surrounded by drawn guns. One of the uniformed shouts out, "freeze Illinois Cosme-SWAT! You are under arrest!" The little man smirks as he makes his way to the table, "so, you thought you were above the law?"
The woman who was braiding her friend's hair (woman 2) replies with a puzzled expression, "what on earth?"
Little man: "Show me your hair-braiding license."
Woman 2: "Is this a sick joke?"
Little man: "This is serious, sister! You are tangling with more than just long, lustrous, brown hair here."
Woman 2: "Please tell us what is going on here!"
Little man: "This is Illinois, ladies, and we have rules in this state. you aren't allowed to engage in certain illicit activities... especially in such an unregulated environment."
Woman 1: "What illicit activities?"
Little man: "Hey lady, you may want to remain silent, as anything you say may be used against you in a court of styling law."
Woman 2: "But, what did we do wrong?"
Little man: "Look, I am taking it easy on you since I saw the "Kirk for Senate" sign in your yard. We need more regulation-minded Senators in Washington... but you cannot get away with this little side business."
Woman 2: "Someone knocked on the door and asked if they could put the sign in my yard. They said he was for the troops and would sometimes vote against Obama's plans. I don't have a side business!"
The little man whips around and with a sweeping chop plants the stainless comb in the first woman's brown hair.
Woman 1: "Oww!"
Little man: "Shut it sister! You can't braid hair in this state without a license!"
Woman 2: "That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard."
Little man: "Take them away, boys!"
How is it that the government, in this case the state government, can justify such ridiculous regulation of such minor things? Am I the only one shocked to find that there is such a thing as a hair-braiding license? Apparently Governor Blagojevich's left hand man and hapless successor, Pat Quinn signed a bill into law that creates a hair-braiding license. Granted, this new law may make it easier given the current ridiculous regulatory environment of our statist infested state for people to braid hair... but come the hell on! How is it that something such as hair-braiding deserves heavy-handed government scrutiny?
Why not simply defer to a government agency in every facet of daily life? This is, after all, what seems to be desired by the electorate. Want to build a deck? Do you have the necessary permits? Want to open a little shop? We have mountains of bureaucracy for that! Want to braid hair? For now you need a cosmetology degree... but we, being gracious statists will whittle those requirements down to the bare bones starting January 1, 2011.
The seemingly minor items should paint an alarming portrait of just how deep the roots of the intrusive regulatory weeds have grown. Give it up to the government or be consumed by it. It is possible that I am reading too much into the requirement of licensing for hair braiders. I suppose safety and cleanliness standards are the key. We all know that a citizen cannot possibly be expected to decide for herself if the environment she is in is suitable for braiding. Perhaps 300 hours of training isn't enough.
Cross-posted without appropriate state permits from "The Immoderate Blog"