Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Step away from the pillow and put your hands up!

This past weekend after a lovely brunch of waffles and home fries (for me) and Eggs Neptune (for my wonderful friend Shannon) I dropped her off at the Metro. (Yes, I know I’m a bit behind the times, I plead the combination of a new, and still unfamiliar job, and the Heels’ national championship on Monday.) Her destination was a Bed, Bath and Beyond where she planned to purchase a pillow.

For a pillow fight.

In Dupont Circle.

The event in Dupont was, apparently, part of a planned, spontaneous international pillow fight taking place in cities around the world. Along with the feathery antics being a bit of performance art, it also seemed like a great way for folks everywhere to have some fun and blow off some steam in what talking heads have been calling “trying times.”

Everywhere, that is, except Detroit.

In Detroit, it seems, you now need permission from the government to carry a pillow in public. I direct you to this story by The Associated Press.

For those not motivated enough to click over, here’s the highlights:

“Police in Detroit have ruffled some feathers after they cracked down on an organized pillow fight at a downtown park. The Detroit News reports that police at Campus Martius Park prevented the feathery fight Saturday by disarming pillow-toting participants.

“Michael Davis of Hamtramck, Mich., said police confiscated the 32-year-old man's pillows but returned their cases. He said he was told that he needed a permit. Detroit police spokesman James Tate said the issue wasn't about the bout but the mess it would have created.”

There are so many elements of humor in this story I hardly know where to begin. But, for argument’s sake, let’s start with the police actually taking the time to root out the perpetrators so as to short-stop any pillow-related antics.

We’re talking about Detroit here, not only was the Final Four going on there (Go Tar Heels! Number 1 Baby!), which I think might tend to incite some problems more worthy of police attention, but we are TALKING ABOUT DETROIT! According to numbers I was able to find, 344 people were murdered in Detroit in 2008 (a 13 percent decrease from the 396 in 2007 – woohoo!).

That's about a murder a day for those keeping score at home. You never know if one of the pillow fighters might have gotten carried away and beat someone to death with a feather/poly-filled sack.

Next, we’ll move on to the police confiscating the pillows, but taking the time to return the pillow cases. Isn’t that kind of like confiscating the bullets, but giving the guns back? People, those pillow cases can be reloaded virtually anywhere!! Bed, Bath and Beyond, Sears, JC Penny, Target (Target, for god’s sake) and the Saturday Night Special dealer of pillow outlets, Wal-Mart.

This country is awash in cheap and easily available pillows. Hell, I need to show my license just to buy some allergy meds, but just anyone can walk into Wal-Mart and walk out with a dozen pillows with no questions asked.

And, finally, I know for a fact my friend carried her newly purchased pillow to Dupont in her back pack. My question to Detroit’s law enforcement community is this: Were there any attempts made to curtail the activities of those scofflaws carrying concealed pillows without a permit? This, my friends, these concealed pillow carriers, are a grave and growing problem plaguing our cities.

Imagine the innocent people - office workers enjoying their lunch breaks, families with young children patronizing their city’s public areas, lovers rendezvousing for a nooner - strolling peacefully through our parks when BAM! Suddenly, and from out of no where, someone reaches into a backpack, snatches out a 300-thread count pillow case stuffed with a big, fluffy white pillow and begins whacking away at you or, worse, your loved ones.

Perhaps, someday, when our country has grown beyond this level of frivolity and become more civilized, we’ll look back on this weekend as the start of a new age.

Personally, I hope that day never comes.

Vive la revolution!!


Shannon said...

Hrm...actually, never made it to the pillow fight. My friend sprained his ankle trying to be Spiderman, and couldn't walk. This just makes me feel even more bummed that I missed it!

FoggyDew said...

Shannon - Was he swinning from a web? Or was his injury caused by a super-villan?

It was the thought that counted. After dropping you off I was no longer responsible for your decision to attend or not.

Shannon said...

Apparently, it involved a lot of beer and a flight of stairs.

LiLu said...

You had me at "have ruffled some feathers."

FoggyDew said...

Shannon - A likely excuse for missing a pillow fight.

LiLu - It's stories like these reporters dream about. It's like a license to pun.