I don't like throwing parties.
I like attending parties. I like talking to people at parties, I like the food/drink at parties and, under the right circumstances, I like dancing at parties.
But the last thing I want to do is invite people, food/drink AND dancing into my home. That's where I keep all my stuff!
How am I going to replace my limited edition 8-track of the soundtrack to "The Godfather" (everything about that is true) if it gets broken by some drunken reveler?
And it isn't just about the stuff. What happens if the party turns out to be terrible? Everything seems to be moving along fine, people are having a good time and nothing is broken yet when suddenly ... nothing.
But then WHAM (surprising, no?) your party is invaded by a ravenous horde of bloodthirsty zombies, leaving only moments to prepare before a wholesale slaughter of the undead commences!
Yeah, that DOES sound pretty sweet. Ok, imagine a real problem; like the music is bad or your ex shows up or somebody lights the room on fire. The kind of normal stuff that can ruin a party.
What do you do? Ask them to change the music? Talk to your ex like an adult? Help put the fire out?
If I have to tell you "no" it means we go to different types of parties.
All of those situations mean one thing: Bail!
Yes, this oh so effective tactical retreat has gotten more than one person out of lame/life threatening party.
In fact, bailing is really the only effective response to a lame party; outside of seizing control of the party, opening a closet to reveal a bevy of bikini clad models, putting some sunglasses on the dog, and generally turning reality into an 80s movie.
This is not advised.
But is party-escape the only use for a well timed bail? Not at all; you can bail on a check at a restaurant, you can bail on a bad marriage, you can even bail on military service if you don't mind doing a few years in prison.
How about bailing on the United States?
Ever since President Barack Obama was re-elected earlier this month there has been a sudden increase in the number of people who have decided that, if the United States is going to be run (again) by this guy, they'd rather just secede.
Yep, apparently oblivious to history thousands of people from the great states of Utah, South Dakota, Ohio, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Alaska (natch) have signed petitions to secede from the Union. Oh, and 90,000 Texans.
Wow, 90,000 Texans? If you add all the other petition signers with the Texans, that's almost 96,000 people that want to bail on America!
Now, I don't know if it's because they just adored Romney or are simply jealous of President Obama's singing voice (second best of the presidents, behind Millard Fillmore) but they looked around after the election and said "bail!"
So as we watch these guys let their colors run what are the rest of us to do? Are we all going to have to get fitted for blue uniforms?
First, a little perspective. Ninety-some thousand people may seem like a lot; it isn't. More people went to see "Ernest Rides Again" on opening weekend, and nobody saw "Ernest Rides Again." All these guys did was sign an electronic petition that mentions being bothered by the TSA as a reason to commit treason. Just don't bring any metal to the airport, wear slip shoes and don't hassle them; you'll be fine.
Second, if we were to believe everything people sign a petition for online the national anthem would be Rick Astley's "Never gonna give you up" and Chuck Norris would be on money. So let's assume that these bailers are clicking this petition, right after clicking "like" on some Facebook post because they think they'll have bad luck if they don't.
Third: You can bail on a party, you can bail on a person, but you can't bail on the United States. Look what happened to the last guys who tried this same plan, all the time claiming they were supporting some grand cause for individual liberties while making sure the cotton got picked and that no one taught the slaves to read. How did it work out for them?
I would like to congratulate these guys for being the sorest election losers in a long time, and for signing an online petition so ridiculous the Legalize Cocaine movement considers their goals "unrealistic."
That being said I will be starting a petition to force the Smithsonian to induct my "Godfather" 8-track into the National Archives, where it can be safe from drunken revelry for all time.
Copy Editor Wes Burns is a Sunday columnist. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Wes Burns at 641-753-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org.