A Repulsive Regulation
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Earlier this week, the leaders of Bend, Oregon proposed the infamous regulation regarding “repulsive odors:” “No person shall board or remain on BEAT (Bend Extended Area Transit) vehicle or enter or remain in a BEAT station if the person or person’s clothing emanates a grossly repulsive odor that is unavoidable by other BEAT customers on the vehicle or in the station.”
“We have people who ride the bus who don’t bathe, smell like urine,” the authorities said. “Of course, I’m going to handle it very sensitively. To enforce this by kicking someone off the bus, it’s probably never going to get to that point. Most people, if you talk to them about body odor, they say: ‘I had no idea.’”
On 1/16, the city council eventually voted 5-2 to hold off on proceeding with the rules.
Even so, the initial proposal raised a fury among the number of Oregonians and other groups.
Repulsive Oregonian who chose to be anonymous, “Yes, I don’t bathe and I smell of urine and alcohol, but I still have the right to public transportation just like everyone else. I mean, my license has been revoked for DUI, so this is the only way I have to get to my job at Denny’s.”
A skeptical Oregonian, “Who’s to decide who has repulsive odor? Who has really bad odor and who has repulsive odor? I know the council said they were going to have specially trained monkeys in each bus to identify those with unacceptably repulsive odor, but will that work consistently? Plus, will that work under the current budget without raising taxes? I heard these trained monkeys are very expensive.”
ACLU, “This violates the inherent rights of all the taxpaying, freedom loving repulsive Oregonian citizens and it specifically penalizes the bladder control challenged Americans. We will challenge this ‘repulsive’ regulation.”
PETA, “We are opposed to all the unnecessary references comparing stinky Oregonians to dead chickens, rotting pigs, microwaved gerbils, slow roasted opossums, homeless warthogs and decomposing aardvarks. We demand an immediately apology to the animals who have been portrayed in a repulsive light by these insensitive human beings.”
Oregon’s infamous resident Tanya Harding chimed in with, “I don’t know anything about that. I just came for the free tacos. Do you know where they are?”
Timmy, age 7, “My teacher said if you say Bend, Oregon fast 10 times it sound like ‘bend over again!’ That’s funny!”
It is likely that Bend will drop this regulation and look for other ideas to improve its transit system. It was reported that the city has agreed to team up with the Medford Extended Area Transit to come up with best practices for both cities. The BEAT MEAT campaign of 2003 will be launching in the spring with much anticipation.
Steve Park returns with another breaking news story.