Flush with the success of his pit bull ban, Mayor Denis Coderre of Montreal has vowed to pursue further worthless legislation in an effort to ensure that his city becomes scorned worldwide, and ideally an international pariah.
"We find," said the proud mayor, "that it helps to have a small amount of actual truth at the core of ineffective legislation, so we're working on the basis of one genuine fact. Some background: in the course of studying our idiotic breed ban, we established that dog-bite-related fatalities are vanishingly rare. I quote:
Your chance of being killed by a dog is approximately one in 18 million. More people are hurt each year by slippers, sneakers, and other shoes than by dogs. And when it comes to severity of dog bites, a meager 0.076% cause moderate to serious injury.
"Very exciting stuff. We considered banning slippers, but this is Montreal -- a city with a Siberian winter -- so we've determined that what we'd really enjoy inflicting upon residents is a complete ban on electric blankets. As I say, we'll be introducing a single demonstrable fact, and winging it from there:
In the US, more than 35,000 fires were reported caused by electric blanket failures between 1992 and 2002, causing more than 40 deaths.
"Totally unacceptable, right? So this will be -- pardon the little joke -- blanket legislation. We won't just be banning blankets that are obviously electric, but also blankets that look somewhat electric. We intend to argue that such blankets can turn electric in the middle of the night, despite years of cordless activity, and go on to fry innocent sleeping citizens.
"Do Montrealers love their blankets? Of course they do -- it's really fucking cold here. But safety comes first, so we'll be banning all blankets large enough to warm a human body. Our ban will be unprecedented in the annals of moronic legislation. We're just now cooking up scary numbers, in an effort to goose the hysteria required to get city counsellors on board. And we've found some impressively fraudulent studies.
"The most prominent clown fudging statistics in favour of Electric Blanket Bans (EBB's) is Cleric Mifton, a defrocked priest whose personal web site describes him as a 'Poet/Warrior/Statistician.' We're proud to have him involved."
The Huffington Post interviewed Mr. Mifton. He was asked whether he was aware of just how boneheaded his work is considered by sentient beings. Mr. Mifton dismisses critics of EBB with contempt: "These are paid scientists, clearly biased by conclusive evidence, whereas I'm a paid non-scientist, without any such bias. I think it's obvious who we should be listening to here. It's time to end the electric blanket holocaust."
"Cleric Mifton is our primary source," the mayor affirmed. "But we'll be quoting from lots of uncredentialed ideologues." Reading from a prepared statement, the mayor elaborated:
Our Electric Blanket Ban is strongly supported by the work of Ivanka Semifreddo, whose peer-reviewed vanity essays are considered the definitive critique of what she has famously called the 'accuracy whore.' It is only because of Ms. Semifreddo's studies that we can now divide scientists into those who insist upon accuracy -- thereby evincing a male-centric, diseased mindset -- and those who are bravely willing to forge new ground, independent of the prejudice associated with precise numbers and established facts. And Ms. Semifreddo is a fierce proponent of Electric Blanket Bans.
In its continued investigation of the mayor's sources, the Huffington Post determined that much of the accuracy-free scholarship promoted by Ms. Semifreddo rests upon fieldwork done by Colon Lint, a woman with years of experience in the séance industry. Ms. Lint has an entire website devoted to lurid photos of burn victims: close-ups of localized blanket burns; portraits of grimacing survivors displaying fried limbs, and -- a specialty -- lurid medical photos of children burned to death in blanket fires.
In an email interview with Ms. Lint, the Huffington Post questioned whether her propaganda might be considered ghoulish and exploitative -- that some might regard her as a parasite, taking advantage of burn victims in order to foment hysteria. She proudly concurred: "I've spent years in the trenches as a dedicated necromancer; very few people are qualified to pursue ghoul-work on this level."
Mayor Coderre intends to propose this legislation in late November, in an effort to have the Electric Blanket Ban in place before the ice storms settle in.
"And we're not going to stop there," said the mayor, with palpable excitement. "I don't want to be remembered as a 'bad' mayor. I aspire to be known as the 'worst' mayor in the history of Montreal. And so, come spring, we'll be introducing a strict citywide ban on all forms of lightning.
"To quote our one factual source: you are 'five times more likely to be killed by a bolt of lightning' than you are by a dog of any breed. That's scary stuff. We're confident that we can gin up real panic here. Note that this is not an entirely new idea: Barbara Kaymartt, a reporter at the National Post, has a long record of urging bans on lightning, along with her respected articles in favour of bans on pit bulls, Muslims, and women.
"We're being fiscally responsible. It cost the city a whole lot of money to demonstrate that our Breed Specific Legislation would fail utterly, and we intend to spend a fortune studying our proposed Electric Blanket Ban. But we've consulted a prominent Afro-Norwegian philosopher at McGill University, Prof. Canute King, and he has confirmed that we require no study whatsoever to demonstrate that a lightning ban is guaranteed to face-plant, and to win us international ridicule. That's right: rancid, pointless legislation, at no cost to the public beyond universal derision. And you know I can't resist a lose-lose situation."