Deciphering Federal And State Legalese When All I Really Want Is A Coconut Popsicle

It’s 95˚ F and there’s a bearded guy in a hound’s-tooth coat wearing combat boots. He stands on my corner, furiously typing on his mobile device. I don’t have the time, but I decide to take it and ask myself the hard question: What is this guy thinking?

It’s the journalist in me. I can’t help it.

Is this the same as when people run around the gym in sweatshirts and beanies? Is he trying to sweat out toxins? Is this urban bikram? Is this an environmentally friendly detox?

I’m taking it all in. Weighing it out, trying to make sense of it all.

I’m a deep thinker. I don’t have all day, but certain questions need to be answered and they need to be answered now.

Personally, I’m sweating in a pair of shorts I purchased for a marathon that I never ran. They’re very small, but extremely practical for scowling at passing pedestrians. Everyone’s afraid to stare back.

So I’m really into this: this houndstooth jacket, the Movember Beard, the nonchalantly unlaced combat boots when this Mario Cart looking guy with a blue polyester shirt hands me a note. I suspect he might work for Johnny Law, but I take it anyway. I have to.

I get these notes all the time. Certain parties are always informing me. I usually throw these things away. They’re indecipherable and if it’s important they’ll usually send it again or call. Occasionally, I use these notes as a canvas when I need to sketch the portrait of an assailant. I witness a lot of crime.

Anyway, the guy in the boots leaves and my ass has congealed itself to my lawn chair so I figure, what the hell, I’ll give it a read.

It tells me the following: Please check the following very carefully. I do, it’s all wrong. Way off, absolute nonsense. Balderdash. I read on. Johnny Law will consider this information correct unless you report other information… and so on. It’s really not worth it. Correcting these guys. If they want me, they know where to find me. I’ll be hiding in the puddle of sweat left behind by the guy with beard and the combat boots.

But what intrigues me is the following: Federal and state laws prohibit the revealing of information about your claim to your spouse, et al. Which makes me wonder. . . am I bound by law to deceive my spouse, relatives, friends, and private interest groups? Must I lie? Is my freedom on the line? If I share this information with will I end up in Pelican Bay?

I bring this up because I have a friend who tells his wife everything. He feels contractually bond by the institution of marriage to share everything with her. Where I am going with this is—is it ignoble to lie to your wife about your claim/case, etc because the U.S. Government says you have to?

What does this mean? Heterosexuals all over the country must decide whether they want to submit to the law or respect the sanctity of marriage?

Does this mean that homosexual couples whose marriages have been declared null and void are the only ones who can justify getting in bed with the government’s clandestine policy? Does the government have an anti-marriage agenda? Does government involvement breed deceit? Does it championing it?

I’m very confused. It’s very hot. I’m going to go eat a coconut popsicle. When I come back I want an answer.

-The Neapolitan Mastiff

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