Why not order bumper stickers, too?
In spite of Jimmy Carter doing his best to single-handedly ruin the economy of the free world back in the fall of 1977, I still enjoyed being a freshman in college.I stayed up too late, drank too much, studied too little, and drank too much. I suppose you could say I was a typical Texas Tech University student – free for the first time in my life and stupid enough to not know responsibility was what allowed those freedoms to actually work.One of the biggest memories of my freshman year (that I can write about in a family newspaper) was having T-shirts printed for our annual gridiron battle with the scourge of the Southwest Conference – Texas A&M. Sparing you the details of why we hated the aggies so severely (see, I still to this day can’t even use a capital “A” on that word), we had black T-shirts with a little red “a” and a big red “T” followed by a little red “m” on the front.And then we proceeded to have a little white “e” put on both ends. Underneath it said “aggies.”Yes, the shirts read: “eaTme aggies.”Immature – yes. Funny – hell yes.The following spring we had a dorm softball team called SOS. Innocuous, unless you saw the back of the jerseys, which spelled out the frontal acronym that we actually called ourselves: Sons of Sam.Our team name was a completely tasteless “tribute” to David Berkowitz, the New York City nutcase who had randomly killed six and wounded nine innocent individuals less than a year before. Claiming that a neighbor’s dog had barked the commands of Satan himself, the schizoid freakazoid did as he was told and went out and shot people.Being the spoiled white-bread softball punks that we were, we thought the homage was funny. Something about growing up in a protectively naive world, I guess.No doubt it was truly a different planet back then, but even though I still to this day think the Aggie shirts were slam-a-shot funny, the SOS shirts were merely pushing the envelope of good taste at the time.However, not to worry, as I grew up (for the most part) and recognize the insensitivity now, although apparently a few at the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office probably would not.Nope, these guys seem to have all the sensitivity of Cacioppo at a school board meeting.Ordering 76 blatantly biased T-shirts over the Internet from a Sheriff’s Office computer under the guise of a donation to abuse victims is like the entire Bush administration showing up at a Baghdad fund-raiser for the “Baathists Ordaining Morals Befitting the United States” (BOMBUS) hawking T-shirts emblazoned with a giant red, white and blue screw on the left and a shoddily-wrapped turban on the right.I know a lot of these guys, and a few have been friends for going on 20 years. I’m telling you, they ain’t dummies, including the sheriff, yet the actions of a few (or maybe even just one) are quickly painting a national portrait of Eagle County with Inspector Clouseau in the foreground wearing wooden skis and smiling in mid-trip over a pair of stained panties stretched between the ankles of a very tall black man.I can understand, at least to a point, why one (1, as in singular) shirt “might” be purchased for inclusion in some twisted time-capsule-for-the-perverse to be planted in the southwest corner of a future justice center addition, but it certainly would not be purchased with tax dollars.Other than that, I can see no justification whatsoever for anyone connected with Eagle County in any way, shape, or form to even think about making such a boneheaded purchase, unless of course they buy it on personal time at a mall or perhaps on their personal computer at home.Even then, though, they should have the wherewithal to not wear the silly thing in public until after the trial.What in the wide, wide world of common sense were they thinking?Richard Carnes of Edwards writes a weekly column for the Daily. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org