I have been accused of a lot of things in my lifetime, and I truly believe it's best to ignore people with nothing better to do than worry about the lives other people lead.
As Dr. Wayne Dyer, author of "Manifest Your Destiny" and "Your Erroneous Zones," puts it, "What you think of me is none of my business."
But this latest accusation is just too serious to ignore. In fact, on an accusation scale of 1 to 10, this one would have to rate a 9.7 or maybe even a 9.8 (8.6 if you're Canadian).
Yes, it's that serious.
You see, I have been charged with "speciesism bigotry."
In a letter to the Payson Roundup, my accuser explained that "speciesism bigotry," which he defines as showing "extreme arrogance that only human life has value, or extreme lack of consciousness about the value of other species," is "equally as bad as racial, ethnic or religious bigotry."
The act that earned me the title of "speciesism bigot" was an article I recently wrote for the Living section of the Roundup. In it, I innocently ticked off a list of things you can do to make your home more wildfire-proof.
And just to bring home the point that it can happen here, I mentioned that "six lives, 65 homes and 27,000 acres were lost in the Dude Fire."
What I didn't do was mention how many bunny rabbits and other "speciesisms" died in that conflagration.
I will admit my sin. Yes, gentle reader, I am a "speciesism bigot."
And since species can be loosely defined as "a class of individuals having common attributes and designated by a common name" (we won't even go into the part about "potentially capable of interbreeding"), I would like to take this opportunity to confess to some other "speciesisms" about which I am bigoted:
Call me a bigot, but I don't like town council members who get "heartburn" over issues rather than spicy foods. It conjures up disgusting images of acts I'd rather not witness. I just want to ask Murphy, White, Knapp and Henley one question. If elected, will you work to ban the use of the word "heartburn" at town council meetings?
I may have no compassion for bunny rabbits, but by God I love ducks to the point where my editor told me to cool it on stories about saving the ducks at Green Valley Park. "People don't want to read about it anymore, Jim," I believe is what he said. Does this reek of a conspiracy, or what?
That's Payson Concrete & Materials for you newcomer dudes. If a guy is wearing a ball cap so grungy you can't even tell what color it is, chances are you have come face-to-cap with one of those infamous once-green, white and gold PC&M caps the Rim country's ultimate fashion statement. I say charge all the wearers with "offending the sensibilities of a self-respecting community" and sentence them to one long night in the Gila County hoosegow.
Not to be confused with global bigotry, which is a dislike of everybody and everything in the world, Globism bigotry is a hatred of the people who live in Globe. Why? Maybe it has something to do with the county seat being located there. But that's the beauty of bigotry. You don't have to have a good reason.
Speaking of good reasons, Salt River Project is an outfit that's easy to hate. Just try damming up the water that runs through your property and you'll see what I mean.
As in country-western music. Round up all them George Strait CDs and send them straight to slaughter.
The part of Michigan I'm from is Chevy country. We don't take to people who drive Fords. Unless you're a big, mean dude who drives a Ford. Then I like you just fine.
And so we come full circle. And I forget. Was it "potential for interbreeding" or "inbreeding?"