Freedom is the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action. License is the disregard for standards of personal conduct.
Unfortunately for business owners, Brattleboro is becoming a community that no longer knows the difference between freedom and license – and public nudity is only a small part of the problem.
Imagine for a moment you are eating dinner in a small local Chinese restaurant and two women walk in with three children in tow and a baby in a back carrier. They select an empty table amongst the diners and one of the women announces in a loud voice “we apologize for what we are about to do!”
She then clears off the table, takes the baby out of her friends back carrier, sets the baby onto the table, removes the infants very stinky diaper, drops it onto the floor, and then proceeds to clean the baby with the restaurant napkins.
Immediately walking out, the decision is made to never eat in a Brattleboro restaurant ever again. Well, guess what? We are not alone as evidenced last Thursday evening at the Longhorn Restaurant in the Monadnock Shopping Center where fourteen of the thirty- one patrons were from Brattleboro.
And what was gleaned from the subsequent conversations? Those Brattleboro residents who have the disposable income to spend are now intentionally NOT spending it in Brattleboro. Or, as one very blunt speaking Brattleboro resident stated;
“It is such a pleasure to enjoy a meal in Keene and not be surrounded by filthy nose ring wearing adults who feel compelled to display their genitalia in public. After dinner we head over to the Price Chopper next door and then to Target and load up for the week. Brattleboro has become a pathetic joke whose quality of life is being determined by a small group of losers who do not have a pot to urinate in or own the window to throw it out of.”
And that, dear residents, is the reason why the new one percent meals tax in Brattleboro will not generate the $250,000 in revenue that the current Selectboard can hardly wait to spend.
Brattleboro Reformer: “On Sunday, May 6, reports came into the police department of a naked older man in the Staples plaza on Putney Road. One witness described the situation in an e-mail to the Reformer.”
"I drove into the Staples shopping center parking lot today with my seventh-grade son, and we saw a naked man in the parking lot, taking pictures of himself. He then wandered around the parking lot, naked and entered the Peebles and the Dollar Store in the shopping center (the Dollar Store told him to leave). He drove off in his car with Connecticut license plates."
It is up to the town to dictate what those decency standards are in Brattleboro. That will not happen. One of newly elected Selectboard members recently stated at a meeting: “People can do whatever they like.” Translation: Brattleboro has no decency standards which is why the town is fast becoming the deviant capital of Vermont.
Personally, I hope the Selectboard does not enact an ordinance banning nudity for two reasons. First, I enjoy eating and shopping in Keene without being confronted by exhibitionists expressing their “rights”.
Secondly, I sincerely hope that during this year’s 4th of July parade down Main Street a group of male nudists will interject themselves into the procession and surround the car carrying Audrey Garfield and her family. I would love to hear Mrs. Garfield’s explanation to her young children why public nudity is really, really good for Town of Brattleboro.
Note: If the police arrest the nudists then the nudies will hire the Vermont ACLU to bring a legal action against Brattleboro claiming their precious rights were violated and as a result they suffered extreme emotional distress. The current Selectboard will then meet in executive session whereupon a huge financial settlement will be given to the nudies that will be added into next years operating budget as miscellaneous non negotiated fixed expenses.
Don’t worry, however, the settlement will only add one penny to the tax rate.
Freedom of expression has its price. Keene is the financial beneficiary and very soon Hinsdale when the Wal-Mart Super Center is constructed.
Way to go Brattleboro!