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My shampoo doesn't trust me
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Okay. I know shampoo isn't a sentient product with a mind of its own, so we can both agree that any statement about it lacking “trust” is just poetic license. Well, I'm fine with that because I've always wanted to be a poet, and I wondered where the licensing bureau was. Now, back to the shampoo. My fancy shampoo has a little electronic tag on it that says it's being “protected.” The store that sold it to me most likely put the little tag on it so no one could stick the big bottle of coconut flavored hair syrup in their pants pocket and walk out the door without a machine sensing the theft and honking a loud horn. So, thanks to the actions of thieves and shoplifters, I get to pay my money for a product that reminds me – an innocent man – over and over that it's being “protected.” This kind of insanity is getting to me. I find that the innocent are constantly being punished for the crimes of others.

Have you flown on an airplane in the last 15 years? If so, you know about the innocent being punished. When you have to wait in a long line while your belt and wallet go riding through the x-ray machine, you are suffering for the acts of a few bad people. They ruined it for everyone. And have you watched a DVD lately? Before I can enjoy my favorite shows, I have to tolerate ugly screens where the FBI and Interpol remind me that it's a crime to steal a DVD. I don't steal DVDs. I pay my good money to the stores, and I bring my purchased DVDs home and put them in my purchased DVD player so my own purchased possessions can tell me just how wrong it is to steal. We are being treated as if we are criminals. It's the new way of life. It's a pain.

If I pay for a bottle of shampoo, I don't want a reminder that it's being “protected” unless it's protection from the times I accidentally drop the bottle and it smashes my toes. If I pay for a DVD, I don't want a “Don't steal stuff” lecture! There should be some way for the retailers to remove all that garbage before it goes home with legitimate buyers. When I hand over my money to the stores, do I include a little electronic tracking tag they have to peel off? Do I glue on a little sticker that says, “Stealing dollar bills is against the law!” No. I'd be run out of the store and probably visited by the authorities and those guys with the net. I have no recourse other than to stop buying items that show me disrespect. And that's what I'm going to do.

When I buy items now, I'm going to check for electronic tags. If I see one that I can't remove at home, I'll not buy it unless I'm forced. I tried to remove the electronic tag from my shampoo bottle. I couldn't, and I made such a mess the bottle looked like it had been dropped on about twenty toes. When I buy books, I can often remove the little electronic tracker and throw it away. But what about DVDs? Nope. You can't remove that warning sequence. So this is what it's come to? Do you see the huge irony? When we go to the airport for a flight, we are forced to remove things - shoes, belts, watches, wallets – in the name of “protection.” And when we buy products with our own money, we can't remove things – electronic tags, DVD warnings, etc. - forced on us in the name of “protection.” We've inverted everything again. The innocent suffer for the sins of the guilty. It's Biblical. It's annoying. Thanks criminals! You've ruined it for all of us. Remember that when you stowaway on a flight, or when you watch your stolen DVDs, or when you wash your hair or your stolen toupees or whatever it is you wash with your stolen shampoo. You and your kind stole our freedom. Just look at the “protection” we got in return.

David McCoy is a lifetime resident of “The Glorious South” and a repeat winner of the Georgia Press Association's Joe Parham Trophy for his humor column, Pecan Pie for the Mind. David lives in Covington, Georgia but can often be found among the North Georgia mountains, depending on the weather and the availability of clean towels and fresh, hot coffee. He can be reached at <insert address>