FLINT - "So, did I tell ya I'm boycotting Chik-fil-A?" said Moon Dimple, my back-home pal.
Ah, so I see you're mad about the CEO saying the company is against same-sex marriage. But how can you boycott a restaurant you've never been to?
"The same way I'd boycott a restaurant I do go to - by not going to it."
That makes a certain sort of twisted logic. But I doubt you'll have to worry about it. I don't think there are more than few Chik-fil-A's in Michigan. And I know for sure there are none in the Upper Peninsula. So I think you're safe.
"Are you kidding me?" he roared. "None of us is safe from here on out. This thing has opened a whole new can of worms."
Wow, I had no idea you were such a passionate advocate for gay rights.
"Well, of course I am. Rights is rights and people are people. I may not be gay but I don't see why it's anyone's business who gets married to who, especially some guy who runs a fry restaurant chain."
That's very noble of you.
"Noble, schmoble, I just figure gay people got as much right to be married and miserable as anyone else, y'know?"
I'm sure your wife agrees.
"Nah, she thinks she's got it made. C'mon, look at me. I'm a catch. I'm talking about, you know, other people."
I see. So since there are so few Chik-fil-A's in Michigan, I imagine you'll be traveling to one of those Kiss In protests, right?
"I wasn't planning on it."
Worried that someone will try to plant one on you?
"No, protests just ain't my thing, especially that one."
Wait, what? You just said you supported same-sex marriage.
"I do, if that's what you call not caring who marries who. But that doesn't mean I'm going to drive halfway across the country to march around a restaurant with a sign. Besides, my main beef with Chik-fil-A ain't about gay marriage per se. I figure that CEO has a right to believe whatever he wants to believe even if it's dumb. My beef is that he said that's the company's philosophy, and that's no good at all."
Seriously, of all things, that's what bothers you most about all this?
"Well, sure! What if this starts a trend of other CEOs telling us where the company stands on issues? For instance, what if a guy who runs a pizza chain suddenly says,
'This company is four-square against left-handed people!' or 'At Blah-Blah Pizza, we believe strongly that the Martians and Venutians are getting ready to attack the Earth?' I don't wanna have to consider a company's political and social views every time before I buy something. I just want pizza!"
Even if they don't state their corporate beliefs, they still have them, you know. Wouldn't you rather know what they are?
"Not unless they're about hurting somebody or doing something illegal, immoral or disgusting. Life's hard enough already. I don't have the time or energy to worry about what everyone thinks about everything. I figure people and their views are like hotdogs."
"The less you know about 'em, the better."
EDITOR'S NOTE - Andy Heller, an award-winning columnist for The Flint Journal, appears weekly in the Daily Press. He graduated from Escanaba Area High School in 1979. For more of his work, visit his blog at blog.mlive.com/flintjournal/aheller. You can e-mail him at email@example.com.