Why I Don’t Sign Petitions Anymore

“Sir! Do you realize that your state senator is a murderer?”

“No thank you.”

“Did you hear me? Senator Smith is a murderer! He must be brought to justice!”

“What? The guy with the …”

“Yes, the one with the big ears. He killed four people, and he’s not fit to represent our state!”

“Have you checked Snopes on this? Sounds fake.”

“It’s not fake! It was on Fox and MSNBC. Did you really not see it? The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the St. Louis Dispatch …”

“Doesn’t ring a bell.”

“He confessed, for God’s sake! And then he just bribed everyone that could bring charges. We’re collecting signatures to force…”

“Yeah, no thanks, as I said.”

“But wait! How are you not angry about this? How are you not outraged?”

“I dunno.”

“What do you mean you don’t know?!”

“I mean, I guess I sort of used it up.”

“Used what up?”

“My outrage.”

“…”

“Anyway, good luck with that.”

“Hold on. What do you mean you used up your outrage? That doesn’t make any sense.”

“Let’s see. On Monday, there was that thing in Dubuque, you know, with the giraffe? Remember that?”

“Of course. It was only four days ago.”

“Well, I got really riled up about that. Then on Tuesday the post office clerk shorted me 35 cents, and I didn’t notice ‘til I got out of line, and this old bag yelled at me for cutting the line even though I just wanted to get my 35 cents and be on my way. That really took it out of me, and it was totally unplanned. And then on Wednesday? Let me think. Oh, yeah, climate change. And so yesterday I squeezed out my last bit of outrage when my coworker in the next cubicle ate an egg salad sandwich at her desk. I hate the smell, and she knows it. So it’s all used up. Maybe I will store some up over the weekend, but only if I stay off the internet, you know.”

“Okay, okay. Fair enough. But this thing with Senator Smith … it’s so outrageous. I mean, he killed four people in cold blood!”

“Maybe they deserved it? Maybe they were bad people and we’re better off without them?”

“Two of them were infants!”

“Really? Wow.”

“So, you’ll sign?”

“Eh … sorry, still not feeling it.”

“Oh, come on. Even if you don’t feel it emotionally, you have to at least acknowledge, intellectually, that it is a bad thing, right? The man should be in prison.”

“I guess.”

“So…?”

“Okay, fine. If it will make you happy. There.”

“Thank you, and tell your friends!”

“Yeah, good luck with that.”

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