“Town” is a four-letter word

Speaking of four-letter words, you probably don’t want to utter any in Middleborough, Massachusetts:

At a town meeting Monday night, residents voted 183-50 to approve a proposal from the police chief to impose a $20 fine on public profanity.

“I’m really happy about it,” Mimi Duphily, a store owner and former town selectwoman, said after the vote. “I’m sure there’s going to be some fallout, but I think what we did was necessary.”

Bill Quick, a big fan of free speech, understandably demurs:

Yeah, you wadded up the First Amendment, took a crap on it, and then set it on fire.

An actual resident of Middleborough is, if possible, even less impressed:

[L]et me tell you that the first person who suggests that I should have been at the meeting if I disapprove so much is going to hear some very loud and public profanity, because you know what? I was at work, supporting my fucking family. I could always quit and go on the dole instead so I’d have time for this petty bullshit, but I’ve got more pride than that.

At the last Census, Middleborough had about 23,000 people. If even half of them had shown up at town hall, instead of the 1 percent (!) who did, I suspect the board of selectmen would have done something much more unsanitary than merely swearing.


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