Sunday, April 17, 2016

Possum privilege

Los Angeles Times

The Berkeley City Council had a contentious public meeting last night over the issue of speed bumps. An advocacy group representing dachshunds lobbied for the removal of speed bumps. They argued that speed bumps were hazardous to the low-slung carriage of the breed. They cited expert testimony that dachshunds running over speed bumps at high velocity suffer from dachshund testicular impaction syndrome, necessitating painkillers and corrective surgery. They complained that speed bumps reflect institutional structures of high-slung privilege. 

But as the council was poised to vote for the removal of speed bumps, an advocacy group representing possums objected on the grounds that removing speed bumps would raise the incidence of vehicular/possum interaction, technically dubbed possum pancake syndrome. 

For hours, the council was deadlocked as it agonized over whether to check dachshund privilege or possum privilege until one councilman proposed retrofitting the speed bumps with dachshund underpasses, as a reasonable accommodation for dachshunds and possums alike. By unanimous vote, the council directed the civil engineering dept. to proceed forthwith. 

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