RICHMOND Bloggers, citizens and reporters around the world are going nuts about a bill to ban rubber replicas of testicles on Virginia trucks. The bill would impose a fine of up to $250 on anyone caught with replicas of genitalia on their vehicle.
The bill, being considered by a committee in the General Assembly, has received both criticism and praise. Everybody seems to be talking about it — everybody except the bills patron, Delegate Lionell Spruill Sr., D-Chesapeake.
Mr. Spruill is done discussing this matter with the media, said Susan Johnston Rowland, Spruills legislative assistant.
Rowland said Spruill is fed up with the negative press his bill has drawn. But Spruill saw the media frenzy coming before he introduced the bill Jan. 15.
Im going to be a laughing stock, but Im going to do it, Spruill told The Associated Press at the time.
His prediction came true. Type the words truck testicles and Virginia into any search engine on the Web, and you will get thousands of results. From Virginia to Europe, bloggers and journalists alike are expressing their opinions on Spruills bill.
Kerry Dougherty, a columnist for The Virginian-Pilot, said Spruill means well, but the bill is unrealistic.
This bill wont pass. Its an infringement on free speech, Dougherty wrote in her Jan. 17 column.
Personally, Dougherty said, she finds the truck testicles to be distasteful. Truck-testicle supporters find the accessories funny.
I think they are a kick and so do the cars who pull up behind me, Matt Weston, a customer, wrote in a product review on bullsballs.com, an online retailer.
Others disagree, but they acknowledge drivers right to display the ornaments.
Somebody forgot to tell these people that humor of this nature is vulgar, and it speaks volumes about their character, one reader said in response to an article on The Virginian-Pilots Web site last month. But thats okay, let them have them.
Spruill sponsored the bill after receiving a complaint from a constituent about a truck displaying the testicles hitch.
A man and his young daughter were out for a drive when the 6-year-old girl saw a pair of rubber testicles on a passing vehicle. Spruill decided to sponsor the bill in the hopes of protecting children and adults who dont want to see such displays.
Theyre offensive to some folks, Spruill told The Virginian-Pilot. Its OK to express yourself, but citizens have the right not to be subjected to something vulgar.
Some people said it is better to explain truck testicles to kids, rather than censor them.
Life isnt G-rated, one reader said on The Virginian-Pilots Web site. The world isnt going to be sanitized and foam-padded and sugar-coated for the sake of your little darlings.
Other citizens are offended by Spruills bill because they perceive the proposal as a waste of the General Assemblys time.
Spruills proposal, House Bill 1452, has been assigned to the House Transportation Committee.
This isnt the first time a legislative measure in Virginia has attracted international publicity. In 2005, a delegate proposed a bill that would have fined Virginians for wearing their pants too low and letting their underwear show.
Apparently Virginia lawmakers have so successfully managed the legislature, that spending state tax dollars to pursue baggy pants and toy testicles have become a major priority of the state, Danny Vice wrote in his blog, weeklyvice.blogspot.com.
Other people, however, support Spruills bill.
Kudos to the state of Virginia for trying to legislate against bad taste, said a posting on motivemag.com.