Say no to mandatory flossing

Every time I go to the dentist to have my teeth cleaned, the hygienist gives me a little plastic container of floss and tells me I need to floss daily. I am 47 years old. I have never flossed daily. I have never even flossed annually (meaning once in any two consecutive years), that I can remember.

I know it’s in the best interest of my gums and teeth to floss, but, well, frankly they are doing OK without it and, well, I don’t like flossing. I fully understand the possible risk involved in such blatant rebelliousness, but I am old enough to take certain calculated risks. I’ve earned the right.

I feel the same way about seatbelt and helmet laws. As a reasonably sane adult, I have chosen to take certain risks in my life that some folks would consider too dangerous. I have been an avid motorcyclist for 28 years in four different states. I still ride a Harley almost every day.

My first few cars didn’t even have seatbelts, and decades ago in California, a helmet was optional equipment for motorcycles. Today in California, you have to wear a helmet if you want to ride a bicycle, for cryin’ out loud!

A lot of folks obviously think that driving a car, riding a motorcycle or riding a bicycle are dangerous and risky activities. The government has not, so far, made any of these activities illegal. But they have decided (in many states, anyway) that anyone who is reckless enough to participate in these renegade activities must be forcibly protected from harm, and they have passed laws to require certain safety equipment be used.

I understand all the safety and insurance issues involved with seatbelts and helmets. I’ve read the articles, and I’ve heard the stories. I mostly comply with the present laws regarding seatbelts and helmets (well, helmet laws anyway).

I just don’t like the idea that the government has infested my personal life to the point of parenting. I might wear a helmet even if the law didn’t demand it. And I’d probably encourage my kids and riders to wear seatbelts, although I myself would likely choose to ride unrestrained. But it ought to be my option as an adult.

All I’m asking for is the freedom to take certain personal risks. I don’t mind educated and reasoned admonitions from the “experts.” After all, a calculated risk requires full information. I just don’t think it’s right to have “big brother” also be “big mother” in my life.

Next thing you know, “big mother” will be telling us we have to wear sunscreen whenever we go out in the sun or that we have to eat all our vegetables.

Worse yet, she might pass a law that says we have to floss every day. I mean, where do we draw the line and say, “enough"?

Let those who ride decide. Allow adults to take responsibility for their own lives. We simply cannot allow the very freedom that makes America unique to be jeopardized by such trifling and parental legislative interference. Enough, already.