WASHINGTON, DC -- California decriminalized the sale of Caesar salad this week -- and it's not a moment too soon, the Libertarian Party said today.
"When you outlaw Caesar salad, only outlaws will eat Caesar salad," noted the party's Director of Communications, Bill Winter. "That's why, on the issue of Caesar salad, we Libertarians have always been pro-legalization."
Selling Caesar salad became a crime last year when California legislators passed a new health law banning the sale of food that used raw eggs as an ingredient. Unexpectedly, the law included Caesar salad, which uses uncooked eggs in its unique dressing.
Restaurant owners and fans of the popular salad were outraged. The outcry convinced state legislators to file a new bill to cancel the criminal status of Caesar salad -- and, presumably, end what might have become a flourishing black market in contraband romaine lettuce, raw eggs, and Parmesan cheese.
The bill, signed into law by Governor Pete Wilson on Monday, has Libertarians cheering -- but a little surprised.
"We have to compliment California legislators for their rare display of good sense," acknowledged Winter. "Although we're a bit surprised that they were courageous enough to toss the Caesar salad law entirely."
Libertarians had expected politicians to take a more timid, gradual approach, said Winter, perhaps...
* Implementing a five-day waiting period for Caesar salad, so the government could do a medical background check for raw-eggallergies.
* Legalizing only "medical Caesar salad" -- whereby people with a vitamin deficiency could get a doctor's permission to buy a small amount of Caesar salad for their own personal use.
* Launching an anti-Caesar salad TV advertising blitz, perhaps with a commercial showing a frying pan, and then showing a frying pan with a raw egg in it. The voice-over could be: "This is your brain. This is your brain on Caesar salad."
* Allowing only adults, 21 and over, the right to buy Caesar salad, on the grounds that it may be an adolescent's gateway-salad to stronger stuff, like macaroni salad or three-bean salad.
But Libertarians say they are delighted with the bold, unexpected victory over the "Just Say No to Caesar Salad" lobby -- and argue that it's a win for libertarianism and the American way of life.
"We support the Constitutional right of every American to keep and bear a Caesar salad -- or, rather, to eat and buy a Caesar salad," said Winter. "All joking aside, it's a setback for those political eggheads who think they have the right to micromanage every aspect of our lives -- down to the type of salad we buy in a restaurant. Hopefully, politicians will learn ... TO JUST LETTUCE ALONE."