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When confetti stops being fun

BY CHRIS STEINKE | JUNE 24, 2011 7:20 AM

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If I could, I would bathe in confetti. It would make me feel like a champion.

I love confetti.

In fact, if I were able to find someone willing, and some simple way of tidying the mess, I would have someone throw confetti on me every time I answered a question correctly in class, worked out, or went potty all by myself (and not on a stop sign at 3 a.m.).

But, as is standard in this society of ours, there’s always that one guy who needs to be deeply offended by something fun and harmless and have somebody else arrested.

At the annual Iowa City Pride Parade this past weekend, 24-year-old Dominique Conway was arrested for “assaulting” someone with confetti (oxymoronic, I know). After responding to a complaint of a man yelling at anti-parade protesters, police arrested Conway after he allegedly threw a handful of paper confetti at the protester’s face.

There were no reports of paper cuts.

Unfortunately for Conway, the man he threw confetti at was not me. So instead of looking up at the sky with arms open, fists pumping, and chanting, “Yes! Yes!” the actual “victim” had police arrest the alleged confetti bully directly on the spot.

What Conway did qualifies as “assault” because his act of throwing confetti “intended to result in physical contact which will be insulting or offensive to another.” Before I knew this, I was completely unaware of how utterly badass I am.

I’ve gotten away with blatant assault many, many times (without being in a single fight, but still). One time, I pushed a stumbling drunk girl away who was trying to make out with me. She got offended. Another time, I burped, then blew the resulting gas into my roommate’s face. He got offended.

Fortunately for me, neither of my assaultees were aware of their rights. Otherwise, they would have been like the man who pressed charges against Conway, proving once and for all that his opposition to the parade was fueled by his passion for family values and not a baseless hatred for the unknown.

In the same vein, by yelling and throwing things, Conway successfully spread the message of communication and tolerance the Iowa City Pride Parade was attempting to promote.

(In case you’re confused and/or can’t interpret verbal inflection on a piece of paper or computer screen, the previous two sentences were intended to be sarcastic.)

What I’ve learned from this story is that, in Iowa at least, one can assault another person without physically injuring that person in any way – but that’s dependent on three conditions. Someone has to cause a person to be touched by something. The person that was touched by something has to be offended. And the person that was touched has to be a dick. Of course, the less the “victim” was truly offended, the more of a dick that person must be, and vice versa.

This is not Conway’s first arrest. Less than a year ago, he was arrested for punching someone who refused a hug from him. In his defense, he was downright plastered. His blood-alcohol content was .086, so he was nearly a half hour away from legally being able to drive.

Even though this story brings to light the absurdly inclusive definition of assault (they should call offenses like this “nothing” or something), it also exemplifies a minor success in our legal system.

Conway is slowly being rehabilitated; he’s gone from punching people to throwing glitter on them. Another year or so and he might be to diffuse his anger in a more acceptable manner, you know, like holding up a giant sign that says people that disagree with him are going to burn for all eternity.

Personally, I don’t care how he expresses his anger, as long as he doesn’t hurt anybody — or, more importantly, undermine the sanctity of confetti.


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