Magazine article The Progressive

Behold, My Sincerity Detector

Magazine article The Progressive

Behold, My Sincerity Detector

Article excerpt

The retractable cord on the vacuum cleaner is one of the best inventions in recent memory.

Sometimes just for fun, I like to drag the plug somewhere deep into the house, go back to the vacuum, step on the retract button, smile and listen to that little sucker bounce on home to Mama.

Not to brag, but I'm an inventor myself. Inventing is all about curiosity: the "What if?" Since I was raised Catholic, it's a miracle I have any curiosity at all. God was the answer to everything. Two plus two? God. That can make you lazy.

Luckily, my innate entrepreneurial spirit pushed me to my destiny as an inventor. I'm inventing right now. Like other inventors, I've had some duds. I really thought the vape/selfie combo stick was going to be huge.

Speaking of duds, I have invented a line of clothing for seniors made entirely out of airbags with tiny embedded gyroscopes. If you start to tilt off your personal plum line, your clothes inflate and pop you back up. K-Street's hip-replacement lobby is already fighting patent approval.

Perhaps you are already familiar with my latest invention, the Sincerity Detector, or SD. It is based on some of my early pioneering work on a font for sarcasm. The SD is invaluable whenever sincerely held religious beliefs are used as a get -out-of-reality-free card.

To demonstrate how it works, my branding people tried to arrange an SD test on Kim Davis, the county clerk in Kentucky who refused to issue same sex marriage licenses because of "sincerely held religious beliefs." Our request was denied.

Undeterred, we ran the SD on the audio of Davis's jail release statement. Some of the audio was garbled by the wind gusts from her flailing arms and the loud grousing between Mick Huckabee and Ted Cruz. Nonetheless, we were able to get an acceptable level.

Turns out Davis's remarks did not budge the SD's arrow into "sincerely held" territory. …

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