Final Word from Wednesday, March 17, 2021

In Arlo Guthrie's wartime satire Alice's Restaurant Massacree, the hero is arrested and put on the draft board's Group W bench, because that's where they sit you if you might not be moral enough to join the army and to burn women, kids, houses and villages. His crime was littering. The police found his name on an envelope at the bottom of about a half a ton of garbage. Don't laugh, it might happen to you or someone you love. The Czech police are cracking down on covid criminals. Proceedings were launched by agreement with the state prosecutor against Šeberák restaurant of Prague for suspicion of spreading a contagious human disease by serving guests when restaurants were supposed to be closed. There's a potential prison sentence of eight years. Now, what about all those people who use home testing kits but don't report that they're positive? They could be spreading the disease too. How long before the police start looking for the evidence at the bottom of piles of garbage? [ Czech Republic covid-19 self-testing ]

Glossary of difficult words

massacree - an event so wildly and improbably and baroquely messed up that the results are almost impossible to believe;

draft board - a civilian board that registers, classifies and selects men for compulsory military service;

to litter - to leave trash in a public place;

to crack down - to take severe measures against.


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