TAKOMA PARK, MD – Inspired by Japan’s new amusement park regulation meant to prevent the spread of Coronavirus by prohibiting yelling on roller coasters, Takoma Park has adopted the “Scream Inside Your Heart Rule” for all future council meetings.
“Takoma Park council meetings are very much like roller coasters,” said the Mayor. “They are super exciting for some thrill-seekers, but make others sick to their stomach. It’s enjoyable for about a minute, and then the whole thing goes downhill fast while everyone screams their heads off.”
The new Scream Inside Your Heart rule requires any person disagreeing with statements made at City Council meetings to remain quiet, dig their fingernails as tightly as possible into the padded elbow rests of their seats, and bite down until their molars are about to crack. While many people enthusiastically support the rule, others have raised First Amendment concerns, accusing the city of silencing their voices.
“I will not be muzzled!” Karen McAllen shouted. “First I’m required to wear a mask that covers most of my face, and now I can’t even scream through it to voice my opinion. How am I supposed to get attention if I can’t force people to look at and listen to me?”
To ensure resident’s heart-felt voices are still heard, Takoma Park has hired famous infomercial psychic Miss Cleo to attend each Council meeting, intuit the residents’ heart screams, and compile a PowerPoint presentation summarizing their feelings for the Council. “We have to pay her $3.99 per minute for the first 10 minutes and $5.99 per minute after that,” said the City Manager. “That’s a little steep, but this is a public health emergency.”
With the new rule off to a good start, some in city government are even hoping to keep it around after the pandemic. “Imagine how short our meetings on the Takoma Junction Development project could’ve been if we had only allowed people to scream on the inside,” Mayor Stewart said. “I’ve been screaming on the inside for years, and I can honestly say it works wonders.”