What of their compatriots who know no such good fortune? Where is their honor? What passing bells for those who perish, uncoupled? Who patters out their hasty orisons? What of those who move into the great beyond as islands, entire of themselves? Naturally, we must be just as concerned for them. Naturally, we must provide for them just as we have for their more fortunate brethren — indeed, we ought to do more for them, surely!
No, we must be fair, we must do right by the fallen. State legislators, if you have such concern for the select few, remember the unfortunate millions! We must, of course, give honor above all to those who went to the halls of glory without glimpsing even a hint of an ovum. This is the least we owe those who lived in hope — and died — in states of single blessedness. Who knows what strange soil may be their resting place, what corner of a foreign field shall be forever theirs, what richer earth lies in that rich earth concealed?
No, whenever we hear word that once again, another battalion of these brave lads have gone to rest without fertilizing anything, a single horse, draped in black, with boots turned backward in the stirrups, must dolefully march down the main street of the relevant town, as people crowd to the windows to weep. Fair is fair! A trumpeter must play taps, and at the head of the parade must ride the mourners. Though, in a way, we all mourn.
A lone train must bear the remains from state to state, so that we may gather to pay our last respects. We must spare no cost. Flags must be lowered to half-staff. Dogs must howl. The governor must deliver a eulogy — the president, indeed, would be better. And, at last, the remains must be borne home in the highest honor, just as the legislators so thoughtfully wished for their brethren. I think, also, that stars should be placed in the windows of those who bear so great a loss; it is a simple matter of respect. We shall all hear the bell toll, and know — it tolls for these.
These few, these happy few, this band of brothers — we must do right by them. There can be no reason for hesitation on this vital matter. It is the respect our ova-less lads deserve. You all had better pass this legislation quickly, before any more are lost. Do not call this unduly onerous: it is scarcely more than these other bills request! We must be fair, now.
Think of the fallen! Think, and legislate, legislate quickly! Or, alternatively, stop.
Read more from Alexandra Petri: