A most curious thing happened the other day. I was reading the paper one morning when I heard a knock on the door. I hadn't been expecting a visitor, but I quickly got up and opened the door. On my front step, to my surprise, was my next-door neighbor, holding a baseball bat in his hands.
"Uh… Can I help you?" I asked.
He nodded eagerly, and said, "I'm in the mood for a game. You'll flip a coin. If it comes up heads, I'll break both of your legs. If it comes up tails, I'll break your arms. I play this game with all the neighbors every few years. Sounds pretty fun, don't you think? You're lucky; in some places people don't get to play my game." He smiled, clearly quite pleased with himself.
"This is absurd!" I exclaimed. "I'm not playing your game. Get off my property!"
He sighed, looking very hurt. "Fine," he said. "I'll flip the coin." He produced a quarter from his pocket and tossed it into the air. It landed on the concrete path in front of my house, heads facing up. "Well, the coin has spoken." Before I could react, he swung the bat, hitting me in the leg. I gasped and sank to one knee. He swung again and again at my shins, leaving me sprawled on the ground.
Through the pain, I cried out, "You broke my legs!"
"Well, yes," he replied. "The coin came up heads. What are you so upset about, anyway?"
Incredulous, I yelled, "You have no right to go around beating people up!"
He seemed baffled at this. "Sure I do. You consented to this when you chose to live on the same block as me. Besides, you refused to exercise your right to flip the coin, like I offered. If you won't participate in my game, you have no right to complain about the outcome."His reasoning seemed a bit off to me, but I was in too much pain for any deep logical analysis. "Well," he continued, "It's been a pleasure serving you, but I've got to get going. Lots of houses left to visit today. See you in two years!" With that he smiled, gave a polite nod, and was on his way.
Okay, I'm being a bit silly here. But the "If you don't vote, you can't complain" argument has always annoyed me, and my natural habit is to think in analogies and metaphors.