Much has been made about the Tax Day Tea Parties held last week across the nation. And rightfully so.

It’s a pretty big deal whenever the people rise up en masse, look at the powers that be, wag their fingers, and say, “Shame on you,” all the while hoping that this time — yes, this time — the big shots in Washington will finally listen to their pleas and put an end to the Iraq War, stop global warming, ban genetically modified organisms, convince Fox to renew The Sarah Connor Chronicles, put Shoeless Joe Jackson in the Baseball Hall of Fame, and once and for all, do something about that horrible wig that Miley Cyrus wears whenever she’s Hannah Montana.

It’s even more impressive whenever John Q. Public and all of his buddies do it all on their own — grassroots style — without the constant prodding and promoting of Fox News and its cadre of TV/radio hosts, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and Bill O’Reilly. That’s when you know that an issue has really touched a nerve. Otherwise, all you’ve done is launch a marketing campaign for a big-budget summer blockbuster.

Take X-Men Origins: Wolverine for example. We all know it’s going to suck. As if the trailers weren’t convincing enough — wait, wait, Wolverine’s going to, um, dry hump a helicopter? — an unfinished bootleg of the film confirmed it.

But Fox is promoting the hell out of the popcorner — TV spots, Got Milk? ads, pizza chain tie-ins, video games — and that means that on opening day, every fan boy and his halfling brother will be lining up at the box office to see what all the hubbub is about. This isn’t grassroots organizing, bub. It’s shepherding.

Which is why I’m thrilled to no end to be a part of a true grassroots movement, one that doesn’t rely on the media to spread its message, one that doesn’t use so-called personalities to herd the sheep, one that is word of mouth in every way.

It’s called the Slumber Party. And last week, slumber parties were held everywhere across this great land of ours, in every town and every city, in every apartment complex and every subdivision. The Haire household was no exception.

The usual sleeping baggers were in attendance — “Little Joe” Riley, Keith “The Beef” Summey, “Slim Jim” Clyburn, Henry “Big Mac” McMaster, Wendell “G-Money” Gilliard, Timmy Mallard, Annie Peterson, “Marky Mark” Sanford, Dre Bauer, “C.C.” Condon, and Dottie “Don’t Call Me Dorothy” Scott. Wally Scarborough and “Fancy Nancy” Cook showed up with their bags and tooth brushes in hand, but we sent them home. They weren’t invited.

We ordered pizza and watched a few horror movies. (Timmy is such a scaredy-cat. For the last time, Leprechaun is not for real.)

We played truth or dare and then spin the bottle and then seven minutes in heaven. (Slim and C.C. sitting in the tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g.)

And then, right before we all went to bed, we broke out the Ouija board. (Who knew that Ronald Reagan had such a foul mouth … and really, really, had a dislike for Dre? At least when Big Mac was involved.)

Of course, getting to sleep was easier said than done. G-Money and Lin kept making farting noises with their armpits, Dottie and Annie talked all night about Zac Efron and unicorns, and Little Joe and Beef got into a fight over Mr. Cuddles the teddy bear. And somebody, and I’m not saying who but it wasn’t me, had an accident. (Mark my words, it was the mother of all puddles.)

Eventually, we drifted off to the Land of Zs. And the next morning, we awoke, crawled out of our sleeping bags, and had a bowl of Fruity Pebbles. And then the members of the Slumber Party parted ways and went off to change America, one sleepover at a time. Baah baah baah.

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