Who would have thought that the dog park was going to be a hot bed of political activity? But with Nevada being one of the key “battleground states” as political analysts have described it, that is what has happened. Or perhaps, to use one of Jimmy Durante’s lines, “Everybody wants ta get inta the act.”
A few days ago I noticed that someone had pasted some little stickers in various places in the large dog park. The stickers simply read, “OBAMA SUCKS”. Several of the stickers have been removed from where they were placed but several remain.
As I approached the group that comes equipped with puppies and lawn chairs and enjoys hobnobbing on the little rise in the park, the subject of these stickers was in hot debate. The group, people who mostly support the President, were indignant at this insult to his Greatness. Generally I try to avoid getting involved in these discussions because I am, if not out thought in these conversations, certainly outnumbered by about a six to one ratio. However, I was unsuccessful in this attempt last night.
One of the more strident members of the group asked me directly if I had seen these stickers, to which I replied that I had. “And,” she continued, “What do you think of someone putting them up on public property?” I responded, “I guess we’re dealing with someone who is perhaps overly enthusiastic.”
This woman said that she had removed “both” of them and looked at me with a true sense of righteousness. It was at that point that I mentioned that there were several more in the park to which she might want to turn her attention as well. Apparently she was unaware of this and looked appropriately disturbed that this public property defacer had done yet more damage to our dog park – and her political sensibilities.
One of the other members then began a rant about right wing fascists – and I confess that pushed me beyond the limits of my usual calm and composed demeanor. I asked them, “Would you have been equally upset and removed the stickers if the word ROMNEY were substituted for OBAMA?” “Of course,” they responded. “It’s a violation of park rules to place any sign.” To be honest, if the stickers were anti-Romney ones, it is more likely that they would have begun building a shrine beneath them.
“So then your objection is not based on the content of the stickers but is based on the infraction of the rules for the use of the park by the public?” “Exactly,” replied the lady who made the fascist statement. “Well, don’t you think some of those rules are pretty silly,?” I asked, setting up my straw man argument.
“You mean even if they are dumb, we are supposed to obey all of them?”
“Of course. You can’t pick and choose. If you don’t like something you have to get it changed.” At least on that point we were in agreement.
“Well, let me ask you a question. I know that you’re aware that the very first rule posted regarding the use of the park is that ‘No alcoholic beverages are to be brought to the park and consumed here.’ That is the reason (together with a warning from one of the Park Marshalls) that you folks no longer bring wine bottles with you for your evening gatherings. But you now bring alcohol from home and consume it from individual containers. Isn’t that a violation of a rule which should also be observed?”
As the rancor began rising among the group I realized that it was time to pick up the pizza I had ordered for dinner which provided me with a convenient reason for taking Gracie and leaving them to “mull” over my question. So I wished all of them a good evening and left them to “stew” over my comment.
I guess it’s a good thing that you can choose your acquaintances. I might have to go on a search for a couple of replacements.