The Grass is Always Greener

I heard on the news today that a small community near here just passed a law banning jumpers on park grounds.  The newscaster cited the amount of noise, the time it takes to process permits, and how jumpers kill the turf as reasons for the changed law.  You’ve seen the criminal thing I’m talking about, haven’t you?  That big, obtrusive air-filled turbulent mobile structure that shows up at kid’s parties, where pre-tweens clamber in and out through a mesh door and parents dare not enter?  Where children, living in the moment, will exuberantly scream with pleasure…up and down…up and down…up and down, falling, getting up, bumping, screaming, laughing, playing until exhaustion; no, even after wild-eyed exhaustion has claimed them?

I wonder if the City Council, or whatever ‘government body’ passed this ordinance, have kids, cause…correct me if I am wrong…but aren’t parks for kids?  And birthday parties? And noise? And fun?  (Parks used to be for dogs, too, but not anymore.)

Now, let me translate for you, from business speak to ‘the ugly truth’:

The amount of time to process permits:  City employees want to do less work;  to put forth less effort for things like processing paperwork that, while raising funds for the city, allows kids to legally get together and have fun in a public place.  And is the end result worthy?  It is EXERCISE.  With all the attention on America’s obesity problem, should we really discourage or dis-allow things that get our kids to bounce around in crazy delight?   

The Amount of Noise:  Parks are not meant for children!  Damn those parents, trying to entertain a group of children in an open-air arena in celebration of a child’s special day!  Maybe the city feels that children should be seen, and not heard.  Or maybe children should not be seen, and not be heard. 

Now, what shall the park be designated for?  Illicit drug deals?  Clandestine meetings in dirty park restrooms between consenting adults?  Elderly tai chi sessions? 

Jumpers Kill Turf – Also reflecting the desired lack of effort for city employees, when did the grass become more important than the kids who play on it?!  I’ve rented a jumper before, and though it was in my driveway, I only rented it for 4-5 hours.  I would hesitate to call the structure a permanent grass killer, leaving tell-tale dried outlines in its murderous wake.

Even more surprising is that Walnut Creek is not the only town – they join a growing list of 3 or 4 local communities who have banned jumpers for those same, or similar, reasons.

Do I still live in the “land of the free” anymore? Cause it doesn’t feel very free when government reaches into the most trivial aspects of our lives to tell us what we can and can’t do.  I can’t spit; I can’t chew gum; I can’t smoke within twenty feet of a door to a restaurant or business; in some towns, I wouldn’t be able to smoke in my own house; I can be ticketed several hundred dollars for letting my grass grow too high.  This ridiculous law, to ban a children’s toy from a children’s gathering place, is just another nail in the coffin of logic.  The grass is probably greener, if you keep it in a museum. 

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