Monday, February 14, 2005


Not too far from our house is a city park. We can walk there easily by traveling up a drainage ditch if we want to. Yesterday we took my SUV. This was because we took Jacob's bike with us, and the ditch is pretty much impassible to bikes.

Why a bike? It’s a pretty large park, with soccer fields and a full-size pool, playscapes, a jogging track, the whole nine yards. One of the yards is what we called in my day a BMX bike track. Dirt trails, ramps, and berms, that sort of thing. Totally cool for anyone under the age of 18, or who has not had a recent reminder concerning the laws of gravity. Thus the bike.

On a tree at one corner of the bike trail area was a warning sign. I think you know the kind of sign I'm talking about here.

WARNING! The activity for which this sign is a warning sign is dangerous for pregnant women and people with disabilities. Also, non-pregnant women and men, as well as young children, teenagers, people in their twenties, Sherpas, EMT's, Olympic athletes, Green Berets, Navy Seals, and Spiderman. Anyone who actually gets out here and engages in this activity is a complete fool. Even stopping to read this sign suggests you are in dire need of a refresher course in common sense. Idiot.

Anyway, in addition to all that was this: No one may use these trails without having a permission form on file at the City Park Office.

That last really got to me. A permission form? On file? What else could it possibly have on it that the sign lacked? I suppose the form could be in Latin, just to make it really official and legal-like. As if even that would protect the city from being sued if little Johnny took a jump wrong and scraped an elbow.

I think we really do have too many lawyers in this country sometimes.

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