Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Why yes, the rules *do* apply to you!

Sorry folks, I've had this bee in my bonnet since Monday, and I just have to say something about it. Is there a reason that people think that the rules don't apply to them? What exactly makes them so special that they think they shouldn't get in trouble for something they were specifically told NOT to do? I've had this peeve all my life, but this one is just completely chapping me right now.

As many of you in the US know, there is a drought going on in about half of US states, and Georgia is one of the worst, especially Atlanta. Consequently, virtually all of the extended metro area is on some kind of outdoor watering ban. At the state level, I think it is the even/odd system (even numbered addresses on M/W/F, odd on Tu/Th/Sa, and only from midnight-10AM, or something along those lines), but local governments are putting in stricter measures in some areas, depending on the water supply and the situation at hand.

Fulton County is one of those most concerned about it. There is a real threat they might run out of drinking water. Yes, really. Hard to imagine that happening in this day and age, but it is true. So, they have banned all outdoor watering during the week. Even numbered houses on Saturday, odd numbered houses on Sunday. That's it. And to enforce, er, encourage residents to follow the rules, they put in place a very steep fine: $1000. Now, hold your horses. For the first offense, you get a written warning. You are told that you have violated the outdoor watering ban, and that the next offense will cost you $1000. In writing!

Well, today, 24 residents are going to magistrate court, saying that the fine is "unfair" and "too steep" and that they "should have been given a second warning." To borrow a term from my friend Heather,

Schwunh? (She says that IRL, too, it's so funny! She's also the only person I've ever met, besides my great-grandmother, who says "pshaw." But I digress....)

Let me get this straight. There was huge publicity about this law. You were told not to do it. And you did. You were given a written warning by a police officer and told not to do it or you would be fined $1000. And yet YOU still *chose* to do it again. And they fined you $1000, just like they said they would. And you seem to think this is unreasonable? I don't think so! Who do you think you are, Paris Hilton? (And we see what happened to her!)

To me, whether $1000 is a reasonable fine for the infraction is not the point. Although, to my mind, I don't think it is unreasonable at all. Any less and people would just pay it and keep watering. At least $1000 gets your attention and will probably prevent you from doing it again, and hopefully your friends from doing it at all since they know that YOU actually had to pay it, which is the whole freakin' point of the fine!!

The POINT of this whole thing is that they told you not to do it, they told you in writing not to do it, and you did it anyway, and now for some reason, you seem to think that the rule should not apply to you? No way. You were told not to do something and what the consequences would be, and you chose to do it anyway. The only person you have any cause to be upset with is YOU. You made the choice, now you must accept the consequences of your actions.

How do these people discipline their children? Or are these the same people who say "I just can't do anything with them" and "they don't listen to me" and all that crap? Here is how things go in this house:

"Luke, don't do that."
Luke does it again.
"Luke, don't do that, or I will ___."
Luke does it again.
I do ___, just like I said I would.

I told him what not to do, I warned him and told him what would happen if he did, and I followed through when he repeated the violation. Just like they are doing in Fulton County. My child is not above the rules, and neither are you!

Now grow up, pay the $1000 you owe, and stop watering your lawn when you're told not to!

Currently feeling: furious with stupid people


  1. You know, I have a feeling that I'm going to be writing a very similar blog sometime in the near future if things keep up this way in the San Francisco Bay area.

    And I'll bet that half my neighborhood protests any fines and just keeps on watering the lawn because they want that gorgeous green lawn. I'm more than happy to have brown spots if it means that we'll have drinking and bathing water.

    ...and I'll bet that they'll think that watering at 5 in the morning won't be noticed by anyone at all... *except the neighbor who is up at 5am to go to work and would rat them out...*

    Oh, and I say pshaw too from time to time. :)

  2. Amen, sister!! It's the same thing during rush hour, isn't it? You think you're so special that you can {drive up the shoulder, block the intersection, cut someone off, run the light} because your needs are so much more important!!

    I love their thought process...I know I did wrong, but could I be punished a little less for it, please? You're punishing me too much. And I really didn't know you meant it when you warned me. Schwunh?? indeed!

  3. Couldn't agree more. Rant all you like.

    And really, should't it be a no-brainer? Water to drink or a green lawn? I'd rather have the water to drink thank you.

  4. I have a violent hatred of grass lawns. I just do. I think they are wasteful and horrible. I have never watered mine, and it just won't die (because I have appropriate biological levels with my drought tolerant native plants, but that's another story).

    In this day and age, I expect water shortages. I expect it more in the future, but the fact that people would rather water a lawn than have available clean water is so far beyond me that it's not even funny.

    And yes, Erin, those people *don't* discipline their children (and if the kid does something wrong it's "my little angel would NEVER!" or "he was just testing his boundaries/being a kid/whatever excuse"

  5. Oh, I so agree! I can't stand it when I see people watering their lawns at 1:30 in the afternoon!!! It drives me crazy. Don't even get me started with the subdivisions that water during the day....GRRRRR......

  6. I agree with you. I don't understand the obsession with a green lawn even in the best of weather but in a drought, when it's all over the place in the news, why do it?

    We are having a kind of dry summer here in Michigan and I'm amazed at the number of people who are out there on a daily basis watering. I'm not just talking flowers cause I can see not wanting to lose them but hours of sprinklers going for what? So you can have the only green lawn on the block? I can't imagine their water bills...DH says he doesn't water so he then he doesn't have to mow. Most lawns will rebound the next year.

    I hope everyone of them has to pay the fine.


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