The other day I passed a maintenance crew welding dividers onto a park bench so it would in future only provide seating for three people.
This struck me as a poor use of public property as I’ve seen up to 5 people sitting on it watching a Little League ball game. But some civic official had now determined it would in future serve only three –- in an upright (and probably also preferably locked) position.
I knew it wasn’t because the city’s insurance provider had determined that too many people on the bench might cause it to collapse and lead to an injury lawsuit.
I doubted it was because somebody in the local bureaucracy had deemed that park visitors deserved more personal space, or that crowded benches implied a lapse in green space management.
It was obviously because somebody didn’t want some homeless guy sleeping on it.
I’ve seen old guys sleeping on it in the afternoon heat, slumped with their dog at their feet, tuckered from a jaunt through the nearby woods.
I’ve seen kids sleeping on it, next to a mom using the blessed silence to read a book.
I’ve even diverted my eyes from Teens making out and all but sleeping with each other on it.
And nobody’s ever had a problem with that.
But somebody on their way to City Hall one morning saw a raggedy guy stretched out and decided enough was enough.
I kinda wish the “enough is enough” trigger would’ve spurred whoever fetched the welding team to do something concrete to address the homeless problem. But we don’t seem to do a lot of that anymore.
We just do these little, “let’s make life a little less enjoyable for everybody” moves on most issues these days rather than sit down and actually solve a problem once and for all.
God knows whatever anybody attempts to do so these days causes somebody to become immediately upset or offended. But not even trying to fix something means that it inevitably gets worse.
Dictating where and in what position everybody has to sit when they go to a public park doesn’t contribute to anybody’s well-being and it sure doesn’t help out a guy without a home who just needs to lie down for a couple of hours.
It makes you wonder how long it will take for the whole world to turn into “Hotel 22”.
You’ve never heard of “Hotel 22”? Take a peek and then try to…
Enjoy Your Sunday.