On my radio show, Strictly Right, my co-host and I frequently seek nominees for our ongoing project, the Mommy Files. Essentially, the Mommy Files are an ongoing collection of the most bizarre–and liberty-threatening–examples of government overreach. One of the worst examples of these that I’ve seen came out of Los Angeles County earlier today, when the county government banned playing with a football or Frisbee on the beach.
I’m not generally a beach person, but the few times that I have been in recent years, there has been some sort of throwing activity–be it with a Frisbee, or some sort of spherical object that the kids refer to as “balls” these days.
Now, in a 37-page ordinance released by the county’s Board of Supervisors, you can land a $1000 fine if you dare to “cast, toss, throw, kick or roll” any object other than a beach ball or volleyball “upon or over any beach” between Memorial Day and Labor Day. But don’t worry, if you obtain a ball-throwing permit or are casting, tossing, throwing, kicking or rolling your ball in a “predesignated area,” you’re in the clear. (Exceptions are also made for games of water polo “in or over the Pacific Ocean.”
Also banned is digging a hole greater than 18-inches, unless you’re with a film crew. Little Timmy better not get too excited with his new shovel, lest the county police patrolling the sands with yard-sticks catch him taking an extra inch. So, you can still bury your friend in the sand, so long as you can stuff him in a hole shallower than 18-inches.
If I were in L.A., I’d be organizing a big game of football at the beach for the day after Memorial Day. If anyone challenged it, I’d simply say, “No, I’m not casting, throwing, kicking, tossing, or rolling. Can’t you tell, officer? I’m bandying / barraging / bombarding / bucking / catapulting / chucking / flicking / flinging / heaving / hurling / impelling / lapidating / launching / lobbing / pegging / pelleting / pitching / projecting / sending / shoving / slinging / splattering / thrusting it.”
Heck, choose them all. As Kathy Shaidle always says, stupid laws are meant to be broken.
When people don’t stand up to the busybodies who write this crap, they write more of it. Every time they do it, they manage to take a little more fun out of life. Give it a couple of years and the only acceptable beachfront activities will be workshops on sustainable energy and pollution prevention.
Instead of raising a glass at your next beach party, throw a ball. If you’re a good shot, aim for a bureaucrat.