By Jeff Girod
The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors agreed last week to raise fines to up to $1,000 for anyone who throws a football or a Frisbee on any beach in the county.
The 37-page ordinance (37 pages? Did they list every seagull?) prohibits “any person 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.
Thank goodness. Now I can finally visit L.A. beaches in peace and enjoy the toxic fumes, pollution, traffic, crime, gang bangers and homelessness, without the nightmarish threat—oh heavens to Betsy!—of someone tossing a football or Frisbee.
The last thing we’d want is people actually playing at the beach—of all the nerve!—and especially between Memorial Day and Labor Day while it’s all hot and summer-y.
Hey, this should do wonders for tourism. Imagine how progressive out-of-towners will think folks in L.A. County are. Consider someone from Nebraska or Idaho (who may never have seen the Pacific Ocean) trying to fulfill a lifelong dream of playing catch with his children along the seashore . . . Ah, but not so fast, Country Mouse. This here is beach-ball country.
If you want to make like Eli Manning, you’ll have to come back on Sept. 4. We don’t wear white after Labor Day in L.A. County. And we don’t throw spirals before it.
No wonder Los Angeles doesn’t have a football team: Its citizens aren’t even allowed to have footballs.
At least it was nice of the Board of Supervisors to make our summer vacation plans that much easier. San Diego and Orange counties have better beaches anyway. And you can cast toss, throw, kick or roll just about anything you want. (I wouldn’t mind tossing and kicking a few L.A. politicians.)
But wait, there’s more! As part of the ordinance, no hole dug in the sand is allowed to be deeper than 18 inches, which coincidentally is also the thickness of the foreheads of the folks making the rules. Forget sand pails and shovels, I guess our kids should start digging with yardsticks or face that hefty $1,000 fine.
“Whoa there, Timmy. That moat for your sand castle already looks mighty deep. One more inch and we won’t have enough money to pay rent, Christmas will be ruined and Daddy will become an alcoholic again. Now scamper over to the designated fun zone so we can play with a county-approved Nerf volleyball. But no spiking!”
This is what’s wrong with our counties, our states and our country. Everybody is concerned with Frisbees and footballs, while coastlines and mountain ranges sink deeper into neglect and despair.
So what if one person gets bonked in the noggin with an 8-ounce piece of cheap plastic? Frisbees have been around since 1957, and you don’t see everyone wobbling around like pirates in eye patches from “flying disc” accidents.
Ordinances like this reaffirm how do-nothing and irrelevant bureaucracies such as the L.A. Board of Supervisors have become. Commerce, transportation, unemployment, immigration, crime, poverty, hunger, gay marriage, drug abuse, sex abuse, child abuse—take a stance, any stance, on any of the topics mentioned. All of them are more pressing and relevant than who’s throwing what to whom on some beach in a Speedo.
See, our problem is the people who visit beaches and play Frisbee? They don’t grow up to run for political office. They have too much self-esteem. They’re too well adjusted to whore themselves out for votes just to sit in a stuffy room wasting taxpayer money on some meaningless county board.
Politicians promise everything and contribute nothing. They aren’t artists or builders or teachers or healers. They are a plague on society, whose only purpose in life is to leech the marrow out of the rest of us with permits, fines and regulations.
Used to be you drove west until you hit water, you took off your shirt and you dove into the Pacific. Now you have to swim farther and farther out just to feel any sense of freedom.
You want to make beaches nicer? Bury all the politicians up to their neckties. Most of their pointy heads look like footballs anyway.
Contact Jeff Girod at firstname.lastname@example.org.