Thursday, August 28, 2014

As a matter of fact, I *am* the Park Police

So I did something last night that ... well ... I'm still not sure if I did the right thing or not.  You be the judge.

There is a public park right next door to my property, with a meeting hall, playground, tennis courts, a ballfield and, closest to my yard, a big open space.  Sports teams sometimes use the open space to practice on.  Last night, it was a group of soccer players.  At first, I thought they were high school girls, but seeing as how they all drove their own cars, I'm guessing college-age.

Now, my living room window faces the park, and my computer is on a desk in front of the window, so when I'm on line, I've got a clear view of the park.

The girls all pulled up, piled out of their cars, and started putting on gear, tossing balls around, etc.  And then, a girl showed up with a dog.  A shepherd mix, it appeared to be.


Oh, did I mention that dogs are not allowed in this particular park?  Due to a problem (long before I moved in to the neighborhood) with people not controlling their dogs in the park?  I should probably also mention that the park is prominently posted with "ABSOLUTELY NO DOGS AT ANY TIME IN THIS PARK" signs.


The girl got out a rope, tied her dog to a tree, and went to join her friends for soccer practice.  Yep, there they all were, running around, kicking a ball back and forth, doing their drills,  while the dog went f*cking BERSERK watching them on the sideline.


"Eh," I thought.  "None of my business."

I mean, some of my neighbors walk their dogs in the park all the time, but I don't have a problem with it.  Their dogs are leashed and cleaned up after, and they don't


I shut all my windows, but DAMN that dog was loud.  I swear those barks were ECHOING off the nearby hillside.

"Eh," I thought. "They'll probably be done with practice soon."

A half-hour went by.  An hour went by.


Out of curiosity, I got on line and looked up the town's law stipulating that no dogs are allowed in the park, subject to a maximum of fifteen days in jail and a $500 fine.  I don't know WHAT exactly went down at the park previously, but the town is NOT having any more of it. 


I printed out the law.

And then?  I saw one of my neighbors coming down the street.   A woman of around my age, who walks her cute little lap dog around the block every night.  They got to within about a hundred feet of the park, the tied dog saw the lap dog and

well, yeah.  See above re "BARK" etc.

My neighbor snatched up her lap dog, did a u-ey, and ran up the street.  And that was it.  I had HAD IT.

I grabbed up the printed-out law, FLEW out of my front door, and speed walked over to the girls and the dog, who was now losing his sh*t barking at ME.

"Whose dog is this?" I asked.

"Mine," one of the girls said.

I gave her the paper, and said, smiling, "I've been listening to your dog bark for the last hour and a half, and that's long enough.  Plus, dogs are not allowed in this park.  Here's the town law, just in case you, you know, missed the giant signs."

All the other girls were standing around, big-eyed.  The dog owner started to give me a look, then evidently thought the better of it, and said, "Well, I'll just leave, then."

"YOU don't have to leave," I said, pleasantly.  "But your dog does.  Right. Now."

I turned around and stormed back to the house, and by the time I got to the porch, she had loaded up the dog and gone.

So.  Yeah.  I know it was an a**y move, but at that point, it was almost dark out, and I'd been listening to that dog, who was not supposed to be in the park in the first place, bark for an hour and a damn half.  Ain't NOBODY got time for that crap.  And here's the thing; once a group starts practicing in the park, they usually continue practicing there, until their season starts.  There was no way in HELL I was going to listen to that damn dog for the next several weeks.

I was as polite as I could be, given the circumstances, and I certainly had the law on my side (and let's face it; she HAD to have seen the NO DOGS signs in the park), but it's just a taaaaad too close to "get off my lawn" for my comfort.

What do you think?  I mean, I KNOW I was being kind of a dick, but then again, was I?  Or was I within reason?

Enquiring minds want to know.


Tails from the Foster Kittens said...

you could have called the real police and gotten her fined.. so I think you were being reasonable.. and gutsy..

Domestic Kate said...

^ Totally agree! You did the right thing, and you shouldn't feel weird about it.

I snapped at some girls who were walking to school the other morning because they were just STROLLING across the street in no hurry to use the sidewalk when I was trying to ride my bike on the road (with a helmet on, following traffic rules as I'm supposed to). I said, "So, you guys have a sidewalk." I'm 100% sure I got eyerolls in unison at that point. I just can't stay quiet. Get off my lawn.

rockygrace said...

Tails, it wasn't so much gutsy as it was pissed off. and Kate, you TELL those girls! Thanks for reassuring me, guys.

Confession time: I have a really nasty temper if pushed too far. So when I feel myself start to boil, like last night, I try to make sure I'm not going off half-cocked. I try to make sure I stay calm. And I try to make sure I'm not breaking any laws. Ha. It takes a lot to push me over the edge, but when I go, I'm swan-diving, baby. That's the major reason I would never, ever have a gun in the house - I know damn well I'd use it.

And the soccer girls are, indeed, back in the park tonight. WITHOUT the dog.

Robyn said...

You absolutely did the right thing, and those girls are lucky you didn't call the cops!

the queen said...

You could have had them fined. I think that offsets any dickishness. You could have told them that.

spiffikins said...

Yeah, honestly, I would have called the cops :) I doubt they would have gotten a fine - probably a warning.

James P. said...

I'm thinking about the doggie, here. The girl probably thought she was doing him a favor, getting him "out", but he was obviously upset the whole time by the strange surroundings.

(Remembering a character played exquisitely by Cheri Oteri on SNL.....a Jersey housewife who yelled at kids out her front door. Loved it.)

fmcgmccllc said...

Totally think you were too nice. But then I am ditto on the gun thing.

She was being a brat (really want to type in another word there)and she was doing that dog no favor.

rockygrace said...

You know, I did feel sorry for the dog. There was his owner, all running around and having fun in a great big open field, and there he was, on a 10-foot rope. It's like putting a toddler in front of a locked toy store and having somebody waving toys around in the windows.

And I noticed last night that they were playing rugby, not soccer. Lil 'ol me faced down rugby players and survived. Ha.