Charlie also likes to trade barks with the neighbors’ dogs. I refer to them as dog Zoom meetings since a number of the neighborhood canines join in. I guess he barked a bit too long this morning for the new neighbors behind us. My fault, really. As I said, I was high-centered on some columns and my mind was occupied. But he was in the backyard and wasn’t going anywhere. But for this transgression, the neighbors did not ask us to keep the noise down or even talk to us. No, they sent the dog cops. This is not a regular thing and it was mid-morning, not 1:30 AM. But no, we needed to involve the authorities. The thing is, we could have talked this out like adults and I would have apologized and given them some eggs from our chickens. Which in and of themselves are quickly replacing gold as the new go-to emergency currency. And I suspect these people will carp about our chickens soon enough. We don’t have an HOA here, but I’ll bet that we may have someone trying to start a franchise, so to speak. In all honesty, we could have cleared the whole thing up in five minutes over a beer. But why talk with me like a grownup when it is so much easier to whine to animal control? My wife is planning to take them some eggs as a peace offering. We will see what that yields.
There is a doughnut shop in Conway, New Hampshire, called Leavitt’s Country Bakery. Last year, it was purchased by a man named Sean Young. Young knew that the shop was a gathering place for people around the town and vowed to keep it that way. Basically, the kind of man with the kind of vision that every community wants. Or at least says they want when you visit their respective websites. According to a piece
in National Review, Young was approached by the art department of the local high school. The students were painting a mural as part of a class art project and needed a place to hang their work. Young thought that was an excellent idea to hang the mural on his premises and immediately offered up his shop. No harm, no foul, everybody’s happy. Again, Young sounds exactly like the kind of person every chamber of commerce dreams of having.
The mural was unveiled and hung over the bakery’s door. It showed Mt. Washington and the surrounding landscape reflecting the sun. But in this case, Mt. Washington and the surrounding landscape were made of donuts and pastries. And why not? The mural was hanging over the door of a donut shop
, for crying out loud. The community thought it was fun, quirky, and interesting. The city officials of Conway? Not so much. Some overpaid, underworked, pencil-pushing local gadfly, who apparently likes to fill the days until his public pension kicks in by harassing the locals, decided that the mural had crossed the line. How? It showed donuts. Seriously. The students painted donuts. This, according to the power-hungry wonks at the city, made the mural an advertisement, not a decoration. As such, it was a “sign” and exceeded the “sign size” as dictated by a local ordinance. Young was told to remove it under the pain of criminal charges and a penalty of $275 per day. Young told National Review: “I didn’t understand how the government could decide what students are allowed to paint on their high-school art projects.” Young applied for a variance and was denied twice. The town has even admitted that its sign ordinance is vague as far back as 2006.