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A New “Yield” Sign
There’s a new “Yield” sign at the junction of County Road 82 (Big Owl) and 82E (Cabin Creek). As signs go, I like “Yield” signs; they’re directive without being pushy. I got tired of nearly being hit there, so the County inspected it and agreed that a sign was probably a good idea.
Government strikes again, with another rule. Like most rules, laws, regulations, ordinances, this one was the result of people not using common sense and courtesy and general kindness in their behavior. That’s why we have speed limits, leash laws, noise laws, etc., and, of course, all those lawyers.
We don’t like laws much, or lawyers, or big government. We don’t like any of them unless they’re on our side. A young woman in Denver, an honor student and gymnast, failed a calculus course because she missed more than 10 classes. She wants an exception made in her case. Another young woman wants to attend the Citadel, but doesn’t want her head shaved. She wants an exception made in her case. On the other hand, a man in Boulder, who probably hates cops, lawyers and big government, called the police during a big storm last month to remove a tree blocking the doorway to his house. The cops told him to use a window or the back door. And we all know how loved the government is when there’s a hurricane, tornado, flood, drought or earthquake. We don’t talk much about the hated Big Government when we want to be declared a disaster area.
We all break laws. We ignore speed limits and stop signs. We cheat on our taxes. We take our neighbors to court in land disputes. We pass cars in double line areas. We cut in front of people in lines with our bodies and our cars. And we all want exceptions made in our case if we get caught. We complain that it’s a speed trap, or just a cop filling a quota. Why don’t they catch the real criminals who are dealing drugs or murdering their parents? “We’re not criminals, we’re victims.”
The President’s $33 billion crime bill has had all kinds of trouble, but crime is on our minds. And we think we don’t have any crime up here. We don’t have any gangs and I laugh when people from Denver or Boulder drive up here, park in front of my house and lock their doors. Still, the signs are there. We let our dogs run loose. Margaret Walter had her old milk can stolen from her front yard. At the Hilltop Guild bazaar, a charity event, someone stole an antique watch. We cut corners on our taxes. We challenge every property tax hike but we want the county to maintain our roads. We call the sheriff when we hear noises at night or see suspicious people. We all lock our houses when we leave. Fifty years ago we didn’t do many of those things, and we sigh and talk about how times have changed. It’s the dissolution of the American family. What we need is what Pat Buchanan calls a return to Bible-based concepts of right and wrong in our schools or whatever it is the Promise Keepers are preaching in Folsum Stadium or more social workers or 100,000 more police officers.
Will 100,000 more police officers make us be kinder to one another? I don’t know, but I sort of doubt it.
Soon after the new “Yield” sign went up I was nearly hit again by someone in a Jeep at that intersection. He took off up the road at about 40 mph (the speed limit is 20, but in fairness, nobody drives 20). We both stopped at Meeker Park Lodge. When he got out I noticed he had a small child with him and neither was wearing a seat belt. I said to him, “I guess you didn’t see the “Yield” sign at the intersection of Cabin Creek and Big Owl?” “Was that you in that little blue car? Oh, I was way ahead of you.” And he turned away.
A few days later I asked someone who lives on 82E what he thought of the new “‘Yield’ sign,” he said, “What ‘Yield’ sign?”
I should have known.
© 1985 – 2003, David E. Steiner
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