Monday, March 19, 2012

The Government: Making You Smarter?

I went to the Saint Patrick's Day Parade and post parade party on Saturday. Actually, I skipped the parade and just went to the post parade party. We took the 1 PM train from Carrollton and arrived at Mockingbird Station around 3:30 PM. No, it's not a 2 and a half hour train ride. We stopped at West End for a tasty beverage.

Before leaving for the event, I did some research on what to expect. Did I need to pack water? Did I need cash for entry? This kind of thing. I was alarmed to read that the Dallas Police Department would be out in force and passing out $250 tickets for violating the progressive city of Dallas's "open container law". If you have an open container of alcohol on public property, you get a ticket. Really? My last two parties were in New Orleans and Las Vegas. I'm fairly certain they have no such laws. If they do, they are certainly not enforced.

Upon arriving at Greenville Avenue, I realized just how stupid people are. Is it just Texans? Is it just DFW? Do New Orleans and Las Vegas have smarter people or better cleanup crews? Greenville Avenue was trashed. Beer cans and beer bottles all over the place. It was disgusting. Do Texans behave this way because of the stupid laws or are the stupid laws in place because Texans are stupid? The jury is still out. It's spelled "T-R-A-S-H". There are plenty of barrels stationed all over the place to dispense of it. You don't need to throw it on the ground. Maybe if we behave more intelligently, the local authorities would quit creating stupid laws. Or, maybe not.

At about 7 PM, the cavalry road in. Once again, I'm thinking. Really? Shouldn't the Dallas police be stopping crimes somewhere? And aren't animals inherently dangerous? Why do you need 150 of Dallas's finest pushing people off the streets? Once again, I'm lead to believe that we're perceived to be stupid.

I, of course, couldn't take this without question, so I questioned. The cavalry was followed by squad cars was followed by the infantry. I took lots of pictures. I was hoping to see a beating or something, but no such luck. Once the infantry moved in I started questioning. I don't know where they get these cops to do these things, but they made me laugh on several occasions. They were very good-natured and some of them probably could have worked weekends at a comedy club. I finally gave up on the badgering, shook their hands and stayed on the sidewalk.

My favorite was the guy pictured above. I badgered him relentlessly. He always answered with a smile while he directed people to walk behind the tents (thus avoiding the road). I asked him, "Am I to understand in the great city of Dallas it's now illegal for a pedestrian to cross Greenville Avenue?" He said while laughing, "Well for the next 2 hours it is." The cops really did a good job of maintaining order and keeping people in good spirits. But, I still think it was unnecessary. Sometimes they are commanded to do things that they probably think are as stupid as I do and yet (for the most part), they deal with the stupid sandwich (drunken stupidity and the stupid ordinances) without losing their tempers.


  1. Garbo, if you wanna do your public drinking in a public place without police harrassment go to the enlightened, progressive, liberal city of Fort Worth to the Stockyards. There you can wander around, beer in hand, just like if you were in Vegas or NO. I recollect a visitor from the PNW remarking in the Stockyards when seeing all the drunks with their beer, "oh, it's like Reno." Actually, the open drinking thing is pretty much the only thing that is like Reno in FW. Methinks perhaps you should spend some time dwelling on why you are on such a quest to find public places which will allow you to indulge in your public drunkenness hobby without fear of arrest.

  2. I went and read the open container laws.

    They are crazy stupid. Apparently it's okay to have an open container on a public sidewalk. Just not on a public street.

    This holds true unless you are within 1000 feet of a church, a school, a homeless shelter, or an addiction clinic. I may have left out one or two and some of the aforementioned may be 300 feet. In that case, open containers are not allowed at all. Well, except on special events where a permit was obtained. As long as the event will last no longer than 3 days.

    Fort Worth's laws looked very similar. I suspect in the Stock Yards, it works out because, for the most part, people stay out of the street? For fear of getting impaled by a longhorn?

    It's all very perplexing.

    I'm not on a quest. Except maybe a quest to find a ray of intelligence in the quagmire of seemingly stupid ordinances.