As goes Port Arthur, so goes Houston.
The noble Golden Triangle town recently passed an ordinance banning people from parking their cars on their front lawns.
Always eager to take their lifestyle cues from Port Arthur, the Houston City Council has followed suit with an ordinance of its own.
Homeowners associations will be able to petition residents, and if 60 percent of the residents agree to ban cars from laws, than goddammit cars will be banned from lawns.
There are so many things wrong with this. Let us list the ways.
1. It gives yet another reason for people active in homeowners' associations to have an inflated view of themselves.
2. It means these people with inflated views of themselves will soon be knocking on your front door, probably early on a Saturday morning, to discuss endlessly with you the scourge of cars parked on front lawns and the fierce urgency of signing this petition now.
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3. You will sign the petition just to get them out of your face before they start their inevitable pitch to recruit you for weed-pulling on neighborhood medians. You will feel shame because you bowed to such pressure even though you don't give a crap where people park their cars, but you really don't want to hear about the monthly punch-and-cookies meetings where some councilmember (or, much more likely, some councilmember's newest intern) comes to hear the concerns of residents.
4. We'll just say this: First they came for the cars on the front lawn, then they came for the No. 3 stickers on those cars' bumpers. Or maybe the Virgin of Guadelupe decal on the back window.
5. They pass this ordinance ON THE VERY DAY that Lynyrd Skynyrd pianist Billy Powell dies? "Be a simple kind of man," indeed.
-- Richard Connelly