My local Planet Fitness has two huge banks of TV’s in front of all the cardio equipment. Since today was a running day (3 miles before I got sore), I unwittingly catch up on sports, people moving to Alaska on HGTV, and the dichotomy of CNN next to Fox. I am almost always listening to podcasts on my ear buds and try to glance up occasionally to see the two takes. But today, I realized that my wife’s job as a city planner in a small town has caused me to get upset about things that I wouldn’t normally pay heed.
The segment was on Fox & Friends where “CA vet forced to take down flag.” Story starts and it is a typical woe is me/America, aren’t we all doomed because of big government telling me what to do with my land with this late middle aged couple (I’ll let you guess their race) on one half of the screen and Steve “Droppa” Doocy on the other. The couple had received a notice that they had to take down their flag pole, from which waved Ol’ Glory in all its majesty. I immediately thought, “Oh, must be a really strict HOA.” But no, it was the city (gasp!) and the reason is so much dumber than I assumed. This couple, who took time to list all of their family members who ever served in the military and for whom there could be no greater patriotic tribute than flying the flag, was being asked by the city to take down their SECOND flag pole and flag in the front yard. A small front yard, I might add. And just because of a stupid thing like it being clearly stated in the city code that each property could have only one flag pole per yard. “It is so cold and calloused!” exclaimed the wife about the CITY CODE. Yeah, idiot, because it isn’t a novel, it is the fuckin’ city code. If you want a second flag pole, you could still probably get one with a deviation without needing to change the law or file a $4,400 petition! And don’t yell at those poor people in the planning department!