It is one of those things that I suppose, given the name of my blog, I am obligated to comment on.sunny shores of Jersey Shore last week (because it’s safe now as MTV saw fit to ship off most of the rubbish to Italy).
I so often shake my head at stories such as these. No, not Jersey Shore TV Show, that is just a travesty of Humanity. No, I speak of Julie Bass of Oak Park, MI who planted a scandalous garden in her front yard. Of all the nerve. These laws exist in dozens of cities across the country and rarely, if ever, are enforced. That is until you piss off the wrong person in the wrong city council seat. Then, whoa Nellie! Suddenly there is a “reasonâ€ to enforce the law.
I am willing to lay money that there is a deeper story here. Julie Bass pissed someone off on the Oak Park City Council long before she planted a garden in her front yard. Maybe Mrs. Bass’s eldest son beat out Mayor Naftaly’s son for starting quarterback. Maybe Mrs. Bass had a tiff with Councilman Seligson’s wife. Maybe tart digs were exchanged with Councilwoman Jackson. Maybe Councilman Levine took umbrage at a less than PC joke that Mrs. Bass told. Aw, heck, it could be that Councilman Duplessis was just ticked off that Mrs. Bass rebuffed him when he asked her out for the Senior Prom 30 odd years ago. It could be any of these made up reasons or it could be some other reason all together. But mark my words, there is some deeper reason than “we want to keep our community shinyâ€ that is behind all this brouhaha.
Frankly, her front gardens don’t look all that bad. Certainly better than the blob shrubs that have developed in front of many of the houses in this neighborhood. You know, those monstrosities that merge into one another over decades, battered into soft rounded forms by underzealous home owners with electric hedge trimmers. There has been documented cases of entire yards swallowed up by these things. Think of the children who could be lost among them! And I know that in Oak Park, MI, the blob shrub style of landscaping is prolific. What else is Google Street View good for except to be all stalkerish and stuff?
Point is, Oak Park looks a lot like my suburb. One that teeters on the fine lined edge between blue collar and welfare. The number of unemployed is in double digit numbers. I keep hearing about a “Great Recessionâ€ — and yet we put on airs acting like <cockney accent>we is just as fancy as them fancy people in the fancy McMansion neighborhoods</cockney accent>. Stop pretending, Oak Park City Council. Worry more about how your neighborhood is than how it appears to the casual (and frankly uncaring) passerby.