Don’t worry! The sign doesn’t apply to you!

Russell Saunders

Russell Saunders is the ridiculously flimsy pseudonym of a pediatrician in New England. He has a husband, three sons, daughter, cat and dog, though not in that order. He enjoys reading, running and cooking. He can be contacted at blindeddoc using his Gmail account. Twitter types can follow him @russellsaunder1.

Related Post Roulette

41 Responses

  1. greginak says:

    Well you aren’t being a crank at all. Entitled people are a pain although all of us do feel a bit of entitlement at times. Which only means all of us act like doofus’ at times. Common lands, which park lands are, need to be treated with care by all for the good of us all. I think where people fall into the petulant crank camp is generic complaining about anything the government or authority does without actually thinking about the issue.Report

  2. Mad Rocket Scientist says:

    Did you call the police/city/parks department/etc & inform them that the area they are working so hard to restore is being tread upon?Report

  3. Kazzy says:

    When I see such behavior happen on the roadways, albeit with a different set of consequences, it boils my blood. “Oh, you’re going to drive on the shoulder while the rest of us wait out this traffic jam? By all means… surely you are a uniquely important person who is just too special to be expected to wait like the rest of us simpletons.”

    I’m sure a very tiny percentage of those people might be dealing with real circumstances that might uniquely privilege them… pregnant female passengers, life threatening injuries, an on-call doctor rushing to the OR… but the rest? The rest are just douches.Report

    • Kim in reply to Kazzy says:

      Getting folks like this stopped by the police is a fun game.
      Watching them say “fuck you” to the policeman?
      …even better.

      (I’m pretty sure the bloke got “just a warning” for nearly running over pedestrians in a crosswalk… and making a left turn right in front of a motor vehicle)Report

    • Russell Saunders in reply to Kazzy says:

      Tune in for next week’s Stupid Tuesday Question!Report

  4. DRS says:

    Okay, this is another one of those Canadians-are-from-Mars-Americans-are-from-Venus moments. Many Canadians would have immediately called Ms Bikini out on her lack of respect for common ground and called in a report to the responsible authorities while she listened. She probably would have got a major-size fine out of it.

    And more than a few of those towels and those bags in front of the fence would have been – shall we say – re-located while the owners watched. And someone would have filmed it and posted it to Youtube.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to DRS says:

      There is a weird phenomenon in America where we get more angry at people who point out asshattery than the people actually committing the asshattery.Report

    • Russell Saunders in reply to DRS says:

      As I alluded in the OP, I was out for a walk by myself with the two kiddos. The bikini-clad young woman barely visible in the picture was accompanied by a great many other people, including several young men more strapping than myself. Call it craven of me, but it didn’t seem like the best scenario for mentioning my concerns re: their traipsing around the fragile habitat, particularly since my neck of the woods gets a lot of tourists from the greater Boston area, many of whom can be a truculent lot.Report

  5. George Turner says:

    Well, they were wearing bikinis, and rules really don’t apply to girls in bikinis. For example, girls in bikinis can wander right into a men’s restroom without the slightest chance that someone will contact the authorities. It’s almost like donning a super hero cape.Report

  6. BlaiseP says:

    If only science would provide us with a large-ish reptile, about the size of an alligator, for a climate like yours, something capable of pulling down and eating these trespassers. That way, instead of some well-intentioned and completely reasonable prose about Enjoy Walking the Trails, a message sufficient for an intelligent man such as yourself — Dr. Saunders, many people are not reasonable. They need to read a Large Red Sign on that tree, one for their needs, which would read “Stay on the trail or you WILL be eaten by a large and treacherous reptile.”Report

    • George Turner in reply to BlaiseP says:

      Years ago I was visiting a local city park / nature preserve (well, just outside the city) with a carload of college friends, one of whom was working there as a guide. She explained that the park was becoming much too popular and it was impacting the local wildlife population, and they were at a loss as for what to do about it.

      After a pause, I piped up “What ya’ll need around here is some unexplained killin’s.” ^_^

      Such a solution might apply to Russell’s park. All he needs to do is get some people to toss out hushed little comments in the barber shop or doctor’s office, like:

      “Hear they found another body in the park the other day.”
      “Yep. Sad thing.”
      “That’s the third one this month. People’s gonna get scared.”
      “Oh, the sheriff and the mayor are keeping it hushed up, so as not to cause any panic. Wasn’t nobody from around here anyway.”

      Then people overhear, the gossip starts, and people will stay on the trails, if they even go there at all.Report

    • Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to BlaiseP says:

      An old farmer had owned a large farm for many years. He had a huge man-made pond out back with a beautiful picnic area, For years it was the perfect place to unwind or hold a family get together. As the farmer grew older, his “Oasis” was used less and less.

      One evening the old farmer decided to go down to the pond & do some maintenance & cleanup. He hadn’t been there in a while and felt the urge to pay a visit to check on things. So he grabbed a 5-gallon bucket & headed down. As he neared the pond, he heard loud playful voices giggling and laughing. As he came closer he was astonished to see that a bunch of young women had decided to skinny dip in his pond.

      He made the women aware of his presence and they all went to the deep end of the pond. One of the women shouted to him, “We’re not coming out until you leave!”

      The old man held up the bucket & replied, “I didn’t come down here to watch you ladies swim or make you get out of the pond naked. I’m here to feed the alligator.”Report

    • Michael Cain in reply to BlaiseP says:

      Emphasis on large. Some of the golf courses in this area have holes that run along wildlife areas, with low fences and signs reading something like, “Wildlife preserve. Frequented by rattlesnakes. Do not cross fence to look for or retrieve balls.” From time to time you read or hear about people who ignored the signs and got bit.Report

  7. Mike Schilling says:

    The problem is that it’s a public space, so no one is responsible for it. It it were privatized, there’d be an owner who would be incentivized to take whatever steps were necessary to protect it.

    Of course, it would be a shopping mall instead of a wetlands.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      Maybe the people can’t read the sign and this is evidence that we need to increase funding to local school systems.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

        Who reads these days? What we need is the NSA’s help to figure out who’s where they shouldn’t be and text them warnings to get out of there. We could combine this with George’s idea about rumored killings and call it YouDon’tWantToBeNexting.Report

    • DRS in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      The problem is that it’s a public space, so no one is responsible for it. It it were privatized, there’d be an owner who would be incentivized to take whatever steps were necessary to protect it.

      In Canada, we are comfortable with the concept of public ownership. Our National Park System is publicly owned – which means that I am a part-owner of every national park in the country. That gives me incentive to tell Ms Bikini to – you should pardon the pun – butt out.

      Americans probably view that as some kind of socialism/communism thing but I would not like to live anyplace where only private property is respected. Teddy Roosevelt could explain it all to you, back in the day when Americans could understand the concept of the common good.

      This is one of those times when I feel very sorry for most of you guys on this site; this insistence on the primacy of the individual over the collective society leads you into the barren desert of libertarianism and you don’t realize what a false, defeatist, pessimistic belief system that is. It’s nothing but an excuse for not taking any initiative. A pity because back when Americans used to give a damn they had a better country.Report

      • Brandon Berg in reply to DRS says:

        There is an surprising dearth of videos on YouTube of a hand with thumb and fingers joined into a loop, moving up and down.Report

  8. dexter says:

    DRS, Not all the readers at this site are Randians that think everything should be privately owned. I love my national parks and forests and consider them to be part of the greater good. I just spent two weeks in a national forest and am very glad that they weren’t sold to anaconda copper so it would look like Butte Montana or British Colombia’s tar pits.
    It is not only that public land is trashed. The family owns land that ends at a small river. There are signs on the bridge that says “no parking” but that doesn’t stop anybody. We have put up no trespassing signs that people ignore. One day we went to the beach to find a family there and told them it was private property and the main reason we didn’t want anybody there was because many people left their trash. They seemed like good people, and since they were already there and they promised to take all their garbage with them when they left, we said they could stay. To make a long story shorter, the next time we went to the beach we found all their trash including dirty diapers. The next day we put up bigger signs for them to ignore.
    A few years ago the wife and I were visiting an old monastery in New Mexico and they had a sign that might work. “Please stay on the trails. The rattlesnakes need their space too.”Report

    • Kim in reply to dexter says:

      oh, the rattlesnakes! Pretty things ’round here, pure black. Hard to see if they’re hunting…
      and they hunt on the trails.Report

    • BlaiseP in reply to dexter says:

      My father taught for several years at a college in rural New York State, down by the Pennsylvania border, Allegany County. Town so small (and Christian) it didn’t have a bar, just a general store and a gas station. Mostly farmers, good dairy and potatoes country.

      Our family lived in an old farmhouse the college had purchased. A tenant farmer worked the farmland across Route 19, feed corn all of it. A dirt access road ran right down to the river and a stand of trees. The farmer found a station wagon parked back in there, trespassing hunters, a common enough incident. He backed up his tractor, went back to his farm and returned with the honey wagon in tow. He opened the tailgate of the station wagon and filled it up with dairy straw and manure.

      As the farmer was chugging back down Route 19, a terrible shout was heard from the field you could hear clear up the valley.Report

    • DRS in reply to dexter says:

      I did say “most of you guys”, not “all of you guys”.Report

      • dexter in reply to DRS says:

        DRS I just wanted you know that I wasn’t one of “them”.
        Blaise, That might work in peaceful New York, but down here in stars and bars country that would get you shot. After telling a group of trespassers that I was calling the police, they threatened to “wup my ass”. Louisiana has one of the highest murder rates in the country. I wonder if there is a correlation between littering and murder rates.Report

  9. Cascadian says:

    Are speed limit signs afforded the same respect or are they some how different?Report

    • That’s a fair question. While not nearly as bad as many of the other drivers on the highways in my area, I am not as attentive to the speed limit as I should be. As I know Burt has pointed out in the past, driving the speed limit really is the safest choice, and I take your point.Report

      • Cascadian in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        I’m glad someone understands my point. I’m not sure I do. I’m a rather aggressive driver. I think (especially in Canada) speed limits are often to conservative. They encourage scofflaw behavior. I was trying to think of other signs that I routinely discount and couldn’t think of any.Report

    • CASCADIAN! How ya been?Report

    • Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Cascadian says:

      I can’t find it now, but I recall a study years ago about speed limits & how if a speed limit on a road is based upon the design of the road, the speed limit tends to be obeyed (+-5mph). If the limit is set politically, but the design of the road allows for greater speed, it tends to get ignored.

      I.E. people will tend to drive to the speed they feel safest driving at, signs be damned. If you want people driving down the road at 45MPH, design the road such.

      When I talk about road design, I am talking about lane widths, shoulder widths, road & shoulder materials, dashed line spacings, medians, curvature on the turns, etc.Report

  10. Darwy says:

    I’d have had no problem ringing up the local park service ranger(s) and asking them to come out to take care of the problem. I wouldn’t have even warned any of the folks in the picture that the rangers had been called.

    I would, however, have stuck around to see the show.

    I was driving my mother home from shopping the other day, and I saw a young woman pushing a child in a stroller – ON the train tracks. I believe she was trying to get close(r) to a group of folks fishing on a boat a short distance from the shoreline/tracks.

    Yeah, I called the police and reported her. This is the same set of tracks where two local girls each lost a portion of their foot and/or leg from sunbathing on the tracks.Report

  11. Heading Out says:

    Is this not another example of “The Tragedy of the Commons?”Report

  12. zic says:

    Sign sign everywhere a sign.

    On the Maine Coast (and in many highly desirable recreation areas) there is a huge problem of too many people shunted into too little space. On the coast here, it’s a matter of how little public access there is; Maine has about 3,000 miles of coastland, but a very very small percentage of that is available to public use. If you go to the White Mountains to go hiking, you’ll find trails packed highway wide in the Presidential and Franconia ranges; and long lines of hikers going in either direction. Move over a ridge in any direction, and quite the opposite; you may not see a soul (or a car on the back roads) your whole day through.

    So there are multiple layers to this. First, the disrespect for the signs, etc., that are established to help protect ecosystems. But second is the desire of too many people to experience too few places.

    Today, I’ll hike in Evans Notch or the Mahoosuc Reserve; the chanterelles are out, and they’ll be my dinner. And I’ll probably only see a few souls; people who understand it’s the solitude that comforts, not the bagging of 4,000 footers like they’re trophies.Report