A few years ago, a national headline caught my attention. It was about the plight of a six year old girl and her highly illegal lemonade stand.
Apparently, a cranky neighbor who I am supposing was either jealous of her financial success or worried about the masses of traffic she was attracting, had called the police and reported her for not having a valid business license. Maybe the cause for said crankpot's displeasure was an inability to compete with the rock bottom prices offered by the kindergarten graduate or perhaps he was offended by the bait and switch to yellow when she ran out of pink lemonade.
Either way, the whole situation was so absurd, that even David Letterman had a heck of a time with this one at the expense of the crabby neigh-sayer and to the immense pleasure of many free-enterprise loving Americans.
I hear that this is not completely unusual. Matter of fact, we have a cantankerous 'ole fart' who lives on our street. We chidingly call him the governor of the neighborhood behind his back. It probably is not much of an insult though because I personally think he'd get a kick out of having a title and knowing that he attracts that much attention.
He is the one who patrols the front yard watering the dry spots until they resemble marshlands as he surveys all that goes on, up and down the street, at all hours of the day and evening. I've seen pearly white cherub fountains shooting continuous streams that are more water conservationally minded than him.
No matter. He needs an excuse to hose down anyone who looks at him sideways.
He chews out anyone on a scooter/bike/rollerblades/skateboard or tennis shoes that is going faster than an arthritic snail and points out how shocking it is that they are not wearing a helmet and thirty other pieces of protective equipment.
He issues his own neighborhood warning tickets and keeps track in the little notepad permanently Velcroed to his side and is ready at a moments notice to cite someone on any one of 339 infractions or simply make notes for the police should they need to be called in for reinforcement at a later date or time.
As a villain, his waving index finger and stern grimace is more well known by the kids on our street than the Joker in his classic purple suit and white pasty face with the ridiculous red smirking lips.
As I peered out my front window and watched him casually play with a pair of handcuffs dangling from the belt loop on his military camouflaged shorts and puffing out his chest in his Alcatraz tee shirt while reprimanding a wide eyed speechless eleven year old, I decided that enough was ENOUGH!
I threw open the door, marched right on out to the side walk, across the lawn, leaned over and harshly waved my own finger in my five year-old son's face.
"This neighborhood has had enough of your tyranny! You're going to your room until you can learn to play nice, Mister!" I then grabbed his wrist and caustically spat out today's "Life Saver" while marching him back to the house,
"Anyone who thinks you are too small to make a difference has never been alone in a tent with a hungry mosquito or lived on a street with my son!"
I guess every neighborhood has to have at least one.