We just returned from our annual visit to Myrtle Beach. We always go on a late weekend in September, after the crowds have died down, along with the heat. It is always a great time for us, and this year was no exception. However, we did run into a bit of trouble on the beach. I'm still shaking my head over it.
We went down to the beach yesterday morning, ready to hit the waves. Everyone was knee deep in the water except me when a young, smiling life guard drove up to me on his four wheeler. He says, "She can't use that float in the water."
What did he just say?
Did I hear that right?
I must not have heard him correctly.
Did he just tell me we can't use a float in the Atlantic Ocean?
No, that can't be what he just said.
I must have looked quite intelligent as I stared at this young fella. I was smiling, but my brain was going a million miles a minute without being able to say a thing. He finally broke the stand-off by saying, "It's plastic. She can't use it here." Finally I gathered myself enough to ask, very slowly, "What....does....that....MEAN?"
He was being very patient with me and was happy to explain that her float was made of plastic, and it might pop while she was out there, and she might not be able to swim. And I could have pointed out that we've had it for at least two summers with not so much as a slow leak and that she can swim, and that her dad is RIGHT BESIDE HER. But I knew it would do no good. And it wasn't his fault. He was just the unfortunate messenger, not the one who thought this asinine rule up to begin with. Instead I just said, "So, she had to leave the float on the beach and go out into the ocean with NOTHING to float on, and that will be safer than risking letting her play in her plastic float which might pop." I let him escape with a final comment when I pointed out that I sure hope Florida didn't catch wind of this.
People. I am hear to tell you the world has gone all sorts of crazy. We are being 'helped' by so many stupid rules these days. Our government seems to have nothing better to do than sit around worrying about plastic floats that might pop. Because goodness knows everything else is just going so well out there that we've nothing better to deal with than that. Little girls floating in knee deep water beside their fathers in big, pink, polka-dotted plastic floats - that is the real problem.
Do you know that thing about the frog? Frogs will immediately jump out of a pot of boiling water, but they will slowly cook if you put them in room temperature water and slowly heat it to boiling. (And they don't even get a pink plastic float!) Well, we are here. We've been here for quite sometime. When are we going to realize the water is boiling and we are being cooked alive!? Please, fight this stuff. When you hear stories about your City Council, your elected representatives, your Government making up stupid rules, fight back! The City of Myrtle Beach will hear from me, you can bet on that one. Will it change anything? No, not one thing. Not even a chance of that happening. Because it is already on the books and no one fought it. Once it is there, it is very difficult to get back. And I don't see too many folks, especially those from out of town/state getting as fired up as I do. They just go and buy the fabric wrapped float with the 360 degree rope, that is 3/8" minimum diameter and has 10% slack and go on their merry way. And really, in and of itself, it isn't that big of a deal. But it raises the temperature of the water in the frog pot by a fraction of a degree, and we should never lose sight of that. OUR GOVERNMENT IS TAKING CONTROL OF OUR LIVES BY MANY SMALL DECISIONS THAT, ON THE SURFACE, SEEM INCONSEQUENTIAL. Death by a thousand small cuts. We need to act before it is too late!
So, since we are homeschooling now, we decided to have a Saturday lesson. We had an impromptu Civics lesson about Civil Disobedience. Go ahead, ask any of my kids the definition of the word. We even had a demonstration of civil disobedience when Andy took the pink, plastic, polka dotted float out in the ocean for a few minutes. Guess what, it didn't pop!