Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Free Speech on Vacation

We Americans pride ourselves on freedom of speech - except for when we don't.

I was back east over the holidays visiting my son and his wife. The weather was pleasant - sunny and warm for late December. So we went sight-seeing. As we were strolling the streets of a lovely, scenic seaside town (whose name will be revealed at the end of this post), my son pointed to this sign.

"What do you think that sign says, Mom?" he asked. Thinking it was a joke, I said, "I don't know - no swearing?" "Yup," he answered. Still thinking it might be a joke, I started to look more closely at signs posted along the street. I saw that these "no cursing" signs appear all along the main street. Apparently, folks around here are not kidding. (Which naturally made me WANT to cuss up a blue streak. There's nothing like being told "no" to make an activity irresistible.)

In case visitors don't get the message, posted in between the "no swearing" signs are more signs, each with a reminder about "language:"
Reading this, I had to laugh. I live in a beach community, too. I know what it is like to have your neighborhood taken over by thousands of strangers the moment the sun comes out. Most of the people who show up are respectful of others and don't have to be told what the "rules" are. And the people who disturb the peace - don't read signs. 

Surely the good people of Virginia Beach, Virginia, can find better uses for their tax dollars.