Story submitted by loyal reader Hazel:
Take your dog for a walk on a beautiful summer day at Beaver Lake, and you might meet this guy.
At first I was excited because at first sight I was sure we were on the set of Reno 911.
“Ma’am, do you have your dog-walking permit?” he asked as he approached me from his post on an old wooden chair overlooking the lake.
“Excuse me?” I responded, dumbfounded.
“If you’re walking a dog in this park, you have to have a dog-walking permit.”
At this point you’re probably thinking, great, so this is like on Candid Camera where they mess with people… but this guy was no comedian. He took his job very seriously.
“So what do I have to do, walk on the other side of the road?”
“Yep, or on the other side of those white posts” he indicated the park boundary, leaving about 3 feet for walking between the posts and road.
As I walked over there, he said, “Just remember if you do want one, you can buy them here for 15 dollars.”
Nope. I walked sheepishly on the other side of the white posts, amused by the thought that passing cars could be thinking look at that moron walking her dog in the shoulder of the road when there’s a whole pathway! But they don’t know the Rules. Meanwhile, Rent-A-Cop jumped on an ATV and took off around the lake, patrolling for other low-down, no-good dog-walkers.
Fighting the urge to throw Winston’s poo back in the park after being rejected we obeyed the rule and walked outside the white posts. When we eventually reached my car in the gravel lot at the edge of the lake, I was surprised to see Reno roll up. He parked near the vehicles and appeared to be shuffling through some paperwork. I stood near my car without yet showing ownership of it, curious as to what he was doing. When it appeared that he was waiting for me to make a move, I started taking pictures of him. Through the viewfinder of my camera I noticed him approaching.
“Ma,am,” he said shaking his head as though I had really done it this time, “You need a dog permit to walk in this park.”
“I’m not in the park”, I retorted like a bad child, angry now. “Your car is parked on Lakeview Park property,” he stated patronizingly.
“So you mean to tell me that although I walked outside the white posts and I’m not even in my car I need a dog permit while my car (currently dogless; Winston’s not even my dog if you want to get really technical about it) sits here?”
It seemed so. Looking around I asked, “How do I know whose property this is? Where are the signs that say this is Lakeview Park?”
Here’s where it gets really confusing. “We don’t need signs, because this is private property,” he said. Uh, right. That makes complete sense.
“Do you see that sign right there? The sign says no trespassing.” He failed to mention the sign actually said “no trespassing after dark” (it was nearing 3:15 p.m.) and did not even note whose property it was.
“We can do this the easy, nice way, or we can do this…” I didn’t even listen to the last part before interrupting, “Oh my god, I would love a ride on the back of that thing; that looks like a lot of fun!”
“It wouldn’t be this thing, it would be in the back of an APD car. I don’t like having to do this…blah blah…they would give you a ticket for trespassing just like anyone else…blah blah” he went on, fondling his radio threateningly.
“I’m sure it’s a tough job,” I noted, opening my car door. Thoroughly incensed, at this point I mumbled something about him being a Rent-A-Cop APD reject, so this is where he tried unsuccessfully to block my car from exiting the parking lot.
… It’s not that I don’t have respect for people’s jobs – it’s just that when did weekend enjoyment become so monitored? Asheville would be much better served with someone regulating activities that are actually harmful rather than good, clean fun.
Category: Asheville News