The Norman Transcript


June 21, 2013

Did you misunderstand?



When you see a “Pick up your pooch’s droppings” sign, do you mutter “Why? It’s fertilizer. They should thank my pooping pooch for his environmentally friendly contribution to the landscape.”

How about those ubiquitous “Do not litter” signs? No, they are not printed with invisible ink. Yes, everyone sees them, but far too many folks also ignore them.

If you need proof, take a drive along any highway, street or country road and you will see proof of a commonly held misconception — car windows are the lids to the public trash receptacles, also known as the roadside or the land. Believe it or not, your dirty diapers, soda cans and snot-filled tissues will not self-destruct or stay put until someone picks them up and tosses them in the trash. The garbage you tossed will be spread by the wind until a fence-row, a ditch or building traps the refuse for the edification of no one.

Perhaps it is a mental aberration. Is it possible that the human brain processes the words “Do Not” to mean “Go ahead, do as you please”? If so, it could explain a great many things regarding rules.

This may be the reason why people smoke in “No Smoking” areas. It would also explain why a miniature pooch is hidden inside a woman’s purse and smuggled into places with prominent “No pets allowed” signs. Naturally, the rule breakers are certain those signs do not apply to “Punkin.” After all, she is a member of the family albeit a four-legged one.

In the workplace, many companies have dress codes. Of course, that does not stop the card- carrying members of the “that rule does not apply to me” crowd. They show up in attire which even in a parallel universe does not qualify as business appropriate.

Could my astute friend be right when she succinctly sums up such questionable behavior?

“Rules are simply guidelines or suggestions.”

Elizabeth is a freelance writer and author. Her novels “The Dionysus Connection” and “The Marathon Man” are available on Visit her website:

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