Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Someone Is Watching You!

I am a good citizen, and I know I am. I do not litter the roads or sidewalks, I keep within the law, and I will always help people out when they need it. However, just lately being a good citizen has taken on a new perspective in my neighborhood, leaving me to question the so-called helpful acts of some.

The neighborhood, situated around a renowned golf course, is middle-class America at its best. Neat houses of substantial sizes with well-tended lawns line paved sidewalks. You hardly ever see junk cars and never see sofas on the porch, only tasteful rocking chairs synonymous with the South. Nevertheless, with that said, it has its other issues – namely the ‘We are Watching You Patrol’.

Big brother has nothing on these folks. It all started with a neighborhood Facebook page. The original idea, I suppose, was to help us network, swap ideas, advertise items for sale, and any other everyday business. At first it worked, that was until the issue of speeding and stop signs came up.
Speeding is a problem, I totally agree and I will admit I have myself received one speeding ticket. I was in the common situation of kids screaming in the back seat whilst I was trying to get them to school. My concentration slacked for a moment and my foot hit the pedal, hard. Within seconds, Mr. Policeman was there, lights flashing and a severe face. I paid the price. Well, the price of asking an attorney to claim instrument failure, as is common here in the USA. I learned my lesson and am very careful now. 

I got off lightly I think, especially compared to what happened to some neighbors of mine. A while back, a few interfering, oops sorry, well-meaning residents decided it was a good idea to name and shame individuals who they thought were speeding. Each day one or two people in particular would plaster descriptions better than a police APB all over the Facebook page. Nothing was sacred, hair color, sex, estimate of age, car type, car color, and license number. Thankfully, we didn’t learn if they were caught picking their noses or the color of their underwear but it was heading that way. 
It didn’t stop at drivers. The conversations moved onto pedestrians who walked on the road, school bus drivers who did not stop properly at stop signs, nothing and no-one was exempt. 

At one stage, an individual described how they followed a person out of the neighborhood and along the highway. We learned that the girl in question was talking on her cell phone, her exact speed, and which direction she turned at a traffic light some 3 miles away. Could this be stalking? If not it seems close, well I think so.

The whole situation went on for a couple of weeks until one day the do-gooders took one-step too far. They named a private license plate, which described the name of its owner. What ensued I could only describe as defamation. A long dialogue started with more people looking and reporting on the so-called culprit. It culminated with one person insisting and I quote “****** must be stopped!”

Thankfully, others and I decided enough was enough and posted our disagreement with the whole episode. I mean, unless these people are saints, they would do well to remember their glass houses are as fragile as the next. The persecutors defended themselves, stating it was for the good of the neighborhood, but did concede and agreed to stop. 

I am all for neighborhood watch and looking out for each other but starting a witch-hunt should not be part of the agenda. We are not in Nazi Europe, just small town America, and those people would do well to remember it!

1 comment:

  1. Aah! I'm with you. "And then they came for me..." famous Holocaust saying. I've always called it the "pretty committee," and nothing makes me want to live in the country far away than such people. Between one neighbor punching the lights out of another, one telling my son to not play in her woods, one yelling at the dog who gets loose once a year, one starting the leash-law petition, well shoot, I have no friends here. Why be in a neighborhood?...sheilah


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