Monday, November 19, 2007

Creative Environmental Protection

A friend of mine from up the road was lamenting the destructive activities of ATVers in his neighborhood. With or without permission, they have been ripping around wherever they can find or make a trail, including on his property. When he closed off the trail with some logs, they came into his yard and ripped doughnuts around it to assert their power.

Law enforcement, of course, can do nothing. Unless the marauders come back and invade the home, assault the occupants and identify themselves thoroughly, the police are stymied. I'd rather have it that way than allow the gendarmes to bust in on hearsay, so we work within the limitations of our system. But it's frustrating.

Motorized recreation attracts thugs because thugs don't like to exert themselves on something as mundane as walking, bicycling or cross-country skiing. Better to thunder in with a hot engine between their thighs, hop off fresh as a daisy and use that saved-up energy to whup ass.

Putting it that way, it sounds downright attractive. But damn it all, we're supposed to try to develop some character, aspire to more refinement.

My friend suggested using piano wire to express our criticism. Tempting as that may be, I shy away from impersonal, deadly traps. They could be used on me, and they're overtly hostile.

"Forget that," I said. "Just put out cases of free liquor beside the trail. The problem will solve itself in a very short time."

Think about it. They're off the roads. Their vehicles have no air bags, roll cages or safety devices. The trails are lined with trees, rocks, ravines and ditches. It would be messy for a while, but then it would be over, and the marauders could never say that you had made a hostile move against them. On the contrary, you'd given them treats.

We'd have to go out and pick up dead bodies, smashed machines and empty liquor bottles from time to time, but I'd do that for the emotional satisfaction and healthful exercise.

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