July 29th, 2008

Boobs 2

Yet another reason why city government sucks.

This is a picture from the Highland Park duck pond:

Highland Park duck pond

In case you can't read the sign, I'll give you a close up:

"DO NOT FISH FOR OR KEEP CARP." And at the bottom, in the teeny tiny print, there's a phone number to call to "report violations."

So today I arrived at the Highland Park pool to take a swim, and I noticed several people were fishing in the duck pond. I called the phone number listed on the sign (412-937-3871, in case you were keeping track) and spoke with a woman who informed me that her supervisor, a man named Evan, told her that it was OK to fish there. I read the sign to her verbatim, and she reiterated that her boss had told her to ignore any complaints, and then she gave me his number (412-665-3632). I called and got voicemail. Then I called the Mayor's Complaint line (311), where I also got voicemail.

Exasperated, I gave up and headed to the pool. As I went to enter the gate, I saw that there was a police officer standing there. Foolishly, I thought he would be interested in enforcing the posted rules. Instead, he too gave me the party line that fishing was OK, posted signs be damned. He even gave me his take on the logic: since the sign specifies that you can't fish for carp specifically, it you intend to hook, oh, I don't know, let's say a swordfish, but you accidentally catch a carp ... well, as long as you throw it back, then you're OK. He was less than thrilled at my questions about just who, exactly, was checking to make sure that the people fishing were throwing back the carp.

I don't doubt that I'll get roundly chastised for being the annoying person who wants to go to the duck pond and not have to watch people killing fish. But you know what? If the Public Works Department doesn't want people calling to complain about people violating the no fishing rule, then maybe they shouldn't have put their phone number on every fucking no fishing sign.

x-posted to pittsburgh (where I expect to get bitched out repeatedly) and pghveg