Twenty-Fourth Slice: Loitering

After I left school today, I drove to the public library to drop off some library card applications.  The public library is working with us to get cards for the students.  There were two librarians from the public library at the school last week, speaking to ELL classes.  It is nice to see that the students are completing their applications and are eager to get library cards.

The public library is next to minuscule park.  The sign in front of the park reads, “Park closed at dark.  No alcohol or drugs.  No loitering.”

That last scentence confuses me every time I see it.  I think the park was designed as a place to linger outside.

I have considered that the sign might mean, “No loitering in the park after it closes at dark.”  But that’s not what the sign says.  It says, “Park closed at dark.  No alcohol or drugs.  No loitering.”  I am certain that alcohol and drugs are not allowed in the park whether it is day or night.  I have no reason to believe that the loitering prohibition is only in effect after the park closes.

Pretty much anything I could think of to do in that park could be considered loitering.  Sit on the bench a read the paper?  Loitering.  Stroll around the perimeter and talk to my friend?  Conspiracy to commit loitering.  Lie in the grass and enjoy the sun?  Loitering in extremis.

I understand that posting “No loitering” may give the Parks Department or the police or whomever more authority to sweep away likely drug dealers or pedophiles, but it also gives them the authority to sweep away anyone at all.  What are people supposed to do in such a small park–the shuttle run?

5 thoughts on “Twenty-Fourth Slice: Loitering

  1. Ha! Signs make me laugh when they are few in words, you better make sure they say the TIGHT words. There was a sign we passed all the time when I was growing up. It still makes me laugh to this day. “Do not pass when opposing traffic is present.” No kidding? We actually need a sign to clarify this idea? Yikes. Enjoy the park…if you dare! 🙂


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