Food

Picky eaters and allergy-safe cooking — the two aren’t necessarily unrelated.

Girl Gone Wonk

From policy to politics, this rant’s for you.

News

The day’s events in a family way — unless something else amuses me.

School days

From preschool to kindergarten — so far

Simple Gifts

Inexpensive homemade gifts, creative parties and low-cost projects, for Christmas and beyond. Many are easy enough for children to help.

Home » News, Stop Wasting America's Time

Don’t like pizza dancers? SWAT them away

Submitted by on Friday, 3 July 2009 2 Comments
It's probably a stretch to call pizza dancing an art form, though at least one national chain holds a competition to recognize the company's best at twirling the board.

It's also a stretch to call people prancing on corners a distraction. They're so ubiquitous these days it's hard to understand how they even catch the attention of drivers, much less hold them fixated for long enough for the human billboards to be a hazard.

A town near Akron, Ohio, though, is waging a full-on attack against chickens, gorillas and other characters that take to the city's sidewalks, calling them a distraction that junks up the city.

Tallmadge officials plan to introduce an ordinance that would could limit temporary signs and employees who dress in costumes, according to ohio.com.

It sounds like officials are concerned more about eyesores than safety, though.

''It's like a cartoon show out there. It's terrible,'' Councilman James Donovan told ohio.com.

Yes, it is terrible from a human standpoint. It's sad to see people so desperate for jobs that they'll spend days dancing on street corners in exchange for whatever piddling sum they're paid.

The only character we have locally is the Domino's a monkey. He's relatively new, so the guys do pay attention. There's also the omnipresent Little Caesar's board dancer, as well as a kid who advertises three months' free rent at an apartment complex - the latter probably is useful information for the newly foreclosed.

Is any of them a hazard? No.

The Ohio city isn't the first to tackle the plague of pizza dancers. Police in Hooever, Ala., cited a teen in May. They claimed he stepped off the curb and into traffic, thus requiring him to have a parade permit, according to the Birmingham News.

If that happened - and the teen's father disputes the police account - then that problem's fair game. Sidewalk dancers should stick to the sidewalk and stay out of the streets.

But that doesn't appear to be the problem in Ohio. The issue there appears to be officials grumpy about something they simply don't like.

The danger of legislating based on personal pique is that innocent victims are caught in the net.

Local anti-panhandling ordinances, for example, put a dent in what had been a highly successful annual fund-raiser for children's programs, just as regulation such as Tallmadge is talking about would put a hurt on any group holding a charity car wash.

Tallmadge, Ohio, Stop Wasting America's Time by picking on people trying to make a few bucks just because it offends your delicate sensibilities.

Know of someone who deserves a SWAT? Click here to make a nomination.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

Similar Posts:

2 Comments »

  • Vanilla Cokehead said:

    If I owned a business in Tallmadge – not only would I have an annoying dancing mascot outside of it – I’d put up a stripper pole in front of my business and have said mascot use it. If this law passes banning these types of promotional characters, look for a legal challenge and for it to be overturned in court…

  • Debra said:

    You have a good point, Brian. Commercial speech is protected under the First Amendment, too. They might be able to get away with nuisance regulations such as requiring parade permits, but banning it could be tough.