Loose Ends: Shortcuts make for short fuses

Dolly Viscardi
“Get out of my yard!” the angry male voice drifted across the wide expanse of green grass.
“Oh, I knew you wouldn’t mind,” the woman answered, but stopped talking when she looked up to see the man wasn’t laughing. He went back into the house.
Her circuitous route to avoid the mud had driven her farther from the culvert and onto someone’s lawn. There appeared to be no way she could do what the homeowner had requested, so she continued to make a beeline for the street.
Recounting the adventure later, she speculated about the reason someone would be so mad about someone taking a shortcut across the lawn. Nothing seemed to be an adequate
“I think everyone is frustrated these days. I bet kids cross this lawn now all the time and maybe they pick the flowers or go into the garden or something.”
“Living across from the rodeo grounds is bad enough, no need for putting up with people on your property.”
“The common courtesy rule applies, stay off someone else’s property.”
“You’re just lucky they didn’t go back inside and come out with their shotgun.”
“You’d be surprised how many people think your property is their property too.”
The woman maintained that she would never trespass on anyone’s property. Taking a shortcut from construction was just a one time thing and there should be no need for anyone to get all riled up about such a thing. She realized that her roots back east were in the small towns where sidewalks linked all of the residential areas. Back yards were wide expanses of green grass and the word lawn referred to both front and back yards. At first it seemed that she had crossed another line of demarcation between rural and city living, or maybe blurred the boundaries of back east and out west traditions. Then she realized it was something that brought out strong opinions from everyone. She hadn’t taken a shortcut, she had definitely trespassed. The point was well taken and the woman considered walking back to the house that afternoon, after baking cookies as a peace offering. Then she remembered the barking dog.
“See you later,” the woman’s walking buddy had called out earlier that day. “I’ll come down to the jail and bail you out.”
— dolly@theheraldtimes.com