When I was a child, 10 years old or so, I came home from school and noticed a couple of big trucks parked in the field next to our house. The front end of the trucks crossed over to our property. I said nothing because, well, I was 10 years old and nobody listens to someone that age. I sure don't.
When my father got home from work that evening, he saw those trucks, and the guys sauntering toward them, and yelled at them to get off his property. They were dismissive of him, and wondered what the big deal was about. Dad was pretty ticked about it that evening over supper.
I saw and heard this, and it has stayed with me, 'lo these many years later. Ever since, I have respected private property. I don't cut across someone's land, unless I have been given express permission to do so, in order to shave a bit of time off a walk. If I am in such a hurry, I guess it means I should leave a few minutes earlier the next time.
There is a sidewalk in downtown Halifax, and a person's house is at the corner of two streets. Heck, it is South Park and Fenwick, if you must know. The walkway to that person's house is such that people who want to go from one corner to the other cut across that property. When I walk in that part of the city, I don't use that shortcut although an awful lot of people do. I go all the way to the end of Fenwick, and then make a sharp right to South Park. People may think I'm weird, but I feel better knowing that I am not cutting across someone's property than I would if I did.
I am fully confident that the vast majority of the people who ride All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV's, Four Wheelers, whatever), do so responsibly. They don't disrupt the habitat, drive them across private property, or take them out on public roads. Really, I do believe that most ATV drivers are fine, upstanding citizens, and I am not referring to them here.
I want to discuss the jerks, the nimrods, the so-and-so's, the small minority of ATV owners, who feel that if they can come up with the money to pay for one of these machines, that it gives them the right to disrupt the habitat, drive across private property, ride them on public roads.
While a minority, they are a vocal minority, and they give the rest of the owners a bad name.
I will state that I very much dislike ATV's. I don't want one, not now, not ever. I don't understand why they're fun at all. I just think of a neigbhour of ours at the cottage who drives his ATV over hill and dale, without regard to the fact that we don't appreciate the noise and disruption.
In the summer of '06, when we were at the cottege, a neighbour's son, wife and infant child started riding, without our knowledge or consent, on Patricia's cottege property. Just joyriding. Yippee. Yahoo.
I went out and confronted him, informing him that it was private property. Buddy didn't talk to me. His wife did, apologizing profusely. I was mad as a hatter at the father, more because he and the wife had allowed a little kid on that device. I stormed off, because I had nothing nice to say to those people.
Ever since, we have not got along with those people. We see them ride that ATV down a walk way, which is now difficult to navigate on foot because of their ATV. We know, just know, that they walk across Patricia's property when we are not there. Unless they change the laws about planting landmines, we can do little about it.
We see other ATV'ers on public roads. It happens, all the time. All the time. They are driven by lawless jackaninnies who do not care that they are breaking the law. They feel entitled, and there is not much regular, law-abiding people can do about it.
I will go to my grave, many years hence, wondering how some people were brought up. I will never understand what possesses certain people to disregard private property, or what causes them to think that they are special, and that the laws of the land do not apply to them. I will continually puzzle over the sheer inhumanity that infects certan people. I do not have an answer for this. Maybe forcing people to take a civics class might help.
Or, maybe, they should spend some time with my dad.