Sunday, February 6, 2011

I Judge You For Your Churlish Need To Hoard Lemons

The folks who live across the street have three mature lemon trees in their front yard, bearing hundreds of lemons. Recently they have put up a big laminated sign, stating "Do Not Take Lemons. THOU SHALT NOT STEAL." I don't know who took the lemons. Yesterday the little kids next door were having some kind of "juice" stand, but that could just be coincidence. I don't support stealing of course, but in this case I feel that the lemon tree owners are in the wrong. Here's why.

1) Whoever took the lemons obviously didn't take that many, since there are literally hundreds of them left. So let's not overreact, as if they stole your car.

2)How many lemons could you possibly need? Only two people live there. They are obviously not lemon farmers, so it's not as if the thieves were cutting into their lemon profits. But lets say they are just crazy about lemons. Every single day they make a pitcher of fresh lemonade, they season every dish they cook with lemon juice, and they garnish every plate with lemon slices. That's just how they roll. Even then, we're really only talking about like 10 lemons per day. And I'm 99% certain that they aren't even using that many. But even if they were, they have THREE mature trees FULL of lemons. They aren't even putting a dent in it, seriously.

3) I'm pretty sure that the lemon theives were the little neighborhood kids. Look, I know stealing is wrong, but really? I'm putting myself in the owners' shoes. I'm old and I love lemons. I see a couple of little kids rush into my yard and pick a few lemons. What do I do? Honestly, I would chuckle to myself and move on. If I was feeling feisty, I might patronize the "juice" stand and say "Wow! This lemonade is delicious! Wherever did you get the lemons? You must have used fresh ones to get it to taste so good!" And then I would wink and go back to my house. But that would be like, if I was PMSing and felt like scaring some little kids. I can't get my head around the mindset that thinks "Someone stole three of my 800 lemons. I'm angry and I'm not going to take it anymore!" And then I LAMINATE a sign and hang it up in the front yard.

4)Let's say it wasn't kids engaged in an innocent lemonade stand enterprise. Let's say it was an adult. Does that really change matters that much? I mean, we've all been in the middle of a recipe and said "Shit. I thought we had lemon juice but we don't! I'm in the middle of cooking; I can't run to the store! What should I do?" And then we get resourceful. So?

I didn't steal the lemons. I'm just saying.

5)Why bring religion into it? Of course thou shalt not steal. We all know that. But you know what else? Jesus was all about sharing. He didn't say "These are my bread and fishes and this is my wine. Go fuck yourselves." Jesus was a big supporter of sharing, turning the other cheek, and forgiveness. You aren't being a good Christian by getting all angry because someone took a couple of your lemons. You're just being kind of a dick.

6)Not to "blame the victim" but if you put fruit trees in your front yard, with no fence of any kind, you're kind of asking for it. I mean, if someone robs your house, that's wrong. But if you left your front door wide open, valuables in full view, you're kind of to blame too. If your property is that important to you, do something to secure it. By not taking measures to protect your property, you're kind of saying "I don't care, go ahead and take it". It doesn't mean the thief is in the right, it just means you are stoopid, in addition.

So here it is. I believe that the lemon tree owners are totally within their rights to put up the bitchy sign. I think they are within their rights to be angry. Heck, they would even be within their rights to call the police. It is their private property, and if they say you can't have it, then you can't. But this isn't about whether you have the RIGHT to do something. It's about whether you SHOULD do something. I have the right to hiss at ugly people. It doesn't mean I should. The lemon tree owners have the right to hoard as many lemons as they like. And I have the right to think they're petty, selfish idiots.

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