Against the law to be annoying in public

In Brighton, Michigan an ordinace was recently adopted to make it illegal to be annoying in public either by “word of mouth, sign or motions.” That’s the only piece of information I read about the ordinance in a snipet of News of the Weird in the Dispatch. Such a slim missive has me wondering about what’s annoying exactly?

I would guess you couldn’t flip a person off or stick out your tongue at someone. Probably you can’t put your thumbs at the side of your head at temple height and wag your fingers while saying, “Na, naa, na, na, nuh.” That’s what came to mind first. Or, what about someone standing in the middle of a grocery aisle talking loudly on a cell phone? That’s kind of annoying. There are all sorts of items one might put on a laundry list of annoying behaviors. My personal favorite is when someone comes to an event that’s quiet and starts rustling a plastic bag–and rustling, and rustling and rustling it. Give the person a citation, I say.

Then I went snooping on the City of Brighton Web site to see what’s what. I discovered that Brighton is the fastest growing town in Livingston County which is the fastest growing county in Michigan. I thought perhaps that all the extra people were making Brighton citizens unnerved and easily annoyed. Nope, that wasn’t it.

As it turns out, the old ordinace wasn’t clear about teenage bullying, neighbors repeatedly vexing neighbors, repeated unwanted text messages, these sorts of things.

As a statement by the mayor clarifies, the following do not fit under the new ordinace:

  • “The screaming child in the grocery line
  • The spouse that leaves dirty socks on the floor
  • The person that fails to use the left turn signal
  • You get the picture. . .”

This photo was taken at a park in GwinnettCounty, Georgia by Barely Fitz. You can’t be annoying there either.