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America, May 2, 2009

Prohibitive Ocean City Signage

Just say "NO" to everything fun in Ocean City

just say no at ocean City
Ocean City's NoNo's
Pool Rules at Francis Scott Key Family Resort
Feel welcomed at the pool?
Whenever I travel, I get a feel for a city from its public signs. Some places, like Barcelona or Paris, enjoy their signage, and make function bend to whimsical. In Ocean City, there was no joy in signage. It was all practical and very prohibitive.

Let's look at what is not allowed, from just one sign on the Ocean City boardwalk which underlines its regulations with the bold Regulations Police Enforced:

  • No Alcoholic Beverages: I am on the fence about no booze on the beach. Some of my best memories are drunk tanning with Yana. Then again, there's nothing that ruins a good day faster than that guy drunk and obnoxious, and in your grill.
  • No Dogs May 1-Sept 30: No love for Taxi Dog? This I do not understand. Why the hate on pooches? I can see a leash requirement, but no dogs at all? Harsh.
  • No Ball or Frisbee Throwing: Disk golf on the beach is to much, but no frisbee or ball throwing at all? What kind of no-fun restriction is that? Next, no big beach blankets?
  • No Sleeping on Beach, 10pm-6am: How does Ocean City expect its horny young teens to get busy outside of the watchful parental eye if they don't allow "sleeping" on the beach. That's how I lost my virginity and the pain of sand in the naked crotch should be shared by all
  • No Open Fires: So no giant bonfires, or no fires of any sort, from cigarettes to BBQ? I can see banning smoking - you get ugly cigarette butts or stinky cigars, but no leaping flames under the full moon?
  • No Loud Music: This has to be the biggest joy pill kill. How do they define "loud music" - anything you can hear that you don't like? Are amplifiers that go to 11 banned? Or just bad country music at any volume?
And the No-No's don't stop here. The very next sign to this one loudly proclaims: No Dogs on Beach - No Dogs on Boardwalk - All Dogs Leashed. And with a minimum $25 fine for breaking the rules, Ocean City didn't seem very welcoming if you ask me.

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