Lawnmower Guy: Stopped for Doing a Good Deed


Photo By: Owen Wickman

Mowing the lawn is a common task around the neighborhood. Can you imagine being stopped by police for mowing a lawn? Lawnmower guy can.

This just in!  The government shut itself down! Everyone panic! Build a bunker and hide in it! Raid the food markets! Cook the dog for tonight’s meal! People who reacted like this upon receiving the news of the government shutdown are strongly recommended to seek help and to get checked out for paranoia. The government was indeed shut down, but it’s fixed now, isn’t it? There was not an apocalyptic scale collapse of society/nuclear war. It’s all good. Comparative to the entire population of the United States, very few people were directly affected.  In fact, that sucker is old news by now. Why am I writing about it weeks later? Who cares anymore? I know at least one man. Lawnmower Guy. Lawnmower Guy still cares.

Way back when the government was still shut down, national parks were closed. The Lincoln Memorial is a national park, believe it or not. Parks Service employees were laid off by the shutdown, so naturally the lawn became overgrown and unruly. Who wants to look at an ugly lawn? Certainly not the veterans marching in the Million Vet March. A man from South Carolina by the name of Chris Cox realized this, and proceeded to buy a lawnmower and mow the lawn himself. He carried a South Carolina flag with him and pushed that lawnmower to victory, leaving it clean and pristine once more. Before he could finish though, police made him leave. They kicked out a noble man performing a noble duty. Chris was not in any way harming the memorial, or endangering it. In fact, he was doing quite the opposite. Chris was picking up the slack of a worthless government which fails to even stay open. I would like to know why the police would ever stop someone from performing a civil duty as a volunteer while the government is too dysfunctional to pay people who keep parks clean.

This is not the first time police have stopped someone from performing good deed, not by any stretch of the imagination. Why, it happened just a couple months ago. Police officers stopped a Christian organization in Raleigh from feeding homeless people in a park. No ordinance or reason as to why they were halted was given. They were simply told to get a park permit in order to continue. The permit would cost them $1,600 per weekend! To top it off, the police told them they were unlikely to be approved for one. The organization had not been using the park for a short period of time. They had been handing out sausage biscuits and coffee to homeless people for six years. Why would the police suddenly decide to stop them? If this group has been bending the law to help homeless people for six years, and no harm has come of it, then why stop them now? If they were going to put a stop to the charitable organization, what drove them to let it remain operational for six years, without stopping them? Abuse of power because someone is having a bad day is all that I can think of. The mayor apologized to the Christians after they protested and promised that they would help them.

If a person or group is doing a public service and clearly not placing any property or person in harm’s way, then they should not be stopped. Why should homeless people not get fed when they need it? Is it really worth it for people to go hungry so that law can be followed word for word? People who are working for the good of society should be respected and honored, not threatened and thrown out by police. How much effort would it take the government to enact a law protecting citizens doing civil duty? The law making departments or executive heads could grant privileges to those who are serving communities, or simply inform officers that work in the area that individuals or organizations are doing duties for the people. They literally could copy and paste a few of these sentences onto a word document, print it out, present it to Congress and bam! Law is now in formation.

People who work for others purely out of the kindness of their hearts are often among the most abused members of society. Those who only desire money know how to exploit the good nature and kind hearts of the selfless for their own benefit. The Christians are a prime example. Someone decided that they wanted the $1,600 a weekend that they were missing out on. When the government was shut down, Congress was still paid. If that’s not corruption, then I am a freaking seal. I don’t understand why people let this happen. This world needs more selflessness, not corrupt police officers and officials. Selfless individuals like Lawnmower Guy need be in charge, not the today’s argumentative, indecisive members of Congress that preside over the proud nation we call America.