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Apodaca: Stop obnoxiousness now

May 27, 2011|By Patrice Apodaca

The Newport Beach City Council finally passed its new "Loud and Unruly Gathering" ordinance this week, or as I like to call it, the LUG Law.

The ordinance gives police additional authority to crack down on excessively rowdy parties. Some residents and a couple of dissenting council members objected, arguing that it gives law enforcement too much discretion and runs the risk of infringing on civil liberties.

But why should I care about such high-minded notions as "liberty" and "individual rights" when I'm being disturbed by a noisy, bacchanalian celebration to which I was not invited? Isn't my right to be free of annoyances more important than a potential abuse of power?

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Of course it is, but why stop with LUGs? Indeed, if we're looking for ways to outlaw obnoxiousness, I'm wondering if the council would consider further empowering the police to curtail some of the other bothersome conduct common among our citizenry. To get you started, here's my list:

Serial cell-phone boorishness

I was shopping at Fashion Island recently, and when I went to pay I had to wait while the beleaguered sales clerk was subjected to a glaring-yet-typical display of cell-phone self-indulgence by the designer-clad couple in front of me.

As the clerk tried to complete the sale, the man continued yakking on his cell in a booming, self-important tone, while the woman never looked up from the thumbnastics she was performing on her phone. Their rudeness was downright criminal — that is, it should be.

If only I'd had the law behind me, I could have made a citizen's arrest and spared others in the mall from this scourge. Better yet, I would have notified police, who could have written the pair up for a fine and the loss of cell-phone privileges — or at least receive lousy reception — for as long as a year.

Misconduct at markets

Oh, where do I begin?

There are the louts who sneak into the "15 items or less" lines when they know very well they're over the limit. The hooligans who block the aisles with their carts are beneath my contempt. And those monsters who try to cut ahead in the deli line definitely need to be held accountable.

I suggest we make the punishment fit the crime. Offenders should be consigned to the longest waits in the longest lines for life, or at least until they've proved they can be trusted in polite society again.

Movie theater loutishness

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