My wife and I live on a ten-acre plot of land mostly covered in orange groves. The groves have been here for decades, part of a legal citrus preserve. Our house takes up one corner of the property and the rest is almost entirely orange trees. We don’t own the trees, they are owned by a separate company that grows, harvests and sells them commercially. They pay us a certain percentage of the harvest as “rent”, which usually covers property taxes and the like. It’s a great arrangement, one that has been beneficial to everyone involved. It keeps me away from urban sprawl, my closest neighbor is close to 1/2 mile away, which is why I moved here in the first place.
The one thing I don’t enjoy though are the tons of pinheads who feel compelled to bang on the front door and ask to pick oranges. In the 13 years we’ve been here so far, there hasn’t been a week that’s gone by when at least one idiot hasn’t come by to demand free fruit. Nothing we’ve done has dissuaded them. We had signs up in the grove themselves saying “Commercial Grove, No Picking”, we’ve had signs on the door that say “The oranges are not available for picking”. We tell people no and they get pissed. Apparently, they don’t grasp that these are oranges destined to end up in grocery stores. If you want oranges, Stater Bros. is down the road. Go there.
I bring this up because this morning, another pea-brained, entitlement-happy asshat gave it a shot. Early, and I mean early, someone starts banging on the door. Loud. Then starts ringing the doorbell. Repeatedly. I’m in the back of the house getting ready so I didn’t hear it, but my kids told me later what happened. Then, she gets in her car and starts honking her horn! So I go out there, understandably pissed already and this stupid bitch is sitting in my driveway, laying on the horn. Why? Well, I didn’t answer my door! I could have slugged her.
So she tells me… not asks me, tells me, that she’s going to pick some oranges. I tell her no, she’s not, it’s private property and she is not allowed to trespass. She gets back in her car and, I’m sure, did what most people do when told that. She went down the street, parked, and did it anyhow.
The thing is, I’m usually nice to people who are nice. I have a big pile of trees that are mine, free and clear, that I can let you pick from to your heart’s desire. I’ve got free avocados, nectarines, lemons, grapefruit, all that just sit and rot on the trees because I couldn’t eat them all fast enough if I wanted to. Take them away! The very few times I’ve had people come up and offer to buy oranges from me, I’ve freely given away the fruit that I can. But if you’re going to be a douchenozzle and demand that you’re going to steal from me and there’s nothing I can do about it, screw off. You get nothing. If I had a shotgun and the time to chase all these idiots off, I would.
There was a time, many years ago, when the whole grove was fenced off with barbed wire. You can still see the uprights in places. It was taken down, mostly because harvesting oranges is a largely mechanized process today, you have large machines that go down those rows and pluck the oranges and if you have fences, you can’t get the machines in. If I could, I’d surround the whole place with electrified fences. Of course, in today’s liberal world, I’d be prosecuted for harming someone in the process of illegally entering my land.
This kind of liberal entitlement-happy bullshit is just ridiculous. You cannot steal people’s stuff. Period. I don’t care if you want it, you can’t have it. Myself, I can’t give you permission to take it even if I wanted to. I’m a landlord. If I owned a building, I couldn’t give you permission to break into a tenant’s property and take their belongings. It’s just not legal. Even if it were, you’ve got no ethical or moral right to ask for it in the first place. Once you know it’s private property, move along. Don’t steal it, go support our capitalist system and buy it at the retail outlets where it’s sold.
But no, it’s turning into a socialist country, isn’t it?