In American cities, when the temperature spiked, it was time to open up a fire hydrant. It was a splashy fun moment for kids of all ages.
But no more.
It is now Politically Incorrect to open up a fire hydrant.
The Washington City Paper reports on a stern, new no-fun policy of the D.C. government: “Opening a fire hydrant sounds like a really urban and fun thing to do,” explains Pete Piringer, public information officer for the D.C. Fire and Emergency Management Services. “But you can’t open a fire hydrant here anymore.”
Now the city has spent gobs of money on a new fangled alternative called “spray parks.” This is the politically correct way for kids to beat the heat.
The problem is the parks don’t quite work. After $4 million, a nearby spray park in my neighborhood still has not opened. The drains have been recalled and the green Canadian company cannot get the replacement parts.
Despite the fact the new green technology has failed throughout the city, in late spring the D.C. water department “launched a campaign to stop citizens from putting hydrants to their own uses,” reports the City Paper. The city produced a list of the “Top 10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Break Open a Fire Hydrant.”
Most dealt with environmental issues like sedimentation, but the number one reason why you can’t open up a fire hydrant any longer: it’s illegal!
This might not seem like a major issue in other municipalities, but until last year here in Washington, D.C. not a single citywide pool has ever opened up on time for Memorial Day.
So here in D.C. the kiddies just have to live with beads of sweat when it’s summer in the city. If they opened a hydrant, it would turn them into criminals. Necks in the summering city will remain dirty and gritty.