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Sadness, Anger Outlawed In Irvine, California
As of this Monday morning, it is no longer legal to be publicly sad or angry in Irvine, California, an affluent suburb of suburban Orange County.
At the behest of The Irvine Company, the real estate investment company that owns most of the land and property comprising the city deemed the safest in the United States the last two years, Irvine's City Council passed the new law that "hereby prohibits the public exhibition of any countenance overtly recognizable as sad, angry, or any amalgamation of such distasteful emotions within the spectrum of negativity".
"The purpose of the new ordinance is to polish Irvine's already lustrous image - so it really sparkles," says Beth Krom, Irvine's Mayor, "Eliminating frowny faces from our landscape will insure we're always putting our best foot forward - for the benefit of our local home and business owners."
The ciy's new injunction against public despondency hasn't been well received by everyone however, including Howard Munson of Irvine, whose mood went from bad to worse when he earned the distinction of incurring the first $100 ticket for violating the law.
"I've had a lot on my plate lately and hadn't heard about the new law. My newborn son was recently diagnosed with a terminal genetic disorder and my wife has been really depressed, so I decided to go for a walk to the park, which is where they caught me," recounted Munson.
"I was sitting on a bench staring into the pond when two cops approached me and asked if there was anything wrong, and when I said there was, one laughed and said, 'Well, it's about to get a lot worse', wrote me a ticket and told me to go home. I didn't really appreciate that."
Charles Copeland, 83, agrees.
"I'm always cranky. I enjoy it. I also like going for walks, so what am I supposed to do, paint a shit eating grin on my face every time I step out the door like I just took my first decent crap of the month? I stormed the beach at Iwo Jima, so I think I'm entitled to scowl at as many people as I feel like."
Not true, says Donald Bren, Chairman of The Irvine Company.
"We urge people to understand that we're not trying to impose any sort of comprehensive ban on these types of emotions. We understand that they are quite normal for some people, and that's fine. All we're saying is, for the good of the community, that there is a time and place for them, and that's inside your home."
Sheila Trufant, Vice President of the Turtle Rock Community Home Owners Association, agrees.
"I think it's great. People don't want to start a business or buy a house in a town full of sour grapes and gloomy Gusses. I bet anybody who's currently opposed to the idea will see things different when their house is on the market."
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