After switching cars with Kris, after this morning's workout, I stopped by the local Starsbuck (ask Kris, that's the name, no really) for a milk and croissant. As I was waiting for my milk to be poured, I wandered over to the free, local newspaper stand to check out the headlines.
One of the headlines was San Carlos: Pay up or lights out.
If you don't want to bother clicking that link, don't worry, I'll rant enough that you'll know what's going on.
Essentially, the city of San Carlos is in a financial crunch, as pretty much every municipal government is across the country (why, yes, thank you greedy, retarded, mortgage backers who made very, very bad decisions and are causing problems for the responsible people who didn't succumb to the idea that you don't have to earn your way through life, that you can just mooch off society because IT OWES YOU, just because you breathe).
One of the ways that San Carlos has decided to save money is by turning off the lights.
In particular, the tennis court lights at various parks around town.
The city figures it can save about $15,000 in its $1,200,000 budget shortage by not turning on the lights when it gets dark, and, get this, charging people to have turn on the lights.
You know, have people who use the facility actually PAY for the resources the facility consumes.
Now, this particular idea has caused a HUGE uproar in the city's tennis playing population. "How dare they charge me $20 to have someone come out and turn on the lights. That's an outrage! I can play only at night, I'm a REALLY busy person. I shouldn't have to pay for the lights when other people can use the courts for free during the day."
Actually, what I heard was, "Waaaah, waaaah, waaaaah."
I was actually pretty miffed at the outrage these people are expressing. People who play on lighted fields (you know, like ultimate players) have had to pay for the lights, EVEN WHEN WE TURN THEM ON OURSELVES, and have for decades. Those lights, and heck, those fields, aren't free and as long as I've been coordinating leagues, they haven't been. Hell, to be legitimate, we have to pay for the fields EVEN DURING THE DAY, you know, when ITS LIGHT OUT.
The more I think about it, the more annoyed I become. At least the people who play tennis can get courts. They aren't bumped for youth sports EVERY TIME, because, after you graduate from high school, you're not supposed to be into sports, or playing ultimate. No, every city makes sure that youth get first dibs on the fields, and adult sports get the shaft.
So, yeah, quick your whining about having to pay $20 for someone to come out and turn the lights on. So what? It's a small amount for the joy you get from playing the sport you love, and worth every penny, right? If it's not, find a different sport.
Bunch of mooching babies.