We live in a typical suburban neighborhood, where people keep an eye on one another (out of curiosity) and an eye out for trouble (out of a sense of self-preservation). Usually, it's quiet, other than the occasional lawn mowing crew or some idiot with a leaf blower. Our little subdivision lies on a loop road just off of a cross street that's called home by folks who own McMansions set out on ten acre lots. When you get past the Beemers and Cadillacs, you'll find our humble abode, the one with the rusting 1997 model Ford Ranger truck in the driveway.
Every week a parade of tractors with bushhog mowers goes up and down Irby Lane, making sure Cadillac Country is nice and trimmed in those open spaces no one wants to mow. Meanwhile, our little stretch of road has a very noticeable patch of overgrown weeds, thistles, and all sorts of assorted underbrush, much too thick for a lawn mower to handle. No one pulls off of Cadillac row to give our little jungle patch a mowing, even though there are usually four or five tractors following one another, mowing the same spots the last one mowed.
A few minutes ago I heard the tractor pull coming up the road, so I walked out to the crossroad (and sold my soul to the devil, who taught me how to play this here guitar REAL good!) and tried to convince one of my tractor drivers to come down our street for a quick pass. He shook his head and said, "Can't."
I said, "Can't?"
And he nodded, just before leaning over the other side of the tractor to spit out what looked like a stream of goose shit and bile he'd been saving in his lip.
"This here's city highway, and that there's county. Can't go down that road, against the rules."
"But... it's only a fifty yard patch of high grass and weeds, and it's less than a hundred yards from here. Wouldn't take you thirty seconds..." I reasoned.
"Don't matter. Can't."
"Can't?" I repeated.
"Sorry, buddy, I don't make the rules. You can call the county, maybe they'll send somebody out."
Every day someone calls me trying to weasel their way into some special price on my action photography, figuring my stated prices are negotiable. I usually give in and cut someone a break, because I'd rather have SOMETHING for my work than not make a sale at all. Besides, I'd probably give 'em the shots they want for free if they made a good enough case pleading poverty. I'm pretty easy, which is why we're starving.
But I never seem to run into anyone willing to do the same kinds of things when it's their job we're talking about.
Why is that?