A typical sign in a typical public park in Tokyo:
Then there’s this one at a public skateboard park:
I’m not a big fan of rules, but Rebel Without a Pause Rochi goes absolutely bonkers about rules. Case in point: McDonald’s is doing a special promotion. If you order a large set meal, you get a wonderfully tacky Coca-cola glass, and I’ve always been a big fan of tacky glasses. (Glasses get broken. It’s a self-limiting thing to collect. Plus, they’re tacky so if one does get broken, who cares?) So we went to McD’s for lunch. We ordered the large sets and the counter lady laid out two of said glasses. Mission accomplished…or so I thought.
Rochi: Can’t we choose the colors?
Counter lady: No, I’m sorry, you can’t. But you can change one of these if you like.
Rochi: But you just said we can’t choose.
Counter Lady: Right. You can’t. But you can change one of these if you like.
Noting his furrowed brow and sensing an oncoming tsunami, I intervened.
Me: That’s OK. I like these colors. These are fine. (Really, they were.)
So we took our loot upstairs and sat down, but Rochi continued to grumble about the catch-22 situation with the glasses.
Me: You really don’t get it, do you? She’s not allowed to let us choose the color, but by bending the rules, she can offer us a different one. Say I wanted a pink one instead of the dark blue one, I cannot say, “I want a pink one.” But she can take away the dark blue one and replace it with others until she gets to pink and then everyone is happy and no rules have been broken. It’s a rather twisted way of getting things done, but it works.