In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s famous literary punishment against future generations of American school children, Hester Prynne has a child out of wedlock. Disgusted by her egregious sin, the Puritans brandish her with a big red “A” that must be worn at all times.
Such is the logic behind new wintertime rules set out by city officials in Somerville, a small town located immediately north of Boston. According to the Somerville Journal:
With the changes, property owners or tenants have until 10 a.m. to clear snow and ice from the sidewalk in front of their home if the snow stops before sunrise – or 10 p.m. if the snow stops before sunset. Another change will double fines for the first offense from $25 to $50 for owners of single, two, or three-family homes. Fines for second offenses are being raised from $50 to $100 and third offense fines are increasing from $100 to $200.
[Mary Jo Rossetti] said at the meeting inspectional services will put “large, strikingly colored door markers on the properties of offenders,” she said. “[The markers] will not only bring attention to the property owner but will make the neighbors aware of the citation that are being serviced to such properties.”
So aside from paying a sh*t-ton of money in fines, those who don’t shovel snow from their sidewalks must endure a public shaming. Your laziness will be known throughout the neighborhood, and kids with unread copies of Hawthorne’s tome will point at you and laugh.
These new policies beg the question: If this is how Somerville punishes people for laziness, what will they do when they actually catch adulterers? My money is on forcing them to watch the 1995 film adaptation with Demi Moore and Gary Oldman, but without the nude scenes.
Source: Somerville Journal