Breaking the Forsythia Law

Where did winter go? We never had one in Chicago. This is by far the most beautiful spring I have ever enjoyed in 35 years of living in Chicago. The old joke is that Chicago has two seasons — winter and construction. In between we have about a week of fall and one day of spring.

I was so excited by our March spring (???? — when will the other shoe drop?) that I decided to take photos of the amazing forsythia that popped into bloom over the weekend. While driving through the parking lot of our newly renovated mall, I spied a well-shaped forsythia bush and stopped to take a photo. Sounds innocent, right?

As I’m focusing my camera on the perfect spot, behind me I hear someone asking, “Can I help you?” I turned around, saw what apparently was the shopping center security guard in his seekie car, and replied, quite obviously, that I was taking a photo of the beautiful flowers and that everything was fine. Still innocent, right?

Oh, no. It’s illegal to take a photo of forsythia in this particular shopping mall because if I can take a photo, so can terrorists, and terrorists aren’t allowed to take photos of anything in America. You know why.

I was very tempted to mouth off, but I said I understood and got back in my car. As I drove away, I really wanted to drive back around and flaunt the authority of “the man.” But then I thought about how getting arrested would look in the newspaper. It might just affect my credibility in the classroom, don’t you think?

I’m a law-abiding citizen and proud of it. And here’s the photo I took of another beautiful forsythia bush from a legal spot on the sidewalk. I’m really glad I didn’t get arrested for it, because no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get much out of my yellow petals blowing in the breeze. Note to self; don’t use HDR when the wind is blowing.

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