The New York Times Would Like Your Children To Stop Pissing On Trees, PleaseS

When a kid pisses on a tree in Manhattan, who hears it? The New York Times, of course! And they're out to take the little bastard to task.

Laura Silver, a freelance writer who's also a "master composter" as certified through the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, takes her complaint to the CityRoom blog's "Complaint Box." Silver was sitting in Madison Square Park - home to meat-manna house Shake Shack and a fancy, newfangled, futuristic pay-toilet - when she heard a mother encourage her kid to whip it out and go to town on a sapling:

Mature trees with entrenched roots and lamppost-thick trunks punctuate Madison Square Park, unfazed by persistent hugs and unbridled jostling. But après-pee protocol dictates otherwise. Tommy's mom pointed to a sapling, grabbed it and sang a happy tune about spring. The boy zipped up his shorts and pulled at the branches. I wasn't convinced the sprig would make it to summer. "Halt," I wanted to holler. "Citizen's arrest! I am a certified volunteer street tree pruner."

Ms. Silver (sadly, for us) suppressed her urge to clothesline the kid and figure-four him into submission. But this is a win-win situation, right? While public decency standards and consideration for the lovely trees that line Manhattan dictate some level of consideration on behalf of the little pisser, it's good to see the youth respecting Old New York Charm and parents trying to instill in their kids the storied tradition of public urination and shaking saplings (even though the kid was inexcusably sober). Now all he has to do is wait ten years and smack it on the F-Train. On the other hand, the storied New York tradition of people kvetching is going nowhere, fast. That, too, is good to know.

Complaint Box | Going Behind a Tree
[NYT]