The other day I was walking on Cayuga on the way to the Sweater Tree. Suddenly, lethargy overtook me so I decided to rest on an attractive bench made of burnished red wood. Not only that but the bench was located right next to something that looked vaguely like a water fountain. What could be better? I planned to rest there for a long time.
But just when I was about to settle in for my nap, I noticed this sign posted just behind the bench. I am reproducing the actual sign here with no embellishment:
“WARNING! Private property. Right to pass is contingent upon your complete release of liability to the property owner for any injury or death occurred. This bench and water fountain may be dangerous to your health from risks of which you may or may not be aware.
This bench is in the flight path of commercial airlines. You could be struck by falling bodies, airplane parts, luggage or the dreaded Blue Ice.
Among other things you could be injured by falling things or branches, flying beer bottles, rampaging squirrels, skunks or other critters, wasps and/or bee stings, dog or cat bites, bicylists, ride-by skateboarders, drive-by shooters, muggers, runaway baby strollers, inexperienced drivers who cut the corner too sharply, or wobbly drunken pedestrians both day and night.
(P.S. — no, the bench in the picture accompanying this blog entry is not the same bench. But, in the likely event that you don’t believe me, drive to Santa Cruz and walk on Cayuga Street until you arrive at the James Street intersection. There you will see the killer bench. But don’t sit there unless you’re really desperate.)