Rules Are RulesJan Cline of Salem, Ore., is trying to fight off terminal bone cancer. “Just by walking I can break a bone,” she says. Cline wants to be a good citizen and pay her mounting medical bills. “It’s a struggle,” she says. “It’s a struggle for me because I’m very independent, used to taking care of myself.” To help, she has been selling off her possessions in a series of yard sales. The problem: Salem has a law limiting residents to three yard sales per year. She didn’t know about the law until a city inspector stopped by her house and ordered her to stop the sales. If she has another one within a year, it’s a misdemeanor and she’ll be subject to a $300 fine. “I hope no one else has to give their lives away for nickels and dimes and then be told they can’t even do that,” Cline said. After explaining to the inspector what she was doing and why, “He said, ‘I’m sorry. Rules are rules.’” (RC/KATU Portland) ...“Rules are rules” — the bureaucratic equivalent to the parental “Because I said so.”
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 18.
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