Recent conversation between a certain grizzled blogger and a local metropark employee. The setting, an intersection along one of the more remote loop trails, whereat the smaller trail, rather overgrown, sports a sign which says: DO NOT ENTER - TRAIL RESTING.
Metropark Employee (MPE): That trail is closed to the public.
Grizzle Blogger (GB): I don't blame you. Can't have the unwashed masses traipsing willy-nilly all over their park.
GB: All that tramping about. I can see how a path would become exhausted.
MPE: Uh, well anyway, you can't go in there.
GB: Wouldn't dream of it. But I presume it was all right to exit?
GB: The sign says "Do Not Enter." It says nothing about exiting.
[The metropark employee mulls this conundrum over momentarily. His double-negative reply is delivered with a haughty smirk.]
MPE: You couldn't have been on that trail if you hadn't ignored the sign.
GB: What sign?
MPE: [Gesticulating emphatically.] That sign!
GB: You can't read its message from the backside. Besides, the directive is inapplicable.
GB: Depends on whether you're coming or going.
MPE: You're not making any sense.
GB: Actually, I believe I am. However, let me put it another way. To effectively close a linear trail, you need to put a "Do Not Enter" sign at both ends.
[Whereupon a moment of presumed cogitation by the metropark employee is followed by his dawning embarrassment.]
MPE: [Quietly chagrined.] Oh.
GB: But there were lots of blackberries along the way.
MPE: Public berry-picking is not permitted along the trail.
GB: I thought that trail was closed?
MPE: It is! Or will be when I get a sign up at the other end. But you can't pick berries in the park.
GB: You're the one who brought up picking.
MPE: Well, that looks like berry juice at the corner of your mouth.
[The grizzled blogger removes a bandana from a pocket, moistens the corner of his mouth with the tip of his tongue, mops up—then stares intently at the patterned dark-blue square of cloth.]
GB: I don't see anything.
[The metropark employee, exhibiting an exasperated "why me?" attitude, resignedly shakes his head. The grizzled blogger grins conspiratorially and points.]
GB: However, I do see that gallon bucket you've been holding unobtrusively to your side, and note what appear to be possible recent blackberry stains therein. Given the fact you're technically NOT a member of the public, when coupled with your proximity to this blackberry-laden pathway…I must say I have my suspicions.
[In either a moment of blushing guilt, or a simple flushing caused by the 90-degree August heat, the face and neck of the metropark employee turns beet red.]
MPE: Uh…well…I gotta go. I'll see to getting that sign up. Have a good day.
GB: You, too. And if I might offer a word of advice…the berries under the trees are kinda sour—the sweetest ones are along the meadow section of the trail.