Friday, April 19, 2019

Yabba Dabba Do What You Like

 I like to keep a list of sentences no one has ever spoken or heard, such as

  • "Hand me that piano"
  • "I'm completely satisfied with the way life seems to be working out"
  • “We’re in the United States, they can’t tell you to get rid of a dinosaur”
Who would say that thing about a dinosaur? No surprise, it was spoken in the Hillsborough section of San Francisco, by Florence Fang, a woman who owns a house out there that was built in 1976. She paid $2.8 million for it two years ago, and there is a big brouhaha about the appearance of the place.

What's wrong, you ask?  Well, for one thing, it has orange and purple domes.

For another, it's a re-creation of the house once lived in by Fred and Wilma Flintstone.

The neighbors and the city have been all up in Fang's grille about the place making the whole neighborhood look Bedrocky. Fang has hired an attorney, Angela Alioto (a former member of the Board of Supervisors and onetime candidate for mayor of San Francisco), and it's Ms Alioto's stance that they're coming after Fang mainly because of racist animus.  Ms Fang is Asian.

“Is this really about Fred and Dino?” Alioto asks. “Or is it about treating Mrs. Fang differently because she had a dream—and because she is Chinese and this is Hillsborough?”

To bolster the claim of racism, Alioto says city officials spoke in a belittling manner and demanded that Fang "speak English."

“The American spirit is you dare to make innovation,” says Fang, who says that people from all over the world write to her to praise her bold spirit. Many of these writers are children.

The suit that the city filed against Fang centers around her changes to the property, not the house itself. But she has added enormous dinosaur statues, figures of Flintstones characters, giant painted mushrooms, benches shaped like pigs, Bigfoot, and a tableau showing a UFO and the aliens that came with it.

Certain weight might be given to Alioto's theory of racism since no one complained about the Rubble around her house until Fang moved it, after which the city declared the decorations are a public nuisance.

And that makes Fang and Alioto deduce it's all about aesthetics, and then came the quote about "they can’t tell you to get rid of a dinosaur.”

As Sgt Hulka said to Frances Sawyer in "Stripes," "Lighten up, Francis!"

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