On Saturday, the temperature topped the 70-degree mark, something that hasn't happened all too often during this springtime of fear and discontent. Like many other folks, the bright sunshine drew me outside to feel its warmth and collect some natural vitamin D to protect against "the virus."

For old time's sake, I figured I'd take a stroll around Brooklawn Park. I spent my wonder years nearby and enjoyed many happy hours watching my son play ball on the fields there. It's where he hit his first home run. A walk in the park would be a nice way to spend a warm and sunny afternoon.

It didn't take long, however, to realize that things were different. Yellow CAUTION tape was everywhere – the swings, the new children's play area, the soccer field. Access to all was blocked by the yellow CAUTION tape. The hoops and nets that normally hang from the backboards at the basketball courts had been removed to keep kids from playing ball. What an insidious thing to do. But Big Brother has to save us from the germs.

And then, as luck would have it, I had to go. I mean I really had go. I made my way across the field to the port-a-john just beyond the library and how relieved I was to see it was operating and vacant. That is, until I opened the door and almost puked. What a disgusting, filthy, miserable mess. And the swings are off-limits because the mayor is afraid of a virus? Has he looked in the john?

Barry Richard/Townsquare Media
Barry Richard/Townsquare Media

This filthy, rotten, smelly mess – which is located mere yards from homes – has, according to the inspection sheet posted inside, been festering since March. 

Barry Richard/Townsquare Media

As I walked away in disgust, I thought about the folks up the road with a few bucks who are allowed to play golf on this sunny Saturday while the poor folks in the park aren't allowed to push their kids on a swing, and wondered if their bathrooms looked at all like this.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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