For Your Own Sake, Loitering and Loafing: Know The Difference
Let's let the law speak.
The debate goes on. Just what is the main and distinguishing meaning of "loitering" and "loafing?"
The law, which defined loitering as "remain (ing) in any one place with no apparent or civil-purpose", gave the police a right to disperse such person or persons and in case of disobedience, civil or otherwise, provided for a punishment by fine, imprisonment and/or performing community service.
"Loafing," legally-defined is having no employment; inactivity; inactive; idleness and wandering aimlessly from place to place providing or contributing nothing of substance to family or society.
Two controversial words.
Notice how similar the two words, "loitering" and "loafing" are in context. Frankly it confuses me even with the legal terms, why it is illegal to loiter, but not illegal to loaf? I would not like to be the police officer on patrol and see a group of guys just sitting on a storefront doing absolutely nothing but gazing at the sidewalk. The judgement of this group has to be near-perfect. Are these guys breaking the law or simply passing the time?
With the police being scrutinized more today than a year or two ago, you can see why a police officer would be stressed when facing such a situation as the one above. And what about the police officer on his day off? Huh?
You be the police.
Let's say that the officer wants to get out of his house for the day, so he decides to walk to the city to get his exercise and to just do something besides enforcing the law. Then out of nowhere steps, "Bill Caroll," a fellow police officer who went through the police academy with the officer who is enjoying his day off. Before long, the two are shaking hands, catching-up on each others lives and finally settling down to sit on a bench in front of the post office and relax.
Are these officers loitering or loafing? You be the police and make the call. Our society and its foundation rests on your ability to make this call. Do you see now the super-importance of this subject?
To add miles to your knowledge of loitering and loafing, let's look at the two terms in question and notice the situations afforded to each one and then you will have a "working knowledge" on these controversial terms
And now, comedian, Brian Regan.
Copy these down if you like.
If You Are Loitering You Are:
- Sitting alone or with someone gazing at the sky or the ground.
- You have forgotten what the term "employment" means.
- You believe that "this" place where you and your buddies sit is your real "home."
- The highlight of your day is just getting to the place where you sit each day.
- The cop on the beat has grown weary of asking you, "don't you have somewhere to be?"
If You Are Loafing You Are:
- Yukking it up with a gang of your friends in front of a busy grocery store not caring if the sun shines or not.
- Your place in front of the busy grocery store is just one of four places you love to sit and do nothing.
- Most of your town's population has seen you and your pals in these four places at one time or the other.
- Your nick-name is now, "Lead Butt Lenny," although your name is "William."
Wondering how to get back to where you really live.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, I can understand completely why the police, state, and federal officers are automatically-suspicious when they see:
- Men or women dressed in drab colors, wearing sunglasses, holding a briefcase and positioning themselves near a huge electrical sub-station.
- Men or women seen trying to climb the ladders near those huge water tanks outside of a city for no apparent reason
- When these men or women see a police cruiser traveling their way, they hide as best they can.
- When the police stop to ask these men and women a few simple questions, these suspicious men or women sweat like Niagara Falls and it is in the dead of winter.
- Or . . .when the police stop to talk to these men or women, the men or women take off running like a track star.
My last piece of valuable advice is to you, my cherished-followers:
If you are in your hometown tomorrow, be careful to not sit down near a government building or busy grocery store, or you could be arrested for loitering while loafing.
And the debate goes on.